Written by Heyward
Review War for the Planet of the Apes 2017 An Astounding Piece of Cinema and An Award Winning Movie in Every Way
Many movies are terribly overrated today but War for the Planet of the Apes is the real genuine item. This movie far exceeded my expectations in astounding ways. Reeves epic is a superb movie that is beautifully shot with sweeping vistas and action sequences. A movie with Oscar worthy performances at every turn. It is beautifully edited and flows seemingly perfectly. The movie is incredibly entertaining and well written. It is also full of intellect, substance, metaphor, humor, and emotion. It is an award worthy film in every aspect and closes out this revamped Planet of the Apes trilogy in spectacular fashion. Michael Giachianno’s score is incredible and sets the tone for a lot of the movie. It is tribal, beautiful, and perfectly suits the world of Reeves’ Planet of the Ape. It may be the best closing movie in a trilogy topping The Dark Knight Rises, Return of the King, Revenge of the Sith, and Return of the Jedi.
Reeves is quickly moving to the head of the class as the top film maker in the land known as Hollywood. As Reeves moves in to the world of Batman DC and Batman fans have a lot to be excited about. Matt Reeves is one of the most underrated film makers and he has been able to do what few film makers can do and that is catch lightning in a bottle again and again. Reeves seems adapt at it. He managed to capture the magic and spark of 1968’s Planet of the Apes and he did it without the benefit of Hollywood icon and actor Charlton Heston and all without all the great sci-fi fantasy writer Rod Serling. Reeves rivals Franklin J. Schaeffner one of the great underrated directors of all time who crafted Patton and the man who made the original Planet of the Apes a reality with an eye, style, and flair that few directors can capture. When you put all of this in perspective Reeves has made history. Amazingly Reeves caught lightning again by outdoing his previous masterpiece Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Dawn an astounding movie in its own right was one of the best movies of 2014. Dawn was a beautiful metaphor for the tragedy of the American Indian or any tribal culture that is subjected to tyranny, fear, oppression, and imperialism. Reeves explores oppression and tyranny again in a powerful way and evokes the horrors and pain of slavery. The metaphors for slavery are strong in this movie and this movie shows how insecurity will often drive desperate insecure leaders to tyranny. Tyranny always subjects and oppress others to feel secure about themselves and their pursuit of power. One of the movies most powerful themes is that “the survival of the fittest” philosophy is flawed, merciless, heartless, and ultimately futile when it comes to cultures. The theory may apply to an animals’ survival in a ruthless world but it does not have to be a hopeless truth. As people cultures can rise above our corrupt instincts. With truth and hope we can have the initiative to rise above hatred, oppression, and tyranny. Through faith, compassion, and love we can be greater than any philosophy that only supports the strong. Reeves demonstrates that cultures survive and become great when their values are based on grace (underserved favor), mercy, kindness, forgiveness and freedom.
Reeves’ War for the Planet tops Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Rupert Wyatt’s great Rise of the Planet of the Apes which is no small feat. These movies have set the modern standard for great science fiction and without a doubt War is the best movie of this trilogy. For my money all of these recent Apes movies have been sensational and have enriched and layered the Planet of the Apes universe. I have great respect for Matt Reeves and Rupert Wyatt for what these directors have accomplished with the help of accomplished screen writing. The original Apes movies were loaded with metaphor and social commentary about exposing suppressed truth and relentlessly pursuing it. The original movies challenged their audiences but at times easily gave in to camp. They were also extremely nihilistic offering little or no hope. This new trilogy further expands upon this but shows how seemingly vile, nihilistic, and hopeless life can be when we abandon love, mercy, and truth. It shows how the character of man can become selfish, corrupt, ruthless, and oppressive when we emotionally transfer all our insecurities, fears, broken dreams, and grief on to others. No culture or people should be exploited for power and greed. No culture should ever be a scapegoat for our disappointment and disappointment in life. War should win many Oscars and for my money and it should win Best Picture. It is astounding science fiction that provides enlightening metaphors and commentary but really it is an astounding movie. It will be curious to see where Fox goes from here with the Planet of the Apes universe. It will be difficult to top this powerful trilogy. Lucasfilm and other studios can learn a lot from this powerful emotional and intellectual film.