Caesar and his ape colony are embroiled in a battle with an army of humans. When the apes suffer heavy losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts as he resolves to avenge his kind. The battle pits Caesar against the humans’ leader, a ruthless Colonel.
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It was in the midst of the snowy rural stuff where the film is aiming to be THE SEARCHERS with even more sign language that it starts to get good. There’s a quite brilliant scene of Maurice the orang (Karin Kanoval and her animators) and a silent little girl (Amiah Miller) which is LOOONG, wordless, quiet, tender and hypnotic. Really unexpected in a summer blockbuster.
This elaborate, largely silent language is one of the more fascinating aspects of the film, simultaneously invoking both empathy and alienation. Another variation on this theme is articulated through the numerous dramatic close-ups of simian visages, upon which the tiniest facial inflections are transmitted from the production’s human actors to the splendidly textured digital characters via advanced motion-capture systems.
A rich, complicated entry in a franchise that has always been willing to strain for significance, this takes full advantage of CGI character-creating technology, which is evolving more rapidly than its sapient apes. Watching all three of the recent Apes films in succession, the progress of motion-capture performance in a relatively short time is as astonishing as the leap in sound recording between The Jazz Singer (1927) and King Kong(1933).