War for the Planet of the Apes review round-up: Third film is 'an engrossing adventure'
It was back in 2011 when the first installment of the franchise - Rise of the Planet of the Apes - released and attained immense box-office success as well as critical acclaim. The benchmark was even raised when the sequel - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - released in 2014 and took the global audience by storm. So, no wonder, when the third episode of the saga - War for the Planet of the Apes - was announced, the expectations and excitement among numerous fans and cine-goers knew no bounds.
The trailer of the film was launched on 30 March this year. Although the film releases globally on 14 July, but going by the reviews by critics and experts — who got to chance upon the film at a handful of early screenings — the film is a nothing short of a masterpiece.
In one of its reports, Variety says this film hands-down deserves a Special Achievement Oscar for the sheer brilliance it has exhibited and the fact that all the three parts of the trilogy are cinematic accomplishments of highest order.
This film will see an all-out war between apes and humans, because the latter fear extinction at the hands of primates. Following are some excerpts from the numerous reviews that are doing rounds:
To begin with, Variety's Peter Debruge has a mixed-feeling with the way the story has been dealt with, although he is all praises for the CGI work. He says:
"In Fox’s recently rebooted “Apes” trilogy (three and counting), the computer-generated chimps appear more human than the homo sapiens — which is clearly what the series has been working up to. In purely technical terms, director Matt Reeves more than achieves that goal, although it requires rigging the screenplay and reducing the human characters to crass two-dimensional stereotypes in the process."
"One of the great merits of the screenplay by Mark Bomback, who co-wrote the previous entry and shares credit on this one with Reeves, is that it takes all the characters' views, grievances and aspirations seriously; although investment in Caesar's and the apes' cause is assumed and tacitly encouraged, the film doesn't insist that they are right and everyone else is intrinsically evil.
"As before, the drama is graced with "human" moments that deepen the emotions and sweep the audience up in the action."
"War for the Planet of the Apes has its own sense of purpose; it does not get distracted with tricksy or self-aware Statue of Liberty moments, either ones of their own or variations on the original, and of course this is partly because of the franchise’s prequel status. But it is also clearly a larger decision to frame the movies with clarity and directness, without huge cosmic ironies. It’s an engrossing, forthright adventure."
Robbie Collin from The Telegraph, in his review, writes:
"The smartest decision this unflaggingly smart summer franchise ever made was keeping each of its increasingly sober instalments ape-centric. Whenever crunch time arrives, the films throw in their lot with the simians, which casts humankind as the enemy and gives these classic frontier stories a thrillingly disarming and destabilising edge."
Pete Hammond of Deadline says:
"Rarely does a movie sequel come along that not only tops what came before but stands alone as a singular motion picture experience. But that is exactly what director and co-writer Matt Reeves has achieved with War For The Planet Of The Apes...This one will go even higher as it’s really quite incredible, by far the most stunning and best of any of the nine total Planet Of The Apes movies...This is a film that stands on its own and will blow you away, a dazzling, thrilling and mind-reeling experience from start to finish."
Nick Spake from Flickreel writes:
"While the action here is mostly phenomenal, it’s not just nonstop chaos. Director Matt Reeves also takes the time for a lot of subtle, atmospheric moments, creating genuine tension, depth, and pathos. There are even a few scenes where you might just get a little choked up. All the while, the film showcases the most emotive and convincing motion capture effects the franchise has ever seen. In an age where so many action movies bombard us with exposition, this is visual storytelling at its finest."
"The Apes films succeed because everyone involved took an approach to franchise filmmaking that eschewed the current vogue for creating movies that feel like endless teases for other movies; the trilogy is smartly wedded to good, old-fashioned blockbuster knowhow. But it certainly doesn’t hurt that it arrived at a time when more and more people around the world believe we are on the precipice of something terrible, and that we’re in danger of being destroyed by the forces all around us."
Eric Kohn from IndieWire reports:
"With War for the Planet of the Apes, technological wizardry and first-rate storytelling combine into a bracing action-adventure that concludes the best science fiction trilogy since the original trio of Star Wars movies."
"Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes is a cinematic triumph. It manages to build on the grim world established in Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes while telling a unique story that works as a stand-alone drama and a fitting finale for what’s come thus far. It is as bleak and pessimistic as any summer blockbuster I can remember, yet still filled with “humanity” and unexpected empathy. It may not have much new to say regarding the human condition or humanity’s propensity for mass slaughter, but it says it very well."
"The cast is all top-notch. Harrelson can peel and eat scenery like a bunch of bananas, but he’s mostly in control here. Andy Serkis is beautifully intense as Caesar, and Steve Zahn a welcome addition as the scaredy-cat Bad Ape...It’s a tribute to the actors, and the motion-capture engineers, that we never doubt these creatures for a moment."