‘Planet of the Apes’ generated by now enough big screen and TV series film to be considered a genre or at least a sub-genre by itself. While the original series was playing more in the post-apocalyptic stories space with the original movie one of the strong head of series creation, the more recent remake started as a sci-fi thriller. The second and now third film in the series see the two themes converge as enough bad things happened on Planet Earth for mankind to become again endangered species. Actually both apes and humans seem to be endangered in this latest and the two species are caught in a deadly war that may prove to be fatal to both.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3450958/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3450958/

 

The premises of the story are similar with the majority of the other films in the series. Humans have made enough fatal mistakes and their psychological, biological, but especially character problems make of them inferior (on the moral if not also on the intelligence scales) to the apes. On the ruins of what was once our civilizations gangs of human survivors and herds of ape survivors fight for their own existence and between them. It’s not a modern war, it’s more like tribal fights.  Which is no less cruel or spectacular in cinematographic terms.

 

(video source 20th Century Fox)

 

When this new series started and I saw the first film (I think that I missed the second) I appreciated the technical performance of making of each one of the apes a character of its own using computer graphics enhancement, but the story seemed thin and conventional. This third film has the same problems, actually it got worse. Visuals are impressing but the story got not only conventional but full of cliches. It’s a deja-vu post-apocalyptic story with religious and moralistic tones, and having it spoken 80% of the time by apes does not make it smarter. Some of the choices of director also seemed to me uninspired. Some of the apes talk a sign language, other a primitive form of the language of the enemy (English, of course). Arms are an odd mix of modern weaponry, tribal bow and arrows and beginning of the 20th century guns. etc. It’s difficult to talk too much about acting, as playing the human model for the apes computer image requires special skills – I assume they are OK as the effect is fine, but it’s not a novelty any longer and the film relies too much on those. So I assume is a fine actor but I need to see more of him, while does what we expect from him in the human bad guy role.

The ending of the original Planet of the Apes was mind-blowing, one of the most memorable final scenes in the history of cinema. What we have in War for the Planet of the Apes is so far from that. The action twist and the meaningful reflection on the future of mankind that were turning the original into a great movie was replaced by a so expected and conventional image with moralistic and religious pretensions. This says almost all about the failure of this film. Faithful fans (and I am among them) will go and see this film. Many will be disappointed, as it is heavy of staff we have already seen so many times. Good cinematography and special effects are also repetitive and cannot save it. One of the characters is called Bad Ape and repeats his name many times in the movie. He may have said ‘Bad Planet’ as well.