War for the Planet of the Apes - I wanted to see this in theaters but it just never worked out. But WOW. What an incredible movie. I don’t know why it surprised me since it is literally (correct usage of that word!) right there in the title, but this is truly a war movie. And like all good war movies, it’s really an anti war movie. It doesn’t pull any punches and it does a masterful job showing the horror, brutality, and utter loss and devastation that is war. Any victories achieved come at tremendous, near-immeasurable loss.
It’s also a beautiful film. The locations, cinematography, lighting, staging, everything. It’s gorgeous. And that includes the effects. Holy carp the special effects! Mind blowing cgi work here. The apes looked like real creatures. Completely convincing.
The writing, casting, and acting are also superb. I mean A-level, Oscar-winning superb. (Did this film win any oscars? It should have. And if it was only up for SFX the academy should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.) Woody Harrelson and Andy Serkis deliver possibly (probably?) the best performances of their careers here. Flipping fantastic.
I did have one small gripe in that during battles Caesar seemed a bit unbelievably impervious. How many times can you stand within the blast cloud of a grenade, missle, etc. and come out unscathed? They definitely stretched my suspension of disbelief a bit too far a few times with stuff like that.
But even so, that’s a minor complaint. This is easily the best film of 2017. Maybe not my personal favorite (it is an emotionally-challenging war film that ends on a very bittersweet note, after all), but easily the best.