In this final chapter of the hugely successful Planet of the Apes trilogy, Caesar (Serkis) and his apes are forced to defend themselves against a human army led by the rather unhinged Colonel (Harrelson).
The apes, still reeling from the immense loses suffered during the previous battle, have retreated to the forest to hide away from human eyes, ostensibly hoping, one assumes, this will put an end to the conflict.
Humans without conflict?
Yeah nah …..
Once again, the humans in their infinite stupidity, cannot simply leave well enough alone and attack the ape fortress. But this time, the losses are so devastating and personal for Caesar, even he can no longer ignore the human threat and sets out to resolve it once and for all.
He is joined, of course, by a small but loyal band of apes as they trudge into the unknown, determined to avenge their dead.
Along the way, they stumble upon a human child Nova (Miller) and displaying the kind of empathy so lacking in many humans, they refuse to leave her to die. Nova serves as a constant reminder, to the apes and the audience, of what true compassion is. With the kind of instinctual self-preservation that only those who have witnessed the worst of life possess, she adapts seamlessly to her new reality.
That’s the thing about these movies…..you can help but empathise and cheer for the apes who encapsulate more humanity than the humans who seek to destroy them.
As Caesar closes in on the human garrison, the movie shifts gear slightly and a real cat and mouse situation develops. The two main characters finally come face to face and as the puzzle pieces start to shift and slide together, you wonder if your empathy should lay elsewhere. It is a sudden realisation but then ….
Yeah nah ….
The final act explodes in a flurry of activity. Suddenly there are a myriad of stories and we finally discover just how dire reality is for the remaining humans on the planet but, you know….. you reap what you sow.
It is more than a little sad that this trilogy has come to an end. What started as a much maligned idea that many had little hope for has morphed into one of the most soundly pleasing franchises…..dare I say…….. ever. And as a fan of all things Planet of the Apes, I don’t say that lightly.
But I also don’t think this is the end. Not the really truly end. Hmmmmm. Let’s wait and see
4 ½ stars
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Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller, Terry Notary, Ty Olsson, Michael Adamthwaite, Toby Kebbell, Gabriel Chavarria, Judy Greer, Sara Canning, Devyn Dalton
Running Time: 140 minute
Release Date: In Cinemas Now
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