Just when I thought the whole Caesar saves the ape world storyline was getting old, the film series comes back stronger than ever in its third installment, “War for the Planet of the Apes.”
Starring Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson, the apes, with Caesar as their fearless leader, are in an unprovoked war with the nearby humans. After a devastating loss, Caesar breaks off from the shrewdness to avenge the death of his family and friends.
You all know that I do not enjoy long movies. In my opinion, anything over two hours is a made-for-TV Lifetime movie. But in this case, “War of the Planet of the Apes” is 140 minutes of pure joy. There is a sweet mixture of action, historical context, and retaliation.
The introducing of Amiah Miller as Nova, a young orphan with a speech impediment, was perfect timing. The character has been a part of the Planet of the Apes series since 1968 when the original film was released. Nova softens the plot with the juvenile likeness and, simultaneously, thickens the plot as she’s caught in the middle of the species war.
This is my first time seeing Miller on the big screen, and based off her performance, she has a promising career. This film series is Big Time Hollywood and, at 12 years old, she manages to nail her role as Nova.
Every time Harrelson is in a movie, I can’t help but to think of White Men Can’t Jump (1992). Random? I know. Ole’ Billy Hoyle was cutting up in “War for the Planet of the Apes,” but he was the best bad guy ever. Harrelson, who played the human leader The Colonel, is strong, ruthless and kept the conflict rolling with his ill-advised command.
Miller and Harrelson are great, but it is Serkis as Caesar, like Steve Carrell as Gru (Despicable Me), who is the glue that holds this film together. Caesar is by far one of my favorite fictional characters of all-time. Although there’s a lot of technology involved to make Serkis into a primate, Serkis does an amazing job. I can’t imagine this film series without this character.
“War for the Planet of the Apes” is a visual masterpiece. The definition and diversity in the film’s imagery is appealing and plays a vital role in the movie’s success. The trilogy’s unorthodox narrative and intense drama makes for the best Planet of the Apes film since the series was revamped in 2011. The film comes out this Friday, July 14.
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