WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (2017) REVIEW: A engaging, if not entirely fresh, tale of revenge and an ‘apes’ place in society


Written by James Reilly – Student Pages Entertainment Journalist/Film Critic

Film Rating: 


First off – I love the Planet of the Apes franchise. Up until now the original and the 2014 film; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, were the best ones in the franchise, but with the highly anticipated War for the Planet of the Apes arriving this year will it take the top spot?

War for the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves once again after the incredible job he did with Dawn brings us the third entry in this rebooted franchise and does so with added aplomb, aided by his added confidence after the last hit in the franchise. Andy Serkis of course returns as Caesar, and we are joined by a fresh antagonist in the form of the Colonel, played by Woody Harrleson. The film had a lot to live up to in my opinion, not only following on from the classic 1960’s film Planet of the Apes, but also having to contended with being the third film in a so far excellent modern science fiction trilogy. While none of the films in this trilogy have hit the heights of the legendary original it does cap off a very excellent trilogy in which it completes a rare feet in having each entry exceed the previous one.

Andy Serkis, as Caesar, is incredible. The rest of the cast, including Woody Harrleson, cap off a very solid ensemble performance. Some of the human cast, most notably the young girl playing Nova (played by Amiah Miller) are very standout and help provide a real sense of atmosphere amongst this very lived in world. The cinematography is again beautiful to behold, with some shots standing amongst the very top of the trilogies best and most stunning moments. The score is again very fitting for the films tone and helps aid the films movement and atmosphere. The only negative would be that once again its not very noticeable yet its subtleness aids the film despite it not being memorable.

The writing of the film is solid. It’s full of your classic dialogue written especially to be used in trailers and to seem dramatic, and intense overly poetic one-liners that while effective, we’ve seen before. While this isn’t major enough to fully distract me from the action, it does remind me I’m watching a film and this kind of dialogue does get repetitive the more we see it in blockbusters. Not only the dialogue, but the story layout – we’ve seen before, and it was fairly predictable. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the film and while not surpassing the height of the classic original from the 1960’s, it caps off an amazingly gripping, engaging and enjoyable trilogy – and I can only hope if they choose to continue with a second trilogy, it can capture this magic once again.

Follow James at @JamesisGinger