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Review: War for the Planet of the Apes is a powerful instant classic

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War for the Planet of the Apes proved to be a fitting conclusion to a trilogy of films that will history will view in a favorable light.

As a kid, I believed the entire concept of a planet full of apes made no sense whatsoever, and I found it so odd that the franchise had to enough mileage to pump out so many different films.

My opinion felt justified by the garbage remake that was released about 15 years ago.

That has all changed now, consider me a convert.

This newest trilogy has reset the standard for the franchise, and this threequel was the cherry on top.

As usual, I will not address specific plot points, but would like to react to the overall message of the film, and the surprising depth to the piece.

The film floored me as it developed, I realized I was watching historical commentary.

This film addresses African American slavery and the Holocaust, concepts that I never would have expected to digest when I signed on to review this film.

The statement is powerful, there is can be no doubt that the filmmakers wanted to make a statement about the African slave trade, and the Jewish Holocaust.

This film demonstrates what it means to be at the mercy of a ruthless leader who murders his slaves for recreation, and uses them for untenable labor projects.

Another brilliant wrinkle was the group of apes that stood with the humans, these characters made for fascinating villains as they wrestled with the moral dilemma of slaughtering their own kind.

These traitor apes played the part of house negros, beating the slaves, and doing the masters bidding, no matter how vile or depraved.

The sociology amongst the apes while they are in chains was ripped from the pages of history, the filmmakers drew upon aspects of the slave trade that most of America does not want to think about.

This made the film so powerful, so moving, it’s literally impossible not to root for the apes because they are presented as the real human beings of the story.

Which is an issue I somewhat have a problem with, and I had the same beef with Avatar.

It’s almost uncomfortable to be cheering against human beings while they battle aliens, or highly evolved apes.

I understand this is the story of Caesar, and the rise of his kin, but the filmmakers made the human beings seem like the real animals.

The humans are emotionless pigs in this film, homicidal maniacs that have little to zero restraint, and even less compassion.

I detested the human beings in the film.

They don’t care about anything, there was no touching stories within the human camp, only genocide and mayhem.

The film could have benefited from a more balanced story, which the 1st and 2nd entries in the trilogy were.

It’s ok for the human beings to be flawed, ignorant, aggressive, all of that is fine, but that does not mean that the entire movie should only feature one human being with a value system.

That human being is a little girl, and she stole the show.

Some of the most stirring moments of the film involve the emotional development of the human girl that is taken in by the apes early in the film, her contribution elevated the movie from very good to a masterpiece, and opens the door for her to return in a much more significant role.

Caesar meanwhile cements himself as a cinematic legend in the latter stages of the epic, there is very few characters in movie history that will have a more gripping narrative then Caesar does in these rebooted films.

Caesar is a mix of some of the greatest leaders in history, and this film is his defining moment.

He is Martin Luther King Jr, John F Kennedy, Rosa Parks, Patrick Henry.

There is so much love in his heart, but so much fury in his belly, Caesar is a hero for the ages, and by far the most socially sophisticated character in the film

Caesar’s journey is an emotional thrill ride, and gives the movie a sizzle that is almost Oscar worthy, I would have no problem at all if Andy Serkis won an Oscar for best actor next spring.

This was a watershed performance from perhaps the most talented actor in the world.

The special effects are visionary, only Star Wars really compares to the magic of this event.

The effects are so amazing, that you forget about them, and accept what your looking at.

My only complaints are the length of the film, the pace of the plot, and the dehumanization of the human beings in the film.

Oh, I also forgot to bring tissues, and that proved to be a mistake, so make sure you have some paper handy when you go to see this glorious film.

Director Matt Reeves has created a masterclass movie, one that will live on for generations to come

Tastie Fish Rating: Five fish out of Five

 

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