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War for the Planet of the Apes Review (2017) | Epic Conclusion to Caesar’s Tale

War for the Planet of the Apes is as alluring as its prequels. The third installment in the franchise doesn’t disappoint either. It has all the goodness inbred that came scuttling down over from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie that we saw in 2014. So it would be safe to say Visual Effects were as stunning as ever. The story treads the aftermath of the collision we saw in the prequel and is taken forward by Woody Harrelson‘s insane character The Colonel. He ignites the events of the tale that ends up swallowing the entire ape community.

Direction and Story of War for the Planet of the Apes (Spoilers Ahead)

Matt Reeves walked in with a premeditated setup that he co-wrote alongside Mark Bomback. The result is an epic story that tries to seethe in Caesar an absent verve of vengeance. Caesar becomes adamant on revenge and becomes so smitten with it that he ends up overlooking his leadership. There is death in his eyes and he wishes to deliver the same to a man who snatched away everything from him.

The direction is paced slow for us to feel the right emotional vibes, connect with the protagonist, to understand why he does what he does. He chooses revenge, letting his guard down, losing his cool, which doesn’t end well for him. Locked in a cage with his entire community he ends up becoming vulnerable. Watching their leader stranded in a similar fate, many of the apes feel disappointed and lost.

Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes

But he stands for them being the leader he was and ignites that spark of hope in them all over again. He has friends on the outside that help him concoct an escape plan that he then later executes but he can’t let go of that sense of vengeance. So he ventures in to smite at the Colonel’s gate as the rest of the apes try to escape.

The Colonel’s Fate

In a discussion with Caesar, The Colonel spews out how he chose to wipe out humans who were affected by the Simian flu that included his own child too. It was his answer to devolution as the Simian virus was ending up reversing nature’s plan by turning the human mindset into that of apes. Owing to Colonel’s revolting plans there was a whole army knocking at his door to win their internal war.

Whilst some might have been rooting for an epic showdown, the Colonel ends up being a victim to the Simian flu himself. It was like poetic justice delivered on him by nature itself. He becomes what he wanted the world to dread. He ends up taking his own life pulling the trigger on himself.

The Bad Ape Angle

We have a fun character in the form of Bad Ape (Steve Zahn) who is an ape Caesar finds in a hideout. He brings in some humour to the otherwise grim tale using his clumsy acts and broken English. He is an absolute fun charmer and he helps in breaking that sadistic monotony that runs for the major part of the flick.

bad ape in war for the planet of the apes

If I might stretch that moniker further, the flick also has Koban elements written all over it. There is a hint of Koba in his follower apes who have chosen to help the humans and are killing their own kind without batting an eye. We see that in the form of betrayal twice and you can’t help but feel bad for Caesar. It is like even though the evil is broken, there would always be its shards left out in some who would still end up coming after you.

Koba is also referenced when Maurice points out to Caesar in his attempt to deliver justice he has become Koba himself. When the lights in Caesar’s head begins to flicker, we get to see Koba twice as he grins to the reality that faces Caesar. He had indeed become Koba in his madness to avenge his wife and child. He had put his entire ape community in danger by leaving them without a leader. That broken shard had got him too.

Humanity a Curse

There is another important point worth noticing in the flick. It is that of mercy that Caesar shows to the people who came to kill him and his fellow apes. Whilst it is hard for people to get it, and it probably might have furrowed some angry brows in the audience too, it is a thing that sounds so not like humans.

We are not savages.

Caesar wants to make a point by letting some of The Colonel’s men live. And the same night we see The Colonel barging on their doors to kill him. It makes you want to hate mankind instantly for that. Why would one do that? Why can’t they choose peace? What is it with the ego?

The worst feeling is when the guy who had returned to safety owing to Caesar, ends up wanting to shoot Caesar as if he was obliged to. It is insanely inhumane of him to do that. That’s also where you want to rip his heart out for being a complete ungrateful douche.

