Caesar and the apes are back in a face-off with humans led by brutal Colonel Woody Harrelson.
In WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Caesar guides his flock while wrestling with his darker inner instincts as he gears up to avenge his kind.
The effects and battle scenes in this epic conclusion to the trilogy are terrific—my personal favorite being the incredible avalanche sequence near the end of the film.
What really stands out though in this sequel to 2014’s DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is Andy Serkis‘ astounding performance as the lead ape.
His facial expressions and dramatic detail to emotions within the Performance Capture process makes this conclusion of the franchise a very special cinematic experience.
To realistically transmit all of the given emotions, Serkis almost relies entirely on playing to the camera through his magnetic eyes which could very well earn him an Oscar nomination.
That’s not to say that the other apes are any less realistic—it’s just that Caesar is….special.
As for Woody Harrelson’s psychopathic Colonel character, well, let’s just say that Harrelson does psycho well.
Lots of the moral issues and philosophies injected into the story line here are good pitted once more against evil.
As for the violence? That’s been wisely kept to a PG-13 level.
If I have one complaint about the movie it’s in the extremely long running time of 140 minutes.
Had director Matt Reeves tightened up the middle portion of the film a bit, it would’ve played that much better into the third act with its spectacular climax.
But then overly long running times have long been an ongoing beef with me.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES opens in 2-D, 3-D and in various premium large screen formats.
My grade: B
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings during Kansas City’s Morning News on 98.1 FM, KMBZ.