Montag, 21. August 2017


Title: War for the Planet of the Apes
Running Time: 140 min
Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, Toby Kebbell

Reboots, remakes and prequels of prestigious films often miss the mark. "Star Wars", "The Hobbit", "Total Recall" and most recently "Ben Hur" all failed to really satisfy the general public. The more beloved the original, the harder it gets. Somehow however, 20th Century Fox managed to take the absolute sci-fi classic "Planet of the Apes" and re-imagine its origins in a way that struck a chord with audiences and critics alike. In addition to great story telling, the first two installments enthralled viewers with astonishing visuals. Instead of actors in chimp masks, we got state-of-the-art motion capture technology. Half of the cast was digitally transformed into incredibly realistic looking apes with none other than Andy Serkis, the godfather of motion capture performance, leading the way. The actor who rose to fame through his portrayal of Gollum gave the leading ape Caeser a sense of sincerity and humanity that got everyone invested in this chimpanzee's story-line. Now, the third chapter of this new franchise hits theaters and his journey comes to a final conclusion.
With "War for the Planet of the Apes" this prequel series does not only become one of the greatest of all-time. It also makes it a perfect trilogy with three equally amazing movies that can each stand on their own while simultaneously creating a well-rounded overall story arc. We open with written text recapping the first two installments and filling in the time gap between this film and the last one. It almost has a Star Wars opening crawl feel to it, but with a much darker tint Then, we get images that are heavily inspired by great anti-war classics like "Apocalypse Now" and "Full Metal Jacket", setting the tone for what's to come. When we meet Caeser he is still a strong leader, but you can tell that the struggles of yesteryear have left their mark on him. His mind seems raddled, his body exhausted, and he is haunted by the ghosts of the past. As the film goes on Caeser has to battle his inner demons  and answer the questions of whether he wants or even can be the leader his people need him to be. Despite this very personal perspective the film takes, the larger implications of the events in the franchise are not lost. This still is a series that explores universal themes such as humanity, forgiveness, and what one can sacrifice for the greater good.
Andy Serkis gives one of the best performances of his career. The actor who seems to have the most expressive eyes of any other performer working to date, is so good that he elevates everyone around him. The cast members are at their best when they are able to play off of him.  A recognition of his abilities by the Academy of Motion Pictures is long overdue. Every wrinkle of his face tells you something about his character.
The face, of course, is a computer generated chimpanzee face. But is it really? By now the effects have become so outrageously marvelous that the difference is less than marginal. Especially when the orang-utan Maurice is on screen it is almost impossible to comprehend that what you are watching is not the real-deal. In addition to its outstanding visual effects, the film also has gorgeous cinematography and set design. This really is one of the best looking movies of the year.
Overall, it is also one of these rare films that transcend genre. Its sci-fi, drama, anti-war, thriller, action and post-apocalyptic elements are so well balanced that it is hard to pigeonhole this movie. It is also a reason why this series so great. They even find time for some humor through the addition of Bad Ape (a new character portrayed by a fantastic Steve Zahn).
"War for the Planet of the Apes" really is a perfect conclusion for this mature blockbuster movie franchise that might just be the best trilogy of this decade. If you are a fan of the first two installments, you will absolutely love this film. But even other viewers should definitely check this film out, because it is simply an amazing movie. Hopefully, it will manage to overcome the prejudice against visual effects heavy blockbusters and be a strong contender at next year's Oscars.

For Fans Of:
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Gandhi (1982)

Click Here To Watch Trailer!

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