Claudio Says “War for the Planet of the Apes” is Beautiful Homage to Caesar

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APES! TOGETHER, STRONG!” A powerful quote to describe this powerful franchise. Not only has this series of the “Planet of the Apes” franchise been a bigger hit critically and financially than previous iterations, it’s final installation earns it a spot in the conversation for best trilogy of all time. As of now, it’s the absolute best in my book. Picking off from the cliffhanger at the end of “Dawn for the Planet of the Apes”, “War” lives up to its title as Caesar’s apes are at all-out war with the humans that remain. But does that make this a war film? Not in the least. Together with Maurice, Rocket, and Luca, Caesar marches to defeat Woody Harrelson’s Colonial for the survival of his kind…and maybe other reasons.

From the beginning, the new Apes franchise has been a visual spectacle with the way the studio has been able to develop the performance capture technology to achieve the feats that it does. “Rise” and “Dawn” had human main characters to for us to connect to, but “War” is all Caesar. It’s risky to have a CGI character as the lead, but after two movies of getting know him, Caesar has earned his time. Andy Serkis is Caesar no matter the number of dots on his face or how tight his motion capture suit is. Do yourself a favor and watch the behind the scenes of the last two movies so you can see what I’m talking about! It’s definitely time to have the conversation about nominating Serkis for his time as Caesar.

The trailers for this film are a bit misleading. The marketing gives us a more action-packed view of the world in “War”, but it’s much slower. Call it a banana western. Caesar has always tried taking the more logical approach in most situations, but the Colonial pushed him and awoke a fire in him and is out for revenge. It’s an incredible transformation and a testament to Woody Harrelson for being able to channel a heartless enough performance to really make you hate him. The end to his arc may leave you wanting, but he’s the most formidable foe Caesar must take on. While the story does center on the conflict between these two, the central theme is about family and protecting those close to you. Along the way, Caesar has an Avengers-like team of apes to aid him. Rocket and Maurice have been around since the very beginning and it’s heartwarming seeing them care for Caesar and his family so much that they’d risk their lives for them. Luca is the standard Gorilla that each of these films introduce, but he serves his purpose. The little girl they meet doesn’t really say much, but her addition offers a subtle look into the state of humanity.

Director Matt Reeves has crafted the most unique entry in this franchise. It’s not the fast pace we’re used to and may bore some audiences. However, if you’re itching for a character centric Apes movie, you’ll be left speechless. It’s pure satisfaction seeing the end of this trilogy and is written so tightly that no stone is left unturned. I’m not sure if this still connects to the original series but this reboot of “The Planet of the Apes” stands on its own as one of the best trilogies of all time. Caesar is finally home.

Final Word