• Mary's


By Mary Cox


This is the third in the Ape series and by far the best. Even if you haven’t seen the other films in this series, “War for the Planet of the Apes” can stand alone. There is a real story that has a beginning, middle and end to the script even though a fourth movie in the series seems possible.

After the apes suffer unimaginable losses from their human counterparts, the leader of the apes, Caesar, wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind against the evil Colonel.

Andy Serkis is Caesar. Academy Award Nominee Woody Harrelson is the villain the Colonel. Steve Zahn is Bad Ape. Karim Konoval is Maurice. Amiah Miller plays a human war orphan, Nova. Terry Notary plays Rocket. Michael Adamthwaite is Luca. Ty Olsson is Red Donkey. Judy Greer is Caesars’s wife Cornelia.

Except for Woody Harrelson and Amiah Miller, the rest of the cast is unrecognizable because they are apes. The apes are created by computer animation. In an interview with Parade Magazine, the film’s visual effects supervisor, four-time Academy Award winner Joe Letteri, revealed that he and his team animated each ape hair by hair. They spent an unbelievable amount of time and effort to create each minute of the finished movie. The magic of performance-capture animation transformed Andy Serkis into an alpha primate that seemed so real.

This is the third time that Matt Reeves has directed the movies in the “Planet of the Apes” series. Reeves also co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Bomback based on the characters created by writing team Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. The inspiration for “War for the Planet of the Apes” was the novel by Pierre Boulie, “La Planète des Singes,” or “Monkey Planet.”

I was pleasantly surprised that this movie was so good. As you would expect, it was chock full of breath-taking special effects, fighting and bold action but at its heart it had a really good story. I recommend seeing this on the big screen to experience all the action up close and personal.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” opens at AMC Eastgate Showplace 6, AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12, Granite City Cinema, and Jerseyville Stadium.

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