Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his fellow primate followers are pushed to the point of conflict after suffering unimaginable losses - including Caesar’s wife and son – at the hands of humans. Caesar and his forces leave their camp to confront their attackers, eventually finding the humans at their military post. They also find apes enslaved there. A ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson) is in charge. The past atrocities combined with the sight of his species being so badly mistreated leads Caesar to realize that a peaceful resolution of the human-ape conflict is no longer possible.
War for the Planet of the Apes is a dreary, violent movie, and totally lacking in entertainment value. With Caesar being one of the few talking simians, there are a lot of subtitles. And the exchanges between the animals is symbolically bland and representative of the tone of this entire film. This film might have worked if it was based on a true story or some great classical of work whose depressiveness was necessary to tell the tale. But sadly this story is just someone’s idea of entertainment.
During their travels, the Apes adopt a little blond girl that is orphaned when Caesar kills her father in a gun battle. This is an absurd development in the film and apparently was intended to soften viewers’ attitude towards the Apes.
Woody Harrelson is effective as the Nazi-type leader of the human military group. Andy Serkis as Caesar embodies a dignity and even charm despite being dressed in a monkey costume. Their efforts do little to improve this mess.
The suffering viewers endure is intensified by the fact the film is over two hours and 20 minutes long.
The 1970’s classic hit song, War, asks and answers the question: War, what is good for? Absolutely Nothing! That also describes the movie: War for the Planet of the Apes. It’s worth absolutely nothing! It’s rated PG-13 and it is dead, dead, on arrival!!