I am a big fan of this series. The original “Planet of the Apes” (circa 1968) was co-written by Rod Serling (“Twilight Zone”), who is the most famous alumni of my Alma Mater, SUNY Binghamton. The concept had a re-boot with the terrific “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), followed by “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (2014), which was also a very good movie, although not quite as good as “Rise.” The third picture of the trilogy is of similar quality and is a MUST SEE if you are into the series.
Caesar (Andy Serkis) is minding his own business, living in the woods with his tribe. He wants to peacefully co-exist with the humans. Unfortunately, the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) wants to exterminate all the apes on the planet. (The Colonel has a theory explaining why this is necessary, which isn’t revealed until the later third of the film.)
The Colonel launches a surprise attack on Caesar’s camp, and, during the bloody battle, some of Caesar’s family is killed. Caesar becomes enraged and seeks revenge, although he is conflicted about this emotion. Caesar is assisted in his effort to defeat the Colonel’s army by other apes, including Maurice (Karin Konoval) and Bad Ape (Steve Zahn). Along their journey to the Colonel’s camp, they meet up with a mute young girl, Nova (Amiah Miller), who also helps out.
This film pays homage to “Apocalypse Now” and has several scenes that reminded me of “The Wizard of Oz.” The CGI, cinematography (Michael Seresin), and score (Michael Giacchino) are all excellent. The film has a good plot, complex character development, depth, and subtlety. In short, it’s a very good summer movie which must be be seen on the BS. Even if you’ve never seen one of these films, if you see this one, you may find yourself “going ape” for it!