RATING: 4 out of 5
When the trailer for “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” first came out in 2011, I had to admit that I was bit cynical. Tim Burton’s terrible “Planet of the Apes” movie left a bad taste in the mouth of many viewers so nobody really expected that a reboot was in the cards anytime soon. It seemed like another example of Hollywood running out of new ideas and trying to revive a property that no one was really clamoring for. Fast forward to 2017, and “Apes” turned out to be one of the best movie franchises in recent history. “War of the Planet of the Apes” which was just released in the Philippines this week capped an epic trilogy.
Six years ago hindi ako masyadong interesado sa “Planet of the Apes”, but now I wish they’d make 5 more movies about it. Gumawa nga sila ng walong pelikula na umiikot lang sa konseptong nagmamaneho ng mabilis si Vin Diesel at makintab niyang ulo e, bakit naman hindi kayang pahabain ang “Planet of the Apes” di ba?!
“War of the Planet of the Apes” follows the events of “Dawn” and the battle between humans and apes is at its peak. Caesar (Andy Serkis), the leader of the apes and quite literally the epitome of the term “matalinong matsing“, has offered the humans a truce if they’d leave the apes to live in peace in the middle of a dense forest. But a mysterious Colonel (Woody Harrelson) who leads an army of US Special Forces won’t have any of it. Things take a turn for the worse when the Colonel attacks the enclave of the apes which results in Caesar suffering unimaginable losses. Caesar now takes it upon himself to kill the Colonel and avenge his kind.
The heart and soul of the whole “Apes” franchise is of course Caesar and it’s great to see his character evolve throughout the three films. He started out as a pet in “Rise”, very timid and trusting of humans until certain events in his life changed him forever. One of