Movie Review: The ambitious War For The Planet Of The Apes ends up surrendering to formula

Are the apes—the bipedal, horseback-riding Planet Of The Apes apes—us? Matt Reeves’ War For The Planet Of The Apes, the third and most technically accomplished entry in the Planet Of The Apes prequel series, almost answers this question “no,” and that’s about as close as any of these movies have gotten to breaking with the the original, in which Charlton Heston crash-landed on an all-too-familiar planet where humans had been enslaved by English-speaking, early-industrial chimps, gorillas, and orangutans whose civilization–dum, dum, dum—brought to mind a warped version of our own. In stretches, this new Apes is an audacious, idiosyncratic piece of blockbuster filmmaking: a mix of Pixar, revenge Westerns, and Apocalypse Now, told almost entirely from the point-of-view of a posse of gun-toting, super-evolved apes as they roam the snowy Sierra Nevada foothills of the post-apocalyptic future, accompanied by a mute human girl, and bear …

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