Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn
Age Restriction: 13 V
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 2hrs 20min
Release Date: 14 July 2017
If there is one remake franchise that really works, it's the latest Planet of the Apes trilogy.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes blew expectations out of the water when it turned out to be something beyond extraordinary. Its sequel on the other hand accomplished a feat rarely seen in modern-day cinema, when it effortlessly trumped the original to become a superior follow-up.
Sequel director Matt Reeves returns to helm the third chapter, which sees the intelligent apes – led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) – in an ongoing war with mankind.
After the ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson) destroys those whom Caesar holds dear, the ape leader succumbs to his desire for blood lust and journeys on a quest for vengeance.
The apes are brought to life by actors through the use of motion-capture technology; and it's absolutely astonishing how life-like they are. Their movement, mannerisms, and designs are exactly that of real-life apes – and we have Weta Digital and the actors' impressive performances to thank, particularly Serkis.
The actor once again delivers an exceptional performance as the strong and determined Caesar. Steve Zahn also steals the show as the eccentric "Bad Ape" – and the film's comic relief.
If the previous entry (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) proved anything, it's that director Matt Reeves is a terrific storyteller – and his skill continues in this latest instalment. Reeves crafts an emotional, thoughtful and complex story that digs deep than most blockbusters, and remains consistently gripping throughout. The plot never ventures down clichéd territory as Reeves constantly juggles with the unexpected, leading to numerous twists and turns – and a conclusion that audiences won't see coming.
The latest Apes chapter is an absolute tearjerker filled with raw emotion thanks to three-dimensional characters that are easy to resonate with. Even the merciless Colonel will have viewers shedding a tear after the latter reveals the reasoning behind his savagery.
However; it's Caesar who is the real star of the show, as the ape leader's progression throughout the entire trilogy proves that he has come a long way since the first instalment.
Of course it wouldn't be a Planet of the Apes film without the action; and Reeves balances his emotional, thought-provoking and impressive narrative with some truly awe-inspiring set-pieces.
Original, thoughtful, deep and moving; most third chapters in blockbuster trilogies are usually underwhelming, but War for the Planet of the Apes makes an exception. With that in mind, the third chapter officially cements the Planet of the Apes remake series as one of the most critically-acclaimed trilogies of all-time.