War For The Planet Of The Apes, the third installment of the successful reboot of the series from the sixties and seventies, could have been a bombastic conclusion to this trilogy. Instead, based on a clever script by Mark Bomback, director Matt Reeves made an intimate blockbuster. Two words that I didn’t think could ever work together.
War kicks off with Caesar (once again a motion captured Andy Serkis) and the rest of his followers, trying to survive in the woods. But it doesn’t take long before Caesar is drawn back into conflict with what remains of mankind after a character known only as The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) hunts him down and attacks the apes’ camp, killing some of Caesar’s family. And so, hellbent on revenge, Caesar sets off in something that can be best described as a modern western meets Apocalyse Now.
Yes, this is a movie about talking apes. But it is just as well a reflection on good vs evil and the origin of violence. And it is also a blockbuster that comes with a great screenplay and plenty of action sequences and which looks downright amazing.