Will ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ make up perfect primate trilogy?


Matt Reeves’ ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ opens today and 1428 Elm is going bananas. Will the newest primate picture live up to the previous two films?

Today marks a new day for man. Today we fight. The last of mankind, the War for the Planet of the Apes is upon us.

Trilogies are a tricky thing in film. While a good trifecta is the holy grail of the moving image, movie buffs rarely get a true trilogy. Far too many times, like Adam Green’s Hatchet series or Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, fans get two of three. Two films are always the stuff of legend, while the other is a lame duck on a murky pond. With Matt Reeves’ War for the  Planet of the Apes opening today, it’s all we can think about. But first, let’s go back in time a bit.

I always think… ape better than human. I see now… how much like them we are. — Cesar (‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’)

In 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes unleashes. Starring James Franco and Andy Serkis, playing and providing motion capture for Caesar, the film is a stellar re-imagining of the sci-fi classic. Telling a grounded tale of right and wrong, and mirroring Jurassic Park’s dangers of science message, Rise is like Batman Begins — the way series starters should be.

Then, in 2014, a new dawn is on the rise. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, this time replacing Franco with Jason Clarke, comes out swinging from tree tops. Upping the film in every way, from the action set pieces to resonating thematic elements, the second modern Apes film is a brilliant breath of fresh air. One of the best sequels of all time, the Greek-like tragedy among the apes is amazing. And the acting, forget it. I freaking love this movie.

Today, we rage war. Now playing in cinemas everywhere, War for the Planet of the Apes is here and we’re throwing our own feces in excitement (not really). But will the newest film in the sci-fi series live up to the previous films? We’re thinking it will and for many reasons.

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Firstly, Woody Harrison’s playing the man leading the human opposition and he’s one hell of an actor. In fact, he’s one of the best actors working in the industry today (or the last 30 years for that matter). Secondly, Matt Reeves is again in the director’s chair. Co-writing the film with Mark Bomback, Reeves came aboard on the second film and proved why he’s an emerging force in Hollywood — I’m praying he continues that quality. And lastly, Andy Serkis is back as Cesar. Now the main character of the franchise, more Serkis is a great thing. It needs to be all Serkis, all the time.

So, what are you thinking? Is War for the Planet of the Apes going to be the cinematic cap on a perfect series? Will we be talking about the film’s brilliance twenty years from now? If the trailers, not to mention 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, are any indication, the new Apes series is winning the trilogy war.

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War for the Planet of the Apes stars Andy SerkisWoody Harrelson and Steve ZahnMatt Reeves directs a screenplay written by Reeves and Mark BombackChernin Entertainment is producing, with 20th Century Fox distributing. The third Apes is now playing in cinemas everywhere. Visit Fandango for showings and ticket info.

Love ‘Planet of the Apes’? Looking forward to the third moder outing? Let the other Picture Primates know what you think in the comment section below.