War for the Planet of the Apes combines thoughtful cinematic execution with emotionally-adept storytelling to produce a notable film worthy of concluding this trilogy.
This was a film I originally planned on seeing in theatres, but one thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was waiting for the DVD/Blu-ray release date. Now that I've seen it, I wish I had seen it in theatres!
Two components of this film really stood out to me. The first element is the decisions that were made regarding some of the pivotal action scenes. They're so beautifully done. The shots, the timing, the angles, some of the slow-mo elements, what's happening in the foreground, what's happening in the background, etc.
There were several scenes where I had to take a mental step back and think to myself, "man, that was a beautifully produced scene."
The second is the emotional power of the film. I don't know if it's because some people like me sometimes have more faith in animals than they do people, or what, but science fiction films that can truly tug on your heart strings seem to be few and far in between these days. There are a lot of heart-wrenching moments in this movie! (spoiler alert) Baby and mommy monkeys die n shyt!
Dozens of apes are imprisoned in labor camps, and there's a separate pen where the child apes are kept! Ceasar's (the ape leader's) child cries out on numerous occasions when he sees his father but cannot get to him because there's a fence or a soldier or something blocking his cute little monkey path.
I'm telling you, if you like animals half as much as I do, you can't help but feel for the "good guys" in this film. That, is proper storytelling/film making.
So maybe it's cheap n easy, because it's not hard to feel emotion for CG baby monkeys, but that's the premise of the story. (Lots of impressive CG in this film, BTW.) And when you combine the two cornerstones mentioned above with everything else that can make or break a movie, War for the Planet of the Apes is a clear winner.
Image: 20th Century Fox