Can you believe that we are finally here? Since 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes we have watched are little Caesar as a little baby ape and grow into a leader that leads his own kind into salvation against the very people who created him. What a journey it was as this epic quest didn’t come easy to accomplish. Since the first movie to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014 till now it’s been an epic six-year saga. To be honest, watching this series shows how much patience and dedication I have for this series. If you have been watching this since the first installment and couldn’t wait to see the latest then pat yourself on the back for your commitment. This prequel-sequel definitely pays of and makes it worth the wait.
The story begins sometime after the 2nd movie where Caesar (Andy Serkis), and his whole clan of apes are still trying to find peace or an understanding with the humans after the misunderstanding started by Koba who pretty much started the war making apes look like nothing but heartless savages towards humans. This time around, there is a new sheriff in town who goes by the name, The Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson. The Colonel is basically the love child of The Governor and Negan for you Walking Dead fans who are reading this. The Colonel doesn’t mess around and he wants those apes gone for good before they take over the world as the dominant species.
There were plenty of things that director Matt Reeves got right in this film. One being the look of these apes. They looked so life-like its crazy good how well these motion capture effects are. With the magic of Andy Serkis as well as the other actors and actress who played the body and motion of these apes did a spectacular and impressive job of capturing the life like movement of these apes. With each facial expression, each ape has a different look, personality, and character. You will get attached to certain characters.
The story and tone of the movie can come on a bit strong from the start as you are put right in the middle of an invasion on their land. I don’t know how much memory you have of the previous films but this movie comes with a lot of sorrow and war-like action. What I didn’t expect was for it to be humorous. They actually managed to come up with ways to give us a little bit of a break from feeling so sad and angry and let us smile a couple of times. It was an interesting choice to turn this movie to have comical scenes as it could have come off kind of cheesy or taken away from how serious the stakes were for the apes or maybe take away some human likeness the apes were trying to convey on-screen. It doesn’t but rather the opposite. Putting some humor in the movie just makes them more relatable and understanding that they are not just animals and the comic relief was very effective.
Which brings me to one of the few new characters added to the trilogy as if you needed more characters to love or hate. That character the brought the laughs is Bad Ape. Yes, you heard that name right. That should already give you a hint as to how this character is going to be. Through all the death and heartache happening on-screen this specific ape just lights up the screen and sometimes steals the scene from the other apes. What I like about this character to is that he is not just there for comic relief but he actually expands the story and mythology a little bit as well with his presence. I didn’t know this until the credits at the end that the voice of Bad Ape is Steve Zahn. Zahn nails this role with his voice acting. Enough to nominate in my book. Just saying. Great job on the writing I must say bringing this character in. You will also meet a human girl who will add a little bit of moral conflict and test for the apes as they work their way towards their destination and mission. Again, another character that does play a part in the story which was nice touch in my opinion.
“I will go on record and say that this trilogy prequel is better than the Star Wars trilogy we have already received. Sorry not sorry.”
The action sequences are great and I am not even into war movies that much but this didn’t feel like your typical war drama. I think the balance of the film was more drama than action so if you expect for this 3rd film to not hold anything back and bring the pain since they have already used two movies developing characters and a story you might be a little disappointed. Not to say there isn’t a good share of action but just not as much as you might expect. However, I still believe you will be thoroughly entertained. There are some moments that come off a little bit too sappy for its own good but you just can’t help it. You feel for these apes and maybe once or twice you will hate the fact that you are part of the human race that would do this. For those who are familiar with these movies that date all the way back to late 60’s, you already know how this movie ends but it still gives you a bit to think about and how you would handle the situation itself if it were happening to you. At the end of the day, could we coexist with intelligent apes? That is the question. Which is better for the human race to continue with? Of course, the humans do come off as villains of this story. The movie does kind of force you to pick the side of the apes.
I saw a couple of kids in this film so I will address that as well, as a pg-13 film, I think it does live up to that and not so much on the R-rated front. Yes, there are deaths in the movie. Plenty of blood is splattered and there are even some very close up scary images of some of the bad apes in the film that turn against their own kind. Just be aware of that just in case you child is sensitive to images like that. Overall, this is a great follow-up and possible close to this saga. I will go on record and say that this trilogy prequel is better than the Star Wars trilogy we have already received. Sorry not sorry. Watching a story played out even though we know how it all ends still manage to make me invested and involved in the story. These apes will have you rooting for them to succeed the whole way though. If you don’t remember what happened in the second movie, that is okay. You may hear things that you didn’t remember for the second one because of the years gap in between. I want to also commend the powers that be for making this film still interesting to see. The story is that captivating that it was okay to go so long for this latest one to appear. It’s isn’t like Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy where in between movies, we have plenty of Batman material to watch on the small screen. I will close with this. For a blockbuster movie that is not based on the superhero franchise craze that is going on right now, this movie is one of my favorites I have seen this year. I recommended that if you have been watching since its inception back in 2011, finish it out by watching this great film.
5 out of 5
What did you think of the film? Are you a big fan of these movies? Let me know by commenting below. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you at the movies.