With Rise of the Planet of the Apes I wasn’t expecting anything special. I was just hoping we’d get something competent and entertaining. But the movie surprised me with a thought provoking story and engaging characters. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes repeated the trend, going deeper into the downfall of human civilization and the dominance of the apes. With the third film I was hoping we’d get a solid resolution to the story. What we got was something special indeed.
After the events of the previous film, a military force lead by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) arrives in the Muir Woods to hunt down and kill Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his nascent civilization of apes. These trained soldiers are wrecking havoc, and there are even traitors to the apes cause. Those that used to follow Koba have now become minions to the Colonel’s forces. After a night raid devastates Caesar deeply, he makes a fateful decision.
He sends his people on an exodus from the woods to a new paradise beyond the desert. He will hunt down the Colonel and try to stop the man from following the apes. Caesar isn’t alone. Trusty friends Maurice (Karin Konoval), Rocket (Terry Notary) and Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) join him. Along the way they encounter a little mute girl (Amiah Miller) and a bizarre chimp named Bad Ape (Steven Zahn). As they close in on their target, they learn more about the Colonel and what drives his desperation. But things go horribly wrong and Caesar realizes that this War for the Planet of the Apes may end with the destruction of both species before it is all over.
- Amazing visuals bring the apes to life and create intense set pieces
- Brings the story of Caesar to a powerful conclusion
- Builds on the thought provoking themes from the previous two films
- Looking for wall-to-wall action, you’ll be disappointed
- Looking for a little hope for humanity in this film, look elsewhere
- A few script conveniences and clichés may distract from the overall impact
I’m not usually a fan of dark apocalyptic films, but these three Planetof the Apes films are the exception to the rule. This installment of the series does a wonderful job on building on previous events and evolving the character of Caesar. Andy Serkis once again delivers an amazing and powerful performance as Caesar. This character is the glue that holds the series together. Harrelson does a great job as the antagonist whose desperations is palatable, and horrific. This is a dark film that forces us to face some dire things. But in the end there is hope, and it brings this wonderful trilogy to a satisfying conclusion… for the apes.
Scores (out of 5)
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