Rajeev Masand’s Review Of War For The Planet Of The Apes

In War for the Planet of the Apes, Andy Serkis, reprising his role as honourable ape-leader Caesar, once again brings incredible depth, pathos, and, ironically, humanity to a character whose presence is created entirely in motion-capture. Having mastered this cutting-edge breakthrough technology playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, Serkis skilfully uses his voice, facial expressions and body language to ‘become’ Caesar in the Apes franchise. Three films in, and its hard to find a false note in his performance.

The new film opens in a world that is at the cusp of war. A war between humans and apes, triggered by a deadly virus that is rapidly claiming the lives of humans while making the simians more intelligent and vocal. Caesar makes every effort to maintain peace between both factions, but a cruel Army colonel (Woody Harrelson) is determined to eradicate the apes.

This is easily the darkest film in the trilogy following 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But it’s also the strongest in terms of both technical and emotional impact. This is that rare film that merges blockbuster thrills with compelling, intelligent character drama.

Writer-director Matt Reeves and co-writer Mark Bomback weave relevant political themes into the plot that especially resonates in these divisive times. There are echoes of other films too, including, most obviously Apocalypse Now. There is Biblical imagery as well, in a sequence where Caesar is flogged and crucified as he attempts to lead his tribe to a place far away from the atrocities of men.

The movie feels flabby in its middle portion, which unfolds in a concentration camp where the Colonel has enslaved the apes. There are occasional moments of humour, most of which are provided by Bad Ape, a new character, played by a terrific Steve Zahn. Reeves boldly gives us a film with no more than a handful of human characters, and where much of the communication between the apes is conveyed through subtitles.

The glue that binds the film in the end is Caesar, or the lifelike portrayal by Serkis. It’s a deeply affecting performance that is rich in emotion. The actor somehow manages to imbue the animal with a multitude of feelings and a distinct personality. It’s impossible that you won’t be moved.

I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for War for the Planet of the Apes. It’s a rock solid thriller with a big beating heart at its center. Definitely worth your time.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− 4 = one

More in Rajeev Masand

  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Secret Superstar

    Lost in her own thoughts during an English class, a distracted student is pulled up by the teacher and caned when...

    BMS EditorOctober 20, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Golmaal Again

    I suppose it’s true: film critics are entirely unreasonable people. After endlessly complaining that the last two “Golmaal” films were like...

    BMS EditorOctober 20, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Tu Hai Mera Sunday

    Cast: Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Vishal Malhotra, Avinash Tiwary, Nakul Bhalla, Jay Upadhyay Director: Milind Dhaimade Sunday is just one of those days of...

    BMS EditorOctober 6, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Chef

    Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Padmapriya Janakiraman, Svar Kamble, Milind Soman, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Sobhita Dhulipala Director: Raja Krishna Menon As feel-good films go, Chef,...

    BMS EditorOctober 6, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of American Made

    Cast: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Jayma Mays, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones Director: Doug Liman It’s been a while since Tom...

    BMS EditorSeptember 29, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Judwaa 2

    Cast: Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Tapsee Pannu, Rajpal Yadav, Vivaan Bhatena, Upasana Singh, Anupam Kher, Sachin Khedekar, Manoj Pahwa  Director: David Dhawan Judwaa...

    BMS EditorSeptember 29, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Newton

    Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav, Anjali Patil, Mukesh Prajapati Director: Amit V Masurkar Above all things, Newton, directed by Amit Masurkar, is...

    BMS EditorSeptember 22, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Haseena Parkar

    Cast: Shraddha Kapoor, Siddhant Kapoor, Ankur Bhatia Director: Apoorva Lakhia It’s bad enough that Shraddha Kapoor looks nothing like the real Haseena Parkar...

    BMS EditorSeptember 22, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Lucknow Central

    In Lucknow Central, a bunch of desperate prison inmates turn to music in the hope of securing their freedom. Surface-level similarities to Qaidi...

    BMS EditorSeptember 15, 2017

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2017 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup