The distinction between human and beast dwindles further in War for the Planet of the Apes, the third instalment in Matt Reeves' reboot of the Planet of the Apes series.
The climax to the struggle that has been building throughout Matt Reeves' reboot of the classic Planet of the Apes franchise comes to a crescendo in this summer's highly anticipated new release War for the Planet of the Apes. The other episodes in this rebooted trilogy have received critical acclaim in the past, and War for the Planet of the Apes does not fall short of the hype.
In the film, Andy Serkis' Caesar rises as the successor to Koba, leading the apes in the war between themselves and what is left of the human race. On the other side of the coin, Woody Harrelson's Colonel is a hardened and dogmatic leader to a small population of militarised humans. These are the only humans that remain after being devastated by the Simian flu, the fictional lab-grown epidemic that prompted the rise of this race of highly intelligent apes.
The visual effects of the film, provided by renowned Wella Digital are gripping and are a major crutch in keeping the viewer absorbed. The lulls in the plot aren't too noticeable as the CGI scenery distracts from them.
The practical effects of the apes are spot-on, and real animals were also utilised to make the film ultra-realistic. Seasoned performance capture actor Andy Serkis returns once more as Caesar, and while he previously missed out on an Oscar nomination for his role he may be in the running after this latest instalment.
As man and beast fight tooth and nail for survival, the line between humanity and barbarity grows thinner in War for the Planet of the Apes. The clash between the two is interesting to watch, although if you have seen the previous episodes, it is predictable who will come out on top. Also, there is something just laughable about the sight of a rifle in the hands of a CGI ape.
However, the confidence with which the filmmaker spins the story prevents you from being too cynical while watching. A highlight of the film is 'Bad Ape' - an ageing simian that appears to have been around since the beginning of the crisis, who peppers in just enough comic relief to cut the intensity of the rest of the film's events.
Overall, War for the Planet of the Apes is a compelling adventure that lives up to the hype. The story and visual effects will keep you absorbed despite some slow moments and predictability.
War for the Planet of the Apes release date: 11th July 2017
On That Note
War for the Planet of the Apes fits the bill as a summer blockbuster, and without a doubt will be a huge box office success. If you've seen the previous films, go out and see it. If you haven't seen the other ones - see it anyway, as you'll be able to jump into the story without missing a beat. A mix of science fiction and war flick, with moments of poignancy and top-notch visual effects, everyone can find something to like.