The Skinny (No Spoilers)
Apes so real, you’ll feel like they ACTUALLY want to kill you!
Solid film and sequel. The entire movie depends on the CGI and the effects don’t disappoint. The Apes steal the show, leaving humans as supporting cast and catalyst for the drama within the primate’s world. While nothing really shocked me per se, there were a number of plot turns that I found enjoyable and well thought out.
With appearances by (cause the apes are the real stars) former Gotham Police commissioner Gary Oldman, 19980’s Soviet spy Keri Russell, and Jay Gatsby-nemesis Jason Clarke, the movie uses humans just enough to bring this movie back down to earth (Get it???!!!)
The best part about it was that it’s a very human tale: hope, revenge, betrayal. Now is this the best movie of the year? No. It feels a tad long. There are only so many minutes you can watch semi-verbal animals. However it is worth the money and your time.
The Deep Dive (Spoilers)
Just an old-school tale of monkey see, monkey coup…
10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, humanity has descended into chaos due to disease and warfare. The apes however, have established their own fully functional society with verbal and sign communication, art, and social structure. Some of the humans left in San Francisco need power, and make a pact with the primates for access to a dam on the ape’s territory. Unfortunately both sides have members that refuse to trust the other, causing rifts on each side. For the apes, it leads to a revolution: Caesar, the head ape, is overthrown by his 2nd in command Koba. In the end Caesar regains his position of power, but not before Koba attacks and attempts to enslave the humans of San Francisco. We are left with this belief that this was the first shot fired in a longer and deadlier conflict (aka the third and fourth future movies).
Credit must be given to the writers, computer technicians, and director for make these computer generated animals extreme sympathetic and believable. I cannot stress the importance of that in this movie. Since the audience spends an absorbent amount of time with these characters, the entire film hinges on 1) “do I believe these apes really exist?”, and 2) “do I give a damn?”. For me, both questions are answered in the affirmative.
Treacherous Koba, the most treacherous little money…
The best part of the movie is the coup and the build up to it. Koba wants revenge for the horrible treatment that he was subjected by humans. The audience sees the scars on Koba, examples of human stupidity in relation to apes, and a sense of Koba’s thirst for power. While no one would agree with his methods, we certainly see where he is coming from. We get a sense that betrayal is just around the corner, how it occurs is well done and very, very human.
This is a damn good addition to the series, setting the table for a third movie which should be just one uninterrupted battle. Can’t wait.