Film, Review

Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

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By Hassan Irshad


From Rise, to Dawn, to War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar’s journey from infancy, to progenitor of an uprising or ‘revolution’ of a sort, to a leader of a society engaged in a war, is complete.

War for the Planet of the Apes takes place two years after Dawn, and the Ape civilisation that we had a glimpse of is engaged in brutal internecine warfare with remaining human forces. The twist is, there are a handful of apes that had defected to the attacking human forces, having formerly given their loyalty to Koba, apparently providing them with an advantage against the apes in their knowledge of ape tactics. Events transpire, and as seen in the trailers, the apes are captured under the command of the ruthless antagonist, simply known as ‘The Colonel’ (Woody Harrelson).

However, perhaps his ruthlessness is understandable in the face of a new strain of the Simian Flu that rids afflicted humans of higher thinking and their speaking capability. The complexity of Harrelson’s character reflects the moral greyness of his motives, and gives surface to the question whether either side acting in the interests of their species and civilisation can be summed up as wholly ‘evil’. The Colonel, after all, is attempting to prevent what he predicts will be a ‘planet of apes’, in order to preserve what is left of mankind. Although, his use of the subjugated apes as slave labourers isn’t particularly redeeming.

Much like with Spider-Man: Homecoming, movies do a disservice to themselves when they reveal too much in their trailers. Dawn and War are two prime examples. I was almost certain that the mystery horse thief would be Bad Ape, because the scene of his conversation with Caesar, Maurice, Rocket and Luca was released beforehand. The opportunity to build suspense, then, was lost.

Aside from the plot, the visuals of film, like its predecessors, prove to be all the more spectacular; from the increasingly life-like animations of the apes, to the stunning scenery, the film does not betray its great expectations, and neither do its actors, whose acting skills are stretched to their highest limit during motion capture.

About the author / 

Humanity Hallows
Humanity Hallows

Humanity Hallows is Manchester Metropolitan University’s official student magazine.

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