I find that it is best to go into a movie with little to no expectations. I kind of envy my wife in this way because while she enjoys going to the movies she does not invest a great amount of time in previewing the upcoming films and even knowing what films are out at the time. I can recall sitting in theater with her one time and leaning over to her and asking if she even knew what the movie was about that we were seeing and she had no clue. I on the other hand am too involved in the movie process and engage daily to find the newest movies that have been green lit and follow them every step of the way through production. Going into seeing War For the Planet of the Apes I had no expectations and primarily because this is a series that I have not had too much care for.
I saw the first one, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and admittedly was impressed. Not only was the cinematic aspect of it well done, but the psychology of it was quite intriguing. The different human dynamics drew me in and it was done in such a way that the whole film actually seemed quite plausible. This latest film has been the beneficiary of receiving some great reviews and so that was promising. The film focusses on the last struggle between ape and man and who is going to be the alpha in the new apocalyptic world. The apes at this point are wanting to left alone in isolation and are still under the rule and guide of Caesar. There are apes though that have defected and are now allied with the humans and there are treacherous and redemptive behaviors demonstrated by them throughout the film. Though Caesar tries this best to stay away from the conflict it eventually finds him and he is forced to deal with it straight up and thus eventually we are lead to the final conflict.
When I say eventually I really emphasize the word because the movie does take a long time to get to the conflict and then it is a rushed and jagged one at that. The movie focusses a lot on travel and though it is not necessarily boring to watch, it isn’t at the same time the food that I wanted to be snacking on. When there is conflict and fighting it is powerful and there are many highlights. Some of the best scenes come when Caesar converses with the leader of the human resistance played by Woody Harrelson. Woody does a great job, but ultimately his character is cut short and too often he feels like a back drop to everything else that is going on.
The main focus and what I enjoyed about the film is that of humanity. How far will one go to survive and what will they do to survive? Such questions form the premise of many shows and other films such as the Walking Dead. What is morally right and what is morally wrong in such a society where all things have seemingly gone to hell. One other noteworthy thing that I obtained from the film is that it is impossible to avoid conflict. There are always going to be those that oppose what we stand for personally and that opposition will even try its best to find us and weed us out. Ultimately we are not in control of our surroundings at times and the trials that we walk through, but we are in control of who we are and what we stand for and Caesar does reminds of this quite flawlessly.
I would recommend seeing the movie in the theaters, for it will not have the same affect on dvd. It’s cinematically gorgeous and the apes are as life like and awe inspiring as they can be and even more. On a scale of ten I give this movie a seven. Also I believe that the franchise should end on this note and not produce any more. It ended on a great not and we don’t need another Transformers like franchise on our hands.