Movie Review: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES is the Best of the Trilogy
War for the Planet of the Apes shows that director Matt Reeves is a truly skilled filmmaker. He has managed to make a huge blockbuster film where the majority of the film is silent, with large chunks of the dialogue told in sign language, and where the characters you are the most emotionally invested with are photo-realistic apes. The two preceding films in this trilogy were both excellent, but War for the Planet of the Apes takes things to a new level.
War for the Planet of the Apes is actually less action-packed than its predecessor, but it packs an emotional punch and focuses on character development. This film is less about nonstop battle and more of a meditation on the impact of war between the humans and apes. But the action that is present is spectacular and driven by the narrative. The world presented in this film feels lived-in and believable.
Andy Serkis delivers a great motion capture performance as Caesar, and it's a shame that he won't get nominated for an Oscar. The apes in this movie are all believable and the actors portraying them are able to convey pathos in their performances. Steve Zahn also does a fine job in his portrayal of Bad Ape, a humorous yet sad ape that does not belong to Caesar's tribe. Woody Harrelson is also sublime playing the antagonistic Colonel, who is driven to kill the apes so that humans can live. He plays the Colonel as a man who has lost his mind in the fog of war, and also as a cult leader that has broken off from the remaining human forces in order to move forward with his own agenda.
War for the Planet of the Apes is a great sci-fi franchise film that will leave you satisfied and anxious for any future sequel.