“War for the Planet of the Apes” Movie Review

Garrett Stiger

Garrett is an entertainment professional living in the Los Angeles area. In his free time, he's a shark hunter, Jedi Knight, Kaiju wrangler and dog owner.

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11 Responses

  1. Vikram Bath says:

    I hope I’ll be able to see this. I’ve mostly loved the series so far. It’s a rare one that I’ve actually seen almost all the entries of. In fact, the only one I’m missing is the genuine original. I’m glad they haven’t managed to screw it up yet.Report

  2. Will Truman says:

    I haven’t seen any of this series yet, but it’s on my radar.Report

  3. Zac Black says:

    I saw this last Friday night and I thought it was good; not great, but good. It felt like a mashup of old westerns and Apocalypse Now, with Woody Harrelson doing his best Brando impression and Serkis doing a kind of Clint Eastwood pastiche. The one thing I was a little annoyed by was that at one point the apes are traveling through a tunnel and you see some graffiti that says “Ape-pocalypse Now”; it’s like, guys, we get that you’re doing an Apocalypse Now homage, you don’t need to literally underline it in the movie.Report

    • Once Caesar gets to the human base, some of the elements did feel a little familiar, like the Apocalypse Now parallels you point out. For me, it was relatively minor though. I was so engaged by the film. Thanks for reading!Report

  4. Les Cargill says:

    The original series was fairly cheezy, but it’s among the last things was got from Rod Serling. It was great drive-in fodder. It’s part of the Joe Bob Briggs pantheon, from back when Texas was still part of the US.

    Nobody could over modulate a performance like Charlton Heston. It’s from a period when the movie industry was at a nadir, and it shows. Even then, the budget was just about fatal to the project. Even more interesting, that was sort of known at the time even through three TV channels.

    I quite frankly do not like the first entry into the series and am unlikely to watch any more of it. The characterizations in the new series do not work for me in the same way that Roddy McDowell and Kim Hunter inhabited Cornelius and Zira.I can’t root for the apes without being outright misanthropic.

    The original also seems like it was a ham-handed attempt at a statement on racism, with the usual clumsiness of Silent Generation statements on racism. At least they tried. If the apes are too ape-ey and accurate in a CGI way, then that turns into misanthropy. That’s a hard thing to overcome.

    It also lacks the zest that JJ Abrams brought to the 2009 Star Trek reboot.

    This being said, Woody Harrelson’s character seems compelling.Report

    • I’m not a huge fan of the original series, though I’d like to re-visit the very first one. (I do love Rod Serling.) I think you’re certainly on to something when you say the low budget was a liability.

      I have seen a couple folks address the misanthropy of the new series. It was either the writer for the LA Times or NY Times who said, of this latest entry, “It’ll make you root against your own species.” Though he was a fan of the film.

      Thanks for reading!Report

      • Les Cargill in reply to Garrett Stiger says:

        On the budget – the original is claimed at $10M , which was outrageous at the time. It was trimmed to about half that. It was a *high* budget picture for the late 1960s. That was the existential crisis of it.

        Contrast it with a roughly concurrent offering, “A Clockwork Orange” which was made for $2.2M. According to Scorcese’s “Personal Journey”, this period marked a real low point for the industry, until “Jaws” … rebooted release strategies and budgets. Even then, Heaven’s Gate in 1980 sunk $44m and returned $1.5 and took entire studios out.

        The original was just about state of the art – especially the prosthetics – for the time. And I’m not kidding about seeing it at a drive-in. It’s the right venue for that movie 🙂

        Sci fi filmmaking didn’t really hit its stride until 1979s “Alien”. The new franchise is clearly visually superior to the original, and people with skills like like Andy Serkis possesses just didn’t *exist* then because of no CGI. So on any measurable front, the reboot is *probably* superior.Report

    • Les Cargill: I can’t root for the apes without being outright misanthropic.

      Misanthropy comes to some of us more naturally than othersReport