The Good Left in Humanity

Whilst the writers of War for the Planet of the Apes paint a picture of a dystopian world where everything human makes you want to retch, we have also been presented a character of a mute girl Nova (Amiah Miller) who speaks a thousand words without saying anything. She is a subtle wink on how human innocence is the only thing worth cherishing. And that innocence can only be found in a child. Children only register things that are “immediate” without having an understanding of the background.

Nova doesn’t realize she is sick of the Simian, that finding her would mean people hunting her. Her ballsy act can be witnessed in the part where she walks in to save Caesar by offering him food and water. She is unperturbed by who might see her around helping out the apes and yet she does the right thing. Nova saves Caesar by helping him stand on his feet.

Nova in war for the planet of the apes

She is probably the only thing good about humans that Caesar too comes to terms with.

You can order War for the Planet of the Apes from here: The Farewell

In a world of cinematic universes where people choose to retire, (and it’s been aptly done so far with the likes of Creed and Logan doing us the honors) apes had to do it too. They had to part with their extraordinary leader Caesar and his run had to be the most revered of all times. Caesar gets a franchise he deserves, as Matt Reeves allows him to call it quits.

Andy Serkis served us good, and even though we wanted to see more of him, it was time his character was put to rest too. He is like a God to all apes and without the direction he had shown his fellow apes it would have been hard for any of them to even stand a chance. That being said the future will now be written on the grave of Caesar as apes would remember his colossal sacrifice.

The Final Verdict

War for the Planet of the Apes deserves every accolade there is. It is a conclusive part that celebrates the character of Caesar the most as we see him dwindle and then rise again like the warrior he is. It teaches us so many values in the form of mercy, that nature has its own way of punishing, that nothing good ever comes of revenge and that there is still some good left in the world.

Epic conclusion to the Caesar saga!

Check out the trailer of War for the Planet of the Apes movie:

In the Heart of the Sea Review (2015)

“My soul is dead.”

A poetic and arresting take on one of the deadliest fictional water beasts.

Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea is an entirely different take on Moby Dick, a different vantage that pays tribute to the most beloved tales of all times. The plot begins with Herman Melville played by a bearded Ben Whishaw visiting Nickerson, a survivor of the Whaleship Essex that went down owing to a tragedy that befell the entire crew when they encountered a gigantic sperm whale. Melville is bent on squeezing out the horror from Nickerson’s eyes into his leaflets because he believes it to be one of the greatest stories he has ever come across.

Philbrick’s perspective is exceptional. Ron Howard cashes in on it just fine. He follows the tale with eye threatening close ups and water-shots to jackhammer the dread quotient. Wonderful whale shots have been captured. Essex-sailing, the squall, whale-hunting have been depicted splendidly. It was a joy to watch the beast breathe alive for the first time in the sea. The size of that thing! The satellite shot ensured the audience scaled it amidst puny boats.

The better part of the movie runs in a diegesis which has been brilliantly written. The score often moves around the soothing notes of a viola that makes the flick a heartwarming watch. Whales have been subtly shown, never given a proper focus, reflecting – just like you would be bewitched by its swiftness in real life. The beast is a beauty! Tiniest of details on its flank have been manifested subtly. Then there is that badass tail. Watch that beauty surge!

What In the Heart of the Sea fails to milk is the “Chase-Pollard” rivalry. It had no Rush charm to it. Coffin’s role too seemed like a cameo which could have possibly unfurled into a possible brilliant feud. The young Nickerson played by Tom Holland was simply an eye in a tale. His character adds little value to an ongoing stream. Tom is an outstanding actor however he gets lost under the doldrums of their unfortunate tragedy, and often gets overshadowed by the movie’s protagonists. Matthew Joy’s character seemed like a crucial build; however Murphy wasn’t allowed to show off his acting prowess. Flick’s editing made sure of that.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

One of the hardest choices Chase has to make when he finally gets a clean shot on the whale and he chooses not to take it. Whilst the writer leaves that bit for viewer interpretation, it is quite poetic if you really look at it. Chase was convinced they were flung into the jaws of chaos owing to the job they did. He throws the idea to Pollard in one of the finest conversations they had in the entire movie. He starts to believe everything they went through was because they were hunting and killing whales for profit. He takes the sperm whale to be an eye-opener.

