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Film Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
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:
  • 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).
Other things lacking:
  • 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.
 

FunkiestMonkey

Established Member
I think I am still in the minority of 1 that thinks the most enjoyable Planet...Apes film since Charlton Heston original one was the Tim Burton and Mark Wahlberg one. It's just a good action film. Sorry.
 

KoThreads

Prominent Member
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.
 

bootyman81

Distinguished Member
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...
 

raigraphixs

Distinguished Member
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...

These six did not think it was a masterpiece, send them in front of the apes firing squad :D
 

SteveAWOL

Distinguished Member
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.
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.

Watched it in a new Cineworld Superscreen and the CGI looked spectacular in 4K plus the big action sequences sounded fantastic in Dolby Atmos.

The only real niggle I had was that I noticed some ghosting during a couple of the dialogue scenes with the Colonel. Might catch the 2D version over the weekend to see how it compares...
 

Robbo72

Distinguished Member
Watched it last night also and thought it was a fitting end to a fantastic trilogy...can't wait for the 4K UHD ;)
 

MovieBoy75

Distinguished Member
I actually walked out after an hour as I thought it just dragged and seemed to
Be going nowhere. I was getting the whole lord of the rings vibe in being drawn out. Maybe home viewing will change my mind.
 

Wedlock

Prominent Member
Just came back from watching this and I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit......
It's a little bit slow paced but that didn't bother me, the visuals were excellent as well.
Here's hoping Fox does Dolby Vision on the UHD disc :)
 

Atomicus

Established Member
I enjoyed the film, but one plot aspect (more like gaping hole) that I really can't shake is why the hell would
the remnants of the military launch an all out overkill assault with multiple attack helicopters, tanks and troops to take out a wayward Colonel who'd gone off the reservation with a few dozen men. It just made no sense why they would waste their resources on such a venture!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

djpaulc247

Distinguished Member
***. Thanks a lot.
 

Garrett

Moderator
Wow, and not even a spoiler tag in sight...
I gone off your post and stuck it in spoiler tags from where your quote ends.
And thanks for not quoting the spoiler if what I hide in it:smashin:
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
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.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
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.

Cheers,

Nigel

You've missed out
the bit about the girl being called Nova, who ends up being Charlton Hestons girlfriend 2000 years later, which would be about another 20 years on in the new films timeline.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
You've missed out
the bit about the girl being called Nova, who ends up being Charlton Hestons girlfriend 2000 years later, which would be about another 20 years on in the new films timeline.

Good spot - I missed that one.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Ripsnorter

Prominent Member
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:
  • 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).
Other things lacking:
  • 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.

It took me till today to get round to this one, but I am 100% with you, the trilogy closing with a whimper and not with a bang.
 

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