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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Begins with a startling, atmospheric, and almost frightening reintroduction to the explosive warfare between man and ape. The excitement quickly devolves into a simplistic, over-explained slog. Could Harrelson's character have been more of a caricature? In the end, no amount of incredible CGI can save a dull and predictable story. Maybe the war was really between more action or an engaging story. Stalemate?
Is there any current tentpole franchise with a bigger gap between the preposterousness of its premise and the somber mood of its presentation? Remarkable, then, how often this brooding crowd-pleaser gets away with it. Parts truly caught me off guard, and there's something about watching CGI creations reach new heights of photorealism while semi-rooting for the end of our own species that feels so very 2017.
An indisputable paradigm shifter in how cinematic technology perfectly serves the story, up there with 'A Trip to the Moon', 'King Kong', '2001', 'Jurassic Park' etc. The mocap is *breathtaking* - do see it on the biggest screen possible. The words needed to describe Serkis' performance alone have not yet been invented. It's *almost* a masterpiece, were it not for Harrelson's disappointingly shade-free Colonel.
"Caesar! What is happening?" Beat. Caesar explains. "Look! What are they doing?" Beat. He instantly clarifies. It's the type of indicative storytelling that almost ruins the new APES. Compared to the superior DAWN, this is a shaggy-dog story with an absurd storyline (Woody Harrelson lays it all out to comical effect). Reeves directs from his own script, yet cannot prevail. Serkis' mo-cap performance is unbelievable.
The 2nd film this summer that has a misdirection of being called a 'war' film (the 1st being DUNKIRK). Heck, this third entry is even more meditative and quiet than RISE and DAWN. That time of the year again where the question "Can Andy Serkis won an Oscar for a motion capture performance?" arise.
This is exceptional science fiction filmmaking with incredible effects and excellent motion capture performances that feel absolutely real and actually make you feel something for these characters. Andy Serkis should receive an Academy Award for his extraordinary work in motion capture performance alone. This was also a solid end to a solid trilogy.
Digital. Apparently, in our banal and frustrating actuality, it's in the territory of science fiction that certain North-American cinerma seek the necessary tragedy who gives the possibility of making films beyond a stupid immediacy. After "Logan" and surprisingly for one who didn't like the previous film of this saga, a sober and wise exercise on drama, except for a few exhibitionist drone's movements.
Lacking the complexities and emotion of the two previous entries in the new trilogy this reps the least rewards in the new series. One can still marvel at the wonderful digital effects and motion capture technology but little else here impresses as more than average summer blockbuster. Kudos to Andy Serkis.