In Review: War For The Planet Of The Apes

Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are pitted against an army of humans in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species...and the future of the planet.

Synopsis: Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are pitted against an army of humans in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species…and the future of the planet.

Review: When this came out in the summer I was sadly unable to see it. So for last few months, I have been anxiously waiting for the Video On Demand release via Amazon. The film does not come out on DVD or Blu Ray until later in the month.

I watched the film over the weekend and really enjoyed it, but was surprised by the fact that director Matt Reeves didn’t take the easy route of giving us an all-out war epic. Instead ‘War For The Planet Of The Ape’s’ is a subtle character-driven piece, which focuses on Caesar and his hunger for revenge at the Colonel for having murdered his son and wife in cold blood.

The Colonel who is played wonderfully by Woody Harrelson is not your typical one-note villain. He has his reasons for what he is doing and does get an opportunity to give them a voice during his scenes with Caesar.

Once again Andy Serkis puts in a great performance as Caesar and it is indeed an Oscar-worthy performance as it was in the previous films. In fact, the film overall deserves consideration for great CGI effects as well as an awesome soundtrack.

Matt Reeves takes a few chances by allowing most of the film to be led by the various different apes using sign language. There is not a great deal of dialogue in the movie and when there is. It is not wasted. Added to this is the fact that you totally believe all the apes to be real because the CGI artists in concert with the actors manage to convey such a massive range of emotions. You’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between these CGI apes and real apes.

The film has plenty of callbacks to the original ape’s movies from the sixties and seventies and works well as a prequel to those films by giving us an explanation for why humans of that future were mute.

It also has its fair share of tragedy as well. Caesar not only loses a substantial part of his family. He also loses a close friend in the form of Luca who gets seen off fairly early in the films run time. It’s a sad moment, which is followed up by more sadness.

Overall. This is a solid movie and a great way to close off the reboot trilogy. Like the previous two movies. It tells a great story and does so in such a way that it retains respect for the original movies that it lends much of its material from.

The film is an emotional ride that gets you thinking about both the good and bad side of human nature.

War For The Planet Of The Apes
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Soundtrack

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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