War for the Planet of the Apes — 4 Gavels 93% Rotten Tomatoes

Move over, Wonder Woman!  Get your web out of the way, Spidey!  The Apes are gonna’ climb over both of you.  Great story.  Cute kid.  Hilarious Bad Ape.  Great actors, or should they be called ape-tors?  This movie is every bit as good as the aforementioned and may well be that summer blockbuster.  There are certainly lots of people who won’t go see this movie because of the genre. There are people who will not go see it because they didn’t see the first two in the trilogy.  They will miss a quality movie; it certainly is not necessary to see the first two before you enjoy this one.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) Gross $481 million.  Cost $90 million.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) Gross $710 million. Cost $235 million.
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)  Gross $??? billion. Cost $159 million.

To bring you up to speed, a drug for humans tested on apes has given apes human-like intelligence.  It also helped create a virus that has decimated the human population.  The aptly named Caesar is the leader of the apes and wants to live in peace.  However, the Colonel believes that all the apes must be killed to avoid further spread of the virus. The opening scene show the initial battle in the forest. Later,  the battles move into the mountains where Caesar meets the little girl, Nova, and Bad Ape.

Many, many critics are calling for Andy Serkis as Caesar to be included in the Best Actor category. He is that good!  Steve Zahn as Bad Ape steals every scene he is in.  Amiah Miller is wonderful as Nova even without saying a word.  The weakest link in the movie, very surprisingly, is Woody Harrelson as the Colonel.  His bad guy persona just didn’t make it for me; it was like he was acting rather than a natural.

Even at 140 minutes, this movie passes by quickly.  In some movies, Wonder Woman, for example, the fights go on and on.  It makes you think the writers have nothing more to add to the story.  Not so, in this movie.  Each scene continues the plot right up to the end.  No cat naps in this flick.  I am very much anticipating Dunkirk next week, but this movie has set the bar pretty high.  It was well worth the price of admission.

4 thoughts on “War for the Planet of the Apes — 4 Gavels 93% Rotten Tomatoes

  1. I completely agree that Woody Harrelson is the weak link in this movie. Even from the first moment we saw him, I couldn't develop a passionate position towards him as the antagonist. His performance is lackluster at best.

    As good as Andy Serkis' performance was, I question if we are beginning to place too much focus on performance capture acting. His acting undoubtedly takes the viewer out of the fact they are watching superb CGI, but I wonder how his performance would have been without the perspective of how we are able to combine CGI with acting in today's movies.

  2. You must be Matt's friend. In Philadelphia now? Good to hear from you. Woody grew up in our hometown and usually like his performances. Not so much in this role. Did you see Edge of Seventeen?Very good in that role. As for Serkis, your thoughts are why he's not likely to get nominated. But eventually some CGI actor will-it is the future.

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