This is what happens when you take millions of dollars, a smart screenplay, amazing actors and hire fantastic behind the scenes effects wizards. The latest in the new Apes saga, War for the Planet of the Apes is the movie of the summer. Hands down, bar none, this is the one we have been waiting for. It’s rare to use the words intelligent and thrilling when describing a film that opens during the same time as Transformers but here it is. I’ll go as far as say that this film is a near masterpiece. Minus a saggy middle section, this film is perfection.
In this film, Caesar, the leader of the apes, is up against a sadistic Colonel (Woody Harrelson) hell bent of restoring the balance of power since the simian flu has wiped out millions of humans. His methods are on the side of genocide, which brings out the true animal nature of Caesar, who wants nothing more then to be left alone.
The new and improved apes saga has been a franchise that has never faltered. It’s been three films and each one has been exceptional. This is mainly due to the casting of Andy Serkis as Caesar. No stranger to the art of motion capture performance, he brings real pathos to the character. It’s always been said that actors mainly act with their eyes. Pay attention to them, they are his and his performance rests mainly on those expressive peepers. Also praised are the effects people who managed to create some of the most seamless effects I have ever seen. Never did I see a computer pixel. These apes are perfectly rendered, down to the smallest detail. I don’t understand how many big effects in films look fake when the people behind this film (Weta Digital in New Zealand) do it properly.
I left the theatre stunned and amazed. This film checks all the right boxes. Mind you, those looking for an actual war film, look elsewhere. There is action but it’s the drama that will be remembered here. Director Matt Reeves has made a fantastic and haunting film that is still lingering in my memory. Not many films this year have done that.