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Film Review: 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' Up For Battle For Summer Blockbuster Supremacy

by Todd A. Smith


Karin Konoval (left) and Amiah Miller star in 20th Century Fox’s “War for the Planet of the Apes” (Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation).


The End of Civilization?


Good sequels become great sequels when the films can piggyback off of previous installments of the franchise, while not totally leaning on previous backstories.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” is one of those rare gems that follows its predecessors, but stands on its own, not requiring moviegoers to have actually seen “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

In “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” the Simian Flu has reduced the human population and given increased intelligence to apes.

After Carver, a human, panics and shoots one of the monkeys in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” relations between humans and apes hit an all-time low.

However, Carver is able to convince the ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) to allow humans to gain access to a hydroelectric dam, which is located in the apes’ civilization.

But when the apes discover that Carver smuggled a gun into their habitat, relations between humans and apes become strained again.

Things only got worse in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” when the electricity that the humans gained access to thanks to the apes, is used to alert the military, which plans an all out “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

In “War for the Planet of the Apes,” the apes have escaped into the woods to hide from their human enemies.

When a settlement of apes is attacked, Caesar rides off to get back up and eventually slaughters their human counterparts.

However, Caesar spares the life of a few soldiers in an attempt to show humans that apes are not savages, and only want to peacefully coexist with the humans.

Caesar and the apes only want to be left alone in the woods and do not want a war with the humans.

However, when the apes suffer a catastrophic loss at the hands of the evil Colonel (Woody Harrelson), Caesar vows to seek revenge.

Exploring his dark side, Caesar’s plan to save his brethren could mean the end of civilization for man and monkey.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” is typical summer cinematic greatness.

Although summer 2017 has seen some hits (“Wonder Woman”) and misses (“The Mummy”) with its planned blockbusters, “War for the Planet of the Apes” might actually challenge “Wonder Woman” for summer supremacy.

Only great filmmaking can make disgustingly ugly apes more endearing than their human opponents.

In “War for the Planet of the Apes,” humans are the predators, while the savage animals are the prey.

Actor Steve Zahn brings much-needed comic relief as the domesticated monkey, Bad Ape.

Some of the apes even throw their feces at their human enemies like the ape in the 1975 classic film “Cooley High” did to Pooter (Corin Rogers).

The only lovable human is the little mute girl Nova played brilliantly by Amiah Miller (“MacGyver”).

Harrelson, more known for his quirky roles in movies like “White Men Can’t Jump” and “Friends with Benefits” nails the role of the ruthless and brutal Colonel.


The Midland, Texas native does a good enough job for moviegoers to pray for his downfall at the hands of the apes.


But if the Colonel does not survive, what does that mean for the future of the human race?






This article was published on Thursday 29 June, 2017.
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