Updated: Jul 5, 2018
"Go down, Moses//Way down in Egypt's land//Tell old Pharaoh//Let my people go" - Go Down Moses
Y’all I was ready for Ceaser to start singing “Go Down Moses" or some instrumental remix of "Wade In The Water." Like, biblical and racial references definitely check. War for the Planet of the Apes is a brilliantly crafted movie that flawlessly brings in the third installment of the Planet of the Apes series.
The Planet of the Apes story continues with Caesar(Andy Serkis) and his apes caught in a deadly war with a human army faction of surviving soldiers led by "the Colonel"(Woody Harrelson). Each one fighting for their species and the future they want to see for the rest of the planet.
There are some movies that you have to set aside a day or a specific time to watch them because they make you not like certain people. Like, Selma or The Help, I have to watch those on days I don’t plan on seeing nobody else after or they are going to get snapped on.
This is no different.
What is that we as humans fear the most? Is it change? Ourselves? Things different from ourselves? Death? It would seem within the last couple months, there have been many movies examining the effects of fear. Racial fear in movies such as Get Out and Beatriz at Dinner. The consequences of fear and how it can spread such as It Comes At Night. The War for the Planet of the Apes, yet somehow brings all aspects of fear into one movie.
The racial connotations(maybe it was typical Hollywood whitewashing, but you look at the makeup of the soldiers, and they are mostly white or very light-skinned PoCs) were potent and apparent throughout. The consequences of fear and collateral damage it can cause; when one isn't willing to comprise you end up losing the very thing you were fighting to protect. The messages and symbolism were all there and they were all executed wonderfully.
However, on a different note, the settings and the cinematography were stunning; the woods, the snow covered mountains, and the ice covered home. Many of the shots were excellently framed that allowed you to take in the beautiful backdrops of nature that are there to remind you that it is its own force and character in the movie.
I think the pièce de résistance of the film, however, was Bad Ape (Steve Zahn), who brought humor to the movie in the best ways possibles and at all the right times. In a film that was very dark and depressing, Bad Ape brought a smile to my face when in it should’ve been covered in tears and hot with anger. Aside from Ceasar and Maurice, Bad Ape actually, in a way, stole the show. He was funny and served a greater purpose than cheesy comedic relief. He had such a humanness to him that really left me in awe.
And, this maybe a small and trivial matter but the summary of the previous movies that was offered at the very beginning was done so well. I knew I was in for a dramatic and enthralling ride. And, the religious references within it made it all the better to me and solidified it message.
Ceaser talked far too much. Yes, he is Ape who can speak, but the novelty of it wore thin fairly quickly than it had in the previous movie. The use of sign language was far more interesting, and I would even say a more complex idea. It was too strong of an effort to humanize him when I think it's important to remember that Ceaser is in fact not a human. However, Ceaser was still such an interesting character to watch on screen and major props to Andy Serkis.
FLOOR OR DOOR?
Should it have been left on the cutting room floor or should you be running out the door to see it?
Door! Without a doubt! I may go as far as to say this is only second best to the first movie in the trilogy. Who am I kidding !? They are all wonderful! This movie was brilliant, and the two and half hours I spent watching it was not lost time.