War For The Planet of the Apes
God, the titles for the films in this trilogy are really bad. At least the films are good though. I liked Rise, thought it was a fun re-imagining/reboot of the Apes universe. I didn’t love Dawn, but it was good (although I have a hard time remembering parts of it). Matt Reeves taking the helm of the films changed the direction and pace and overall theme of what the first film laid out. After watching War, I can safely say that this is far and away the best film in the trilogy and a satisfying end to the rebooted films.
This film takes place some time after war where the war between apes and humans is continuing, although both sides have taken significant losses. Cesar and his loyal apes have to deal with betrayal and capture by humans at a prisoner base. The much more hardened Cesar now has to find out how to rescue his fellow apes while struggling with wanting revenge against the humans who have harmed him.
CGI-wise this is still fabulous. Andy Serkis playing Cesar is at its finest. The motion capture and its portrayal is very good. The soundtrack is also very complementary of the mood of the film. This film is actually really emotional, much more so then you have seen in all of The Planet of the Apes films in the past. This is great because its so easy to connect with the characters (mostly the apes). Most of them are inherently innocent and the conflicted ones even are this way because they need to survive.
Don’t expect a full blown action flick with this film. Its set in war time but is more about the complexities of its characters and the war time struggle that comes with it. Its woven in a way where the interactions of humans and the apes takes center stage. There is comedic elements, some memorable action sequences , and overall its a grand finale to a pretty good trilogy. The last film is substantially better than the others and really does well to elevate the entire trilogy.