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War For The Planet of the Apes Movie Review

Reviewed by on Jul 14, 2017
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s take on War for the Planet of the Apes. Is this film as touching as it is beautifully shot and action packed? Read our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the newer “Apes” franchise, Caesar (Andy Serkis), the intelligent, talking ape created by human science and his group don’t want war with humans. They are content to live in a large forest but a ruthless Special Forces Colonel (Woody Harrelson) thinks Man can only survive if all apes are dead. When these two leaders meet face to face, who will win the day?

White Ape Winter will betray CaesarWhite Ape Winter will betray CaesarCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

In the Woods

It’s five years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Caesar's group is still at war with the human military, a war started by Koba, a renegade ape. Hiding in the woods, Caesar has offered the humans peace if they will just leave his tribe alone. White Ape Winter is frightened that the human Colonel will kill him so, in return for safety, he reveals where Caesar’s secret camp is. Planning to move the tribe to a new home across a desert, Caesar is shattered when the Colonel and his men pull a sneak attack that devastates his family, killing his wife and older son Blue Eyes. 

Escape through the tunnelEscape through the tunnelCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

On the search for the ColonelOn the search for the ColonelCourtesy of 20th Century Fox


With his young remaining son Cornelius in the care of Lake, the mate of his deceased son, Caesar sends the tribe out toward their new home while he stalks the Colonel planning on killing him. Maurice (Karin Konoval), the huge baboon-like ape, Luca, a loyal gorilla and ape Rocket insist on going with him. From traitor Winter they learn that the Colonel is near “the border”. After being forced to kill a human man in an empty village, the group finds his mute daughter whom they later name Nova (Amiah Miller) and Maurice takes her along since she’ll die without help.

Nova rides with MauriceNova rides with Maurice

Bad Ape

Joining the diverse group is a half mad but friendly ape named Bad Ape (Steve Zahn) whom they find living alone in an abandoned ski lodge after all his zoo friends died. On the road, the group comes upon three human soldiers who have been shot, one, still barely alive, can’t speak. Bad Ape leads the group to the border where the Colonel and men are headquartered in a former weapons depot turned Quarantine zone when the “simian virus” began to spread among humans.

Bad Ape is discoveredBad Ape is discoveredCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

In Prison

Caesar and group are shattered to see that the whole tribe has been captured by the Colonel and, with no food or water, are forced to build a giant wall. Who is the Colonel trying to keep out? When Caesar is captured, he’s tortured but learns that the simian flu evolved and is now making human victims mute and causing most to regress back to a childlike, primal mental state, much like…animals. The Colonel has been shooting these victims, even his own soldiers and son. Other humans think the virus can be cured. Now other more “sane” military are coming to stop his reign of terror, thus the need for the wall.

The Colonel's troops at the borderThe Colonel's troops at the borderCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

The ColonelThe ColonelCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Escape Plan

With the help of Nova and Rocket who bring him water and food and cause a diversion, an almost dead Caesar gets the will to live again and an escape is planned through an underground tunnel Bad Ape has discovered. As the other army after the Colonel gets closer, will Caesar still kill the Colonel? Will the captured ape tribe escape? Will more apes die? Will Caesar be reunited with tiny son Cornelius? Will they ever reach the new homeland across the desert?

Rocket, Caesar and Luca at the ski lodgeRocket, Caesar and Luca at the ski lodge Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Wrapping Up

War for the Planet of the Apes is an amazing movie.  It’s not just talking apes shooting guns and humans blowing things up as most of the trailers would indicate, but a touching, heartfelt and very well-acted epic story of courage, bravery and love. Actor Andy Serkis, who does all his portrayal of lead ape Caesar in a motion capture suit, deserves an Oscar. He is just mind-blowing as his emotions run the gamut from tenderness to rage to regret and more. Steve Zahn (Bad Ape) and all of the motion-capture ape actors do wonderful work as do the special visual effects wizards who bring these characters further to life.

Woody Harrelson as the ColonelWoody Harrelson as the Colonel

As for the humans, young actress Amiah Miller, who is mute throughout the film, expresses her emotions beautifully through her eyes and mannerisms and Woody Harrelson as the half mad Colonel is very convincing as well.

Caesar becomes Nova's protectorCaesar becomes Nova's protector

The action and cinematography looks great. Even the music is understated and perfect for the story. You’ll chuckle a bit (at Bad Ape) and shed a tear. If you are just into watching films where everything blows up and there is no real character development or “heart”, this isn’t your movie.  Sure there are great battles and plenty of stunt and effects action but “Apes” is far more than that and a great third (and last??) installment in the “Apes” trilogy. We go five stars.

War For The Planet of the Apes Movie Rating: 5

War For The Planet of the Apes Movie PosterWar For The Planet of the Apes PosterCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

War For The Planet of the Apes is in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Have you watched these newer “Apes” films? Is Caesar a hero of yours? Talk about it below.