The venerated sci-fi film series takes another leap forward with the latest installment, War for the Planet of the Apes. We all know where this is going. Sign us up anyway.
The first trailer for the new movie is out, and it brings us along for the ride as the world devolves into what everybody knew sooner or later would have to happen – humans become a sideline species, and apes rule the world. Pause the Krypton Radio stream and watch.
The apes on screen are believable to the last nuance and pore on their skin, and the important essence of story is not forgotten. While it’s true that we’ve come a long way since the original films’ use of matte paintings on glass for nearly everything, rubber masks and a sweaty Charlton Heston, the important thing that has not changed is story. The characters, despite being fantastical in their nature, feel solid and real. Everything matters.
In this latest film, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
The Colonel is known to us only by his title. The enemy of the Apes is reduced to a force of nature, depersonalized in the respect that we aren’t given his real name. Ceasar represents the misbegotten in the world, and after the events of last year’s film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, he is now his people’s leader. He was trying to avert a war between apes and humans, but now fate has forced his hand.
The Apes movies aren’t really meant to be much more than entertainment, but real life events seem to have given them a new relevance. Watching Ceasar try to pull his world back from the brink of its own destruction gives us pause.
War for the Planet of the Apes stars Woody Harrelson as the Colonel, Judy Greer as Cornelia, and Andy Serkis as Ceasar. (This is the same Andy Serkis lent his performing talents to the creation of Smeogol / Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.) The new Apes movie is written by Mark Bomback and Matt Reeves, is directed by Matt Reeves, and is due out on July 17, 2017.
See you at the movies.