War for the Planet of the Apes

I thought Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a brilliant, incredibly down to earth considering the subject matter story, that broke mo-cap barriers, and cemented Andy Serkis as a human treasure. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a meandering hodge- podge of Jason Clarke taking up too much screen time and me rooting for the humans because seriously, am I really going to root for apes?

War puts the entire trilogy back on the right track and is a fitting end for the most unlikely of franchises. I’ll keep this short because War is no longer in theaters and you can grab it on Redbox at any time.

Following the promise at the end of the second movie, soldiers have arrived. And they are out for blood. War pulls no punches as evidenced by its insane opening sequence. The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) kills Caesar’s wife and child in a daring nighttime raid. Consumed by grief and thoughts of revenge, Caesar and a small group chase after the retreating army. But it’s not going to be as simple as Caesar wants it to be.

The CGI and practical effects in this film are nothing short of amazing. Ditching a human lead for just a human enemy was the smartest move the filmmakers could make. Serkis is a big enough presence. And Like any good war movie, this one is chock full of emotional moments, character growth, and daring escapes. Plus it has the added benefit of not forcing me to automatically choose the human side.

Barring some plot oddities (how does a little girl walk into a military base without being noticed?) War is my favorite of this new trilogy and a damn good finale.

3.5 out of 4 stars.

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