Star – Andy Serkis
Genre – Action > Comic Book
Run Time – 1 hr minutes
Certificate – PG 13
Country – USA
Awards – 26 Wins & 56 Nominations
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The original 1966 Charlton Heston movie was brilliant, if just for the ending with the truly terrifying Statue of Liberty scene. Four rapid sequels followed and suffered the curse of the monkey suit and it dissolved into a naff 1970s TV series. The new millennium and the rise of the comic book blockbuster due to revolutionary GFI effects that could bring the superheroes to life delivered us the 2001 Mark Wahlberg remake, universally panned but did great money, Helena Bonham – Carter not shaving for the role of head female ape, her version of ‘The Method’. By 2011 the CGI had come a long way and monkey suits were no longer needed and so we returned for another go at the franchise, this time a big success, three cracking movies so far, this the third. Matt Reeves of the excellent Cloverfield movies directed and the fans returned.
-The trilogy so far-
War of the Planet of the Apes – $150 million budget – $490million gross
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $93 million budget – $482million gross
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – $200 million budget – $710milion gross
Planet of the Apes (2001) – $100 million budget – £362million gross
Andy Serkis … Caesar
Woody Harrelson … The Colonel
Steve Zahn … Bad Ape
Karin Konoval … Maurice
Amiah Miller … Nova
Terry Notary … Rocket
Ty Olsson … Red Donkey
Michael Adamthwaite … Luca
Toby Kebbell … Koba
Gabriel Chavarria … Preacher
Judy Greer … Cornelia
Sara Canning … Lake
Devyn Dalton … Cornelius
Aleks Paunovic … Winter
Alessandro Juliani … Spear
12-years after the deadly virus outbreak on Earth pitched the remainder of mankind against the apes, led by the super intelligent human like Caesar (Andy Serkis), the apes and the humans are now at war with each other within their own communities, some apes even going over to the humans.
Ceaser runs the peaceful ones in the great West Coast forests of America and the humans have stayed away for 2 years now. But war is coming as a group of soldiers strike the ape’s forward camp, wiping out 60 apes but the soldiers also losing many. But it’s the brutal actions of ‘The Colonel’ (Woody Harrelson) that leads the militia that draws Caesar’s apes back into direct conflict with the humans once again as Caesar vows to take down The Colonel for his callous actions. It’s personal. One or two trusted apes join him on his quest as he sets out to find the colonel and discover the human’s new plans are for the apes. The other apes have to ship out and seek new sanctuary as they know the human soldiers will return.
The Colonel: “All of human history has lead to this moment. The irony is we created you. And nature has been punishing us ever since. This is our last stand. And if we lose… it will be a Planet of Apes”.
The colonel’s facility is huge and heavily armed, apes being used as slaves to build up the ramparts. It’s not long before Caesar and his group end up in chains there. But Ceasar has eyes on the human he longs to kill and soon getting the apes on his side, the Colonel determined to break this intriguing and determined ape.
I have enjoyed the first two films and enjoyed this. I did have a thing about animatronics and special-effects around animals in films and all a bit naff but now the CGI is so good anything can be recreated on screen with credibility and realism. It’s the right time to make the Planet of the Apes movies. This was the principal reason why the Toby Maguire Spiderman films were so good. It really did look like Spiderman was swinging through those sky scrapers, the key to those films working. The Apes walk and grunt like apes here.
The narrative is ongoing from the first two films so you need to see the first, and film four has been set up here. Its action packed and fairly simple in its approach as the story moves forward so no hidden moral messages or ideals explored like you get in some of these Comic Book films. I’m surprised no idiot critics haven’t drawn comparisons between the black and white struggles in America with this somehow. They did for Star Wars.
The trilogy is very much an action movie first and comic book reverence second. Its good fun and I would watch film four as they have yet to mess this up the way they did the Transformers films. Obviously Planet of the Apes is a much better source material. Not that it’s a dialogue led movie. I d feel the next movie won’t have many humans in it though and so things could change for the sillier.
Imdb.com – 7.5/10.0 (187,234votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 93% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – % critic’s approval