The first reviews for War for the Planet of the Apes have hit the web now that the embargo has lifted.
After the critical and commercial success of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes which managed to take $710 million at the worldwide box office, director Matt Reeves was brought back to helm the conclusion to Caesar’s journey which finds the apes left without a choice to fight when a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson) leads humanity into a war to take back the Earth.
The film has landed on Rotten Tomatoes with a current 95% after 41 reviews. For the most part, War has been positively received, being regarded as a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy with high praise given to Reeves as well as composer Michael Giacchino for his score, however, much of the drawback seems to be two-dimensional human characters (a trend seen in all of the recent Apes films) and some disappointment regarding the war aspect of the film itself as some felt the marketing set improper expectations.
You can check out what the critics are saying below.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy:
It won’t take long for fans of the first two entries to be seduced once again into the world that Matt Reeves fashioned in Dawn and elaborates upon in War (the first entry, directed by Rupert Wyatt, was largely urban-set); the moist dark greens of the apes’ adopted habitat have once again been intoxicatingly captured by cinematographer Michael Seresin, and he and Reeves come close to overusing dramatic crane shots in their eagerness to display this pristine environment in its full glory. The sheer beauty of the film is intense (and one scarcely misses the 3D employed on the prior outing).
Variety’s Peter Debruge:
Reeves asks us to empathize with Caesar on a quest that defies everything the character has previously stood for, then gives him an easy way out when it finally comes time to exact his revenge. Likewise, he promises a war movie, then delivers a show-stopping avalanche at precisely the moment both sides are expected to do battle. By quoting from some of cinema’s best adventure movies, Reeves has safely satisfied the fanboy contingent, and yet the ease with which he eradicates the human race betrays an alarming soullessness that even the most pixel-perfect performance-capture can’t excuse.
Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty:
When Caesar finally reaches the Colonel’s fortified mountain compound, he sees his fellow apes in chains as prisoners. Or are they bait? Caesar and his team need to break them out in true McQueen/Bronson style. If War occasionally lapses into mawkish, melodramatic moments it doesn’t need (or that Reeves’ and Mark Bomback’s script can’t fully support—apparently apes can be as corny as humans), War more than makes up for it with sequences of such eye-candy spectacle you won’t cry foul. I’m not sure where the Apes franchise goes from here exactly. Or if it even goes anywhere. But if this is the series’ swan song, it’s going out on top.
USA Today’s Brian Truitt
HeyUGuys‘ Stefan Pape:
With an indelible, dark aesthetic and a breathtaking set design, director Matt Reeves has crafted one of the defining war movies of our time, with a distinct inclination to thrive in his sense of impartiality. Naturally we side with Caesar as the hero of the piece, but we meet apes who are a traitor to their species, and we meet compassionate human beings, looking more so into inherent personality traits and enforcing the idea that we’re just like our animal counterparts. As a result we study war in a very simplistic way, almost primitive, taking it back to basics as we cast our eye over intrinsic emotions and the way we operate as a species.
So what do you think? Will you be going to see the film opening weekend? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out our review of the film here.