I'm really mixed up about this movie. I feel super conflicted on how I feel about it. The acting is excellent, visually it's very impressive, the special effects are insane... but the screenplay and editing aren't great which doesn't make it compelling at all. For full disclosure, I didn't see the 2nd one (I did really like the first one), so maybe that's why i have no emotional pull at all to any of the characters. Maybe. I'd like to think rather that it's because too much attention was put to the special effects and not enough to the story-telling (which really is as basic as it gets, you'll have new emotional constructs introduced in a scene, only to be immediately resolved in the VERY NEXT scene, what?!).
I'm watching it and I'm fully aware that I'm watching a very well made film, but i'm just not feeling anything except the passage of time (why is this so long?!). The protagonists are great, but the anatgonists barely make any sense. It's hard to understand their motivations.
Honestly, this might be one of the most over-rated movies I've seen in a really long time, but at the same time I have to admit to myself that I'm probably just being too difficult. I just saw Dunkirk and Baby Driver two days prior and both were outstanding and deep. So on a relative basis, i feel like i was let down by these filthy apes, but on an absolute basis, I bet there is very little wrong with the film.
Andy Serkis is brilliant as Caesar and really gives a commanding performance. He's great at delivering lines that sound like what an ape would sound like if it could talk, honestly. Whereas other apes in the movie that talk seem to articulate English perfectly, which is super distracting and annoying.
Thank goodness for that little girl to give some much needed emotional weight and baggage to this movie.
Also, when you call your movie, "War for the Planet.." you'd expect some pretty epic battle scenes, and large in scope since it's for the planet. Turns out the war will get decided on a few square acres of forest and snowy terrain.
At the end of the day, I think I have to give this a pretty decent rating just for Serkis’ performance alone. It’s amazing what he’s done, and they’ve made the special effects totally seamless. Never once did I think I was looking at a special effect. Let’s also give it up for putting this many subtitles in a summer blockbuster! Who gave the green light to do that? I like movies that want to get a bit more cerebral.
Heart rating: 4.5 stars
Brain rating: 4 stars (I’m really being generous here)