It's been years since the super flu wiped out most of the human population and made apes smart. Cesar and his tribe are looking for a new home, while being relentlessly attacked by human soldiers. When the leader of the humans, a self proclaimed dictator known as The Colonel, goes too far, Cesar and his best mates are in pursuit, to exact revenge. This fatal journey leads them straight into peril…
The third and the seemingly final installment of THE APES trilogy is an epic conclusion, and like its predecessor it focuses on human (or rather ape) drama more than action. Here is an extremely well written movie that does not shy away from exploring the darkest sides of humanity.
WAR is a particularly grim film. It is bleak, violent and often scary. After the explosive action of the opening scene the story becomes a slow burn, further exploring the character of Cesar who is constantly questioning his moral choices and is riddled with doubt and regret. Is he becoming a villain himself? The final confrontation with The Colonel, his latest nemesis, is more a struggle of wills than a physical battle and is resolved in a rather unexpected way.
Putting accent on suspense rather than on action, the film explosively culminates with an over the top set piece - a welcome and satisfying conclusion to the heart wrenching drama of the last hour of the film.
The funny moments are few but are top notch. The comic relief comes from the character of Bad Ape, a chimpanzee created by actor Steve Zahn. He is proof that a CGI mask cannot conceal a great performance.
WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has many nods to bigger and arguably better films, such as Apocalypse Now, but it has its own dark beating heart. Being a perfect conclusion to a thought provoking SCI FI trilogy, it delivers both - eye candy and food for the mind.