War for the Planet of the Apes
The strength of this film laid in its narrative. Director and co-writer Matt Reeves had, unexpectedly, gone smaller and more intimate in this three-quel and that has paid off. Together with yet another amazing performance by Andy Serkis, the film related the inevitable fall of Humanity without sacrificing character. If anything, the film could have been tighter and its tone less scattered. At times the film felt like a Western, and at other moments, a heist film, a buddy film, a spy thriller and even a biblical epic. But otherwise, this was an entertaining film with a satisfying conclusion to Caeser's story.
Reeves and co-writer Mark Bomback wisely used this film to further explore their main character. Instead of expanding the universe and just going for bigger, louder and flashier - like most sequels are prone to do - they chose to look inwards and used the exploration of Caesar's character to illuminate the situation of the movie-world.
In the film, the apes exhibited more humane qualities than the brutalistic men, and this really forced the audience to question their own Humanity and possibly reflect on the current socio-political happenings around them with questions of tolerance, acceptance, border-control and leadership.
Serkis was again amazing in his embodiment of Caesar. And even in this deep-dive into his character, his nuanced and layered performance continues to astound and is easy to forget that what we see on screen is a mo-cap performance and not an actual actor.
Woody Harrelson as the main human antagonist was sufficiently crazy. And despite Reeves and Bombacks attempts at trying to huamnise him, that clunky exposition-heavy scene just tripped the pace of the film up to that point.
Michael Giacchino's score here was much better than his most recent turn in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But even so, like the film itself, the score sounded schizophrenic. Michael Seresin lensed the film and he managed to capture some really amazing scenes and light.
With this film, the trilogy has thus far managed to maintain its standard and quality, and it really should end here on a high note before subsequent entries ruin the goodwill accumulated.