War for the Planet of the Apes


Review: An evolution of the tech-heavy Hollywood blockbuster Discuss this article

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As an evolution of the tech-heavy Hollywood blockbuster, the Planet of the Apes franchise is a Darwinian dream come true. These movies have captured a soulfulness that’s different from anything else out there.

Director and co-writer Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) has steered it into ethically complex territory, beginning with 2014’s second chapter. He now surpasses himself with a broodingly downbeat epic set 15 years later. Yes, it’s a war film, but not just any war. From the scrawled markings on the human soldiers’ helmets to the bald, bellicose colonel straight out of Apocalypse Now (Woody Harrelson, doing his best bug-eyed Brando), this film rewages Vietnam, complete with its tangle of self-negating righteousness and mission drift.

Once again our hero is Caesar (Andy Serkis), whose peaceful nature is here rocked by vengeance. And, apart from pulling off the unique trick of having us root for human extinction, this foregrounds a beautiful tension between the savage instinct for retribution and a civilised sense of restraint – all ironically fought within the heart of an animal. Take note, rebooters. This is how you do it.

The bottom line
A suitably epic, brilliant closing chapter.

By Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out Doha,

War for the Planet of the Apes

  • Duration: 140
  • Released: Thu, 06 Jul
  • Classification: TBA
  • Language: English
  • Director: Matt Reeves
  • Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn

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