Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

War For the Planet of the Apes


I just wrote a review of Incredibles 2, in which I lamented the fact that it seems like around 50% of all big movies these days are sequels. Well, what is one to make of this franchise, then? There were five Planet of the Apes in the original series, the first one and then Beneath the, Escape From, Conquest of, and Battle for. All of them sucked.

Tim Burton did a remake in 2001. I didn’t see it. The trailer didn’t appeal to me.

Then they “rebooted” it. I’m even more suspicious of reboots than I am of sequels. Rise of surprised me. It was a lot better than I expected. Clearly it was an “origin” story, with the chimp Caesar meant to be the protagonist for as long as they could sustain the series. It was fun to compare Roddy McDowell in a rubber chimp mask with Andy Serkis in a motion-capture suit.

Dawn of was no more than okay. I told myself that I doubted I’d want to see the third installment of this one.

But the reviews were very good (but they have been very good for a lot of dumb superhero films, too), and once again, this one surprised me. It was a much more emotional story, with character taking precedence over action … though, of course, there is plenty of action. Once again Andy Serkis shines, and Woody Harrelson is quite good as the bad guy. One thing that puzzled me a little. The only human female I saw was Amiah Miller, who played a mute young girl named Nova. I can’t find a birthday for her, but I guess she’s about twelve? She is quite good, too, but even though all the humans we see are at a military base, why no women? Even if they are not allowed to be soldiers, why not wives, children? It’s strange.