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Old 07-15-2017, 03:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Pure Evil - War for the Boredom of the Apes

My non-stop summer movie watching continues. I've been to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Alien: Covenant, King Arthur, Spider-Man: Homecoming and now War for the Planet of the Apes.

I will start by saying that if you saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, you have already seen War for the Planet of the Apes. Despite taking a page from the old spaghetti western films and borrowing (boring?) the kind of vast panoramics, character close-ups and lone vigilante on a quest themes somehow War never Rises to the level of the classic films it is modeled after.

We never get much opportunity to care about any of the individual characters, so when they do die (and lots of apes die) there just isn't much emotional investment anywhere in the movie.

The story is pretty typical... a rogue military commander attacks the ape city, slaughters a bunch of people and then Caesar sets out to get his revenge.

Instead of getting his revenge, Caesar mostly kinda sits around in a cage for the entire movie waiting for a final battle that doesn't involve the Apes at all. I know that might be a minor spoiler, but it is kind of hard to spoil something that never happens.

The movie never takes any chances. Despite borrowing the Alpha/Omega symbol from Beneath the Planet of the Apes and throwing in character names like Nova and Cornelius, there is no Alpha/Omega bomb, no hints about psychic sub-humans and certainly no dynamic planet-shattering ending to an otherwise excellent series.

When you consider that Planet of the Apes picked up after some kind of a huge nuclear holocaust that caused mankind to revert to either sub-humans or underground psychic mutants, War for the Planet of the Apes ends with a snowstorm. Not kidding.

It feels like director Matt Reeves (who is now slated to direct the next Batman film) gave us the first 2/3rds of a movie and then just stopped because he wanted to spin out one more sequel in two years.


I enjoyed seeing all the characters return and the CGI and 3D were excellent, but this just wasn't the big budget end-of-summer finale I was hoping for. Perhaps Valerian will be better.
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