I'll be watching this at the weekend, it's been one of my most anticipated films ever since Ceaser said "war is coming" in the dawn film.
But alarm bells started going off when I started seeing all the universal praise from every single critic calling it a masterpiece, that may seem weird for some But In these cases I always end up disagreeing when that happens.
So I'm really going to temper my expectations and go in not expecting a 'masterpiece' at all
Just gimme some monkey magic...
For what it's worth, I was also underwhelmed by Dawn but was pleasantly surprised with War last night and enjoyed it almost as much as Rise.Thought Rise was great but was disappointed with Dawn so I'm looking forward to this at the weekend. Unfortunately my brother saw it last night and wasn't exactly raving about it to put it mildly.
It was okay, enjoyable enough in a 'try not to think about it too hard' kind of way.
My main issue with the last two films is one of timeframe
The original film had the spacemen returning to earth 2000 years later through some bending of space, time travel thing. This was well thought out because it gave plenty of time for the apes to evolve, the humans to regress and the landscape to change. The human had also removed themselves from the scene in the most part through nuclear conflict.
I liked the first of the new films, it sort of made sense. Particularly intelligent apes had been taken to a lab, trained and developed. They then escaped (which was about the end of the film) but then that is where it goes wrong for me. How on earth can there be that many apes, especially at the rate at which the humans are killing them.
The next two films happened over a period of 15 years. This is too quick. Two quick for apes to breed and grow into the sort of numbers we see. Too quick for the virus to kill off most of the human race and then for the virus to mutate to make the remainder dumb.
The young chimp Cornelius I suppose is meant to be the Cornelius from the first film that helps the spacemen. The Cornelius that is amazed that humans can talk - well that isn't going to work in this series.
And what was The Colonel's (Woody Harrelson) grand plan. Let's say his stupid dry stone wall and single 50 cal machine gun was successful against the mechanised army with air support and he drove them off. What next - there were no women, so their future existence was pretty limited.
Been thinking a lot about the film since I saw it yesterday and I'm going to have to go off the reservation for this one. I was amazed by the visuals, directing style, performances, CGI (stunning) and the score. However I found the storytelling extremely average and disappointing. And aside for the first and last 30 minutes, incredibly slow.
Every cliche you can imagine:
- The old, "im coming with you", "no youre not", "yes I am" follow-the-leader quest.
- The comic relief character encountered mid-quest who gets to tag along and give exposition.
- The achingly predictable 'Great Escape' compound scenes (which bored me to tears).
- The tiresome 'distract the idiot guard' ploy.
- The villain inexplicably keeping the hero alive.
- The signposted revenge plot that you know will end up with the protagonist making another call. Revenge is bad, kids.
- The obvious change-of-heart for a bad character that happens in the nick of time.
- The hiding-a-mortal-wound from everyone cliche.
Characters all off-the-peg too:
Other things lacking:
- The bold leader who is temporarily blinded by anger
- The trusty, 'spock' character (Maurice) to be the leader's moral anchor
- The zealot leader as a baddie (yawn).
- No Koba type character, and no apes (or humans) with complexity or moral ambiguity.
- Complete absence of any science fiction content (the 60s film was a sci-fi!)
- Didn't do enough to show the global situation, or set up Earth as a 'Planet of the Apes'.
Lots to admire in the filmmaking, but I thought it failed in its storytelling. Nothing for example as surprising as Spider-Man Homecoming's character reveal. Perhaps I'm being harsh, but some missed opportunities IMO.