by Brandon Matzke (guest modern movie reviewer)
Summer of 2017. Many consider it to be a major disappointment, and others believe that it had many overlooked gems. I personally believe that it depends on whose perspective you look from. I made a goal for myself at the beginning of this year: only see acclaimed movies. For most of the year, I stood by that. While I saw many great films (“Baby Driver,” “Logan,” “Dunkirk”, etc.), I also saw one terrible film (“The Dark Tower”). But, without a doubt, my favorite film of the year was one that many passed up on, believing it was a “nerds only” film. That movie, as you may have guessed, was “War for the Planet of the Apes.” This is the third film in the “Planet Of The Apes” prequel series, and follows the war between humanity and a new civilization of hyper-intelligent apes. That’s all I will say, because this is a film best not spoiled. With that said:
1. This is a gorgeous looking film. The CGI is breathtaking, and seriously deserves a best visual effects nomination. Every CGI ape looks real, to the point where you can see the irises in their eyes or snow in their fur.
2. The acting is great, too. Especially from Andy Serkis, as Caesar. Caesar is the world-weary leader of the apes, and only wants peace between his new civilization and humanity. This may be Serkis’ best performance since Gollum in “Lord Of The Rings.” You feel the character’s pain, and every second hurts in the best way possible.
3. And there is a new character introduced , who caught me off guard in the best way possible. In a film as bleak as this, he was the humor the film needed. But not like Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequels; he had his reasons for being there, rather than being a comedic relief. The film had me on the edge of my seat. I could praise this film for hours.
So far, this is my pick for “Movie Of The Year”, and I give it an unheard of, 11/10.
93% (fresh) on Rotten Tomatoes
3.5/4 on RogerEbert.com
7.9/10 on IMDb