War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), Dir. Matt Reeves

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), Dir. Matt Reeves
We are not savages. Apes fight only to survive.
— Caesar, War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, Ty Olsson, Judy Greer, Max Lloyd-Jones, Devyn Dalton, Sara Canning, Michael Adamthwaite, Aleks Paunovic, Alessandro Juliani, Toby Kebbell, Amiah Miller, Gabriel Chavarria.
Director: Matt Reeves
Screenplay: Matt Reeves & Mark Bomback.

It is the beginning of the end, or the end that starts the new beginning. As man's fear of the ape increases to hysteria Caesar (Andy Serkis) is only thinking of one thing; to keep his kind out of harms way and ultimate peace with man. Then one day his world is destroyed in one swift act of a man's (The Colonel played by Woody Harrelson) gun and he must pay for what he took away.

The final story of the prequel trilogy that actually deserved to be made. Though I personally think Dawn was a misstep in every way it propelled the story to its final act. Caesar rises to be the leader we know him to be; a character with flaws and a narrowing mainframe for revenge. His Wife and oldest son are taken from him when he offered peace to the Colonel and the only thing on his mind is revenge, enough to cloud his judgement on what is best for his people. 

The final link to the first film is revealed here in the most satisfying way; the ultimate question of why humanity no longer holds the capacity of higher thinking and speech. The conflict for mans survival becomes so  desperate and ultimately useless. Ape will take they place of man or they both will go down together. Though Harrelson's portrayal of The Colonel is one of his more thinnest roles he nonetheless plays the part of the Villain that Caesar must defeat. For the first time Ape has the central role, Ape are who we band with and align our good vs. evil hat on. Ape was created by man, and man must face the consequences of playing god.

With the introduction of Steve Zahn's Bad Ape it created finally a rounded Ape character that was not solely used as an opposition of man. He had emotions and characterisation that were not based solely on survival but as a personality of a hermit who has never been around his kind socially. He was the refreshing break mid way that gave the rejuvenation to the film as we headed into the final showdown.

Great film, well worth your time and money to see it on the big screen. Serkis once again proves his insane ability to create a character that you root for, empathise with and follow. It all comes together here where his range is placed front and centre that was a little lost in the first two. And the final shout out goes to Weta, your talent creates magic on the cinema screen, bravo.   

★ ★ ★ ★