He looks it in the eye and whilst the world wonders why he doesn’t budge, he silently lets the beast go thus saving his crew from another mishap. All those segments have been beautifully depicted by Ron. It is really hard to show such bits via a movie but he nails it anyhow.

Also the survival tale reeks of an emotional trauma when the crew resorts to cannibalism. It hasn’t been depicted but the words and the diegetic tone are enough to give you an idea. It is a terrible thing to have happened. Howard ensures he keeps things subtle whilst touching such a delicate topic.

Charles Leavitt’s screenplay is downright gorgeous. There isn’t a moment you don’t marvel at his beautiful words. They are drenched in literary awesomeness. There are so many points wherein I felt my ears tingle with powerful words.

I would highly recommend this movie to everyone. It is a beautiful tribute to Herman Melville and his super-rad legendary creation Moby Dick.

Jurassic World Review (2015)

Jurassic World gives you the nostalgic jitters. Colin Trevorrow is no Spielberg. Yet he tries to nail an awesome project into the right groove. Jurassic World is a constantly entertaining, at times dramatic, thrilling joyride into the lost dino theme. We are introduced to the most dreadful, villainous and invincible creatures of all times, Indominus Rex, the hybrid that manifests multiple traits. She is relentless, aggressive, highly intelligent and untamable and she kills for sport. Things look pretty bad right there, huh! Wait till you see the other pack of dinos that Jurassic World hatches.

The story of the movie is technically quite similar to the originals however it races in as a sequel to them. The plot is a little bit predictable but Trevorrow manages to unfurl it gorgeously at the right dire moments.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Dinosaurs are living things. They can communicate, understand each other, work as a team to topple the bad and avenge! Jurassic World runs on this very theme. It also exalts the brave, with Chris Pratt doing us the honours under the skin of Owen Grady, a relentless bad-ass who would do anything to save lives. A messed-up Claire played by Bryce Dallas Howard who thinks these animals are mere assets that don’t feel a thing, however has a change of heart at a later stage when she sympathizes with one. Two kids who are on their holiday to explore the park and a lot of tourists who are there just for fun. Irrfan Khan does a brilliant job as Masrani with his engaged acting. Vincent D’Onofrio too does a fine job with his character trying to milk opportunities. BD Wong has a short but powerful cameo and reprises his role as Dr. Henry Wu.

There are many Easter eggs in the flick that would throw you into the pits of nostalgia. Many references are made to Hammond and his mistakes, a revisit to the previous Jurassic Park place, the aviary aftermath with Pteranodons, ruthless Velociraptors, the red burning flare, the unflinching T-Rex and the deafening triumphant growl of the Rex everything simply takes you back in time.

Screenplay is well written if we concentrate only the first half of the movie. There are brilliant conversations between Masrani, Wu, Hoskins and Owen that pack in the dramatic quotient to the flick.

The movie however fails to revive the fear that all its prequels breathed on. Nobody is really afraid of dinosaurs. With Pratt doing ballsy stuff, you suddenly aren’t afraid of dinosaurs. Next thing you know even Claire goes on to summon a frigging T-Rex with a flare. We used to pee our pants with a Velociraptor around, and they are literally dancing with the dinos! Kids in the movie too don’t have much to do in the climactic scenes. Nature plays survival of the fittest once again and humans become mere spectators of destruction. In the end it boils down to teamwork and overpowering your killer instinct like valued lessons for humans which become a little indigestible.

After the attack of the Pterosaurs, the movie tries to dive into the dark from where things become a little shoddy. Editing goes a little poor there considering the classic frame cuts in the first half. Profundity in the characters of Claire and Owen loses its charm, and suddenly Owen is open for some Hoskins change. Claire’s change of heart has no gravity or a backdrop screenplay to nail the effect. There is no scientific rendezvous unlike its prequel. Also, sometimes you wish the family drama to be a bit engaging. Some flaws pop up too but apart from these little things the movie is a complete entertaining package into the past.

Watch and reminisce!