WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES – The third and final part of the revamped ape apocalypse trilogy and this time the humans are definitely the bad guys in an all out battle royale for dominance of the position at the top of the food chain and planetary dominance.
Nutshell – The story of Caeser who we have followed from domesticated scientific experiment to the leader of the ape population in the forests above San Francisco and beyond. After a skirmish where the apes bear insufferable losses they decide on a massive exodus to safer climes. Unfortunately, the humans want the ape threat destroyed for good and a huge new baddie in the burly shape of Woody Harrelson’s The Colonel is in their way leading to the ultimate showdown as the two species go for World War Three.
Running Time – A bum numbing 140 minutes; Certificate – 12A.
Tagline – ‘For Freedom, For Family, For The Planet’
The Gay UK Factor – Unless you are into bestiality or have a thing for bears over at XXL or BRUT hairy men’s clubs then it is down to the humans and luckily there is loads of them and everyone is in uniform. There is a lot of muscle here and it is all sweating and grunting a lot, our top three military men were Chad Rook, Dean Redman and Steve Baran – drop and give us twenty as we will be lying underneath.
Cast – Woody Harrelson is the main human draw and all the other main actors are green screen/motion capture monkey performers all covered in lycra golf ball suits and digitised out. Lead by Andy Serkis, Tony Kebbell and animal character specialist Steve Zahn.
Key Player – These are Andy Serkis’s movies and he is almost in every scene here. You start to forget he is a human on a sound stage and get drawn into the incredible emotional arc he goes through here from extreme grief, through anger, leadership, cunning, despair and a trilogy climax that will leave you emotionally wrought.
Budget – $150 Million the priciest ape film of all time and clearly it has been money well spent judging by its strong Box Office. This title will probably continue somehow in a new direction to keep reaping the cash in.
Best Bit – 0.15 mins; A great nighttime waterfall fight scene which sets up the events of the whole movie and establishes exactly how much of a total bastard and probably hard shagging top the Colonel is.
Worst Bit – 0.57mins; The introduction of the biggest new monkey character ‘Bad Ape’ largely for comedy purposes than any plot development is annoying in a poor man’s Gollum sort of way.
Little Secret – The entire film seems to form a bridge between its obvious predecessors and the original Charlton Heston series of movies from 50 years ago. Names of characters, references to the atomic bomb, production values, the introduction or a de-evolving disease in humans etc all have a purpose in this and pay special attention to the Orang Utang who seems to be the biggest link of all. The attacking soldiers in the big battle here are fully covered from head to toe and the director has indicated that this may be because they are apes which will blow everyone’s concepts apart.
Further Viewing – There are 8 other ape movies (And a great cartoon TV series) to enjoy or endure depending on which you pick ranging from the superb original in 1968 or alternatively beneath, conquest, dawn, battle, rise or escape basically any verb you choose to put in front of the ‘Planet Of The Apes’ monicker but avoid the Mark Wahlberg one at all costs.
Any Good – The modern trilogy has been consistently good and this is probably the best yet and the perfect closer to this set of films. We know there will be more probably spin off’s or further tales of other groups but this story is done and Serkis has left the franchise… but as he was a digital character all bets might be off on that.
Rating – 72% out of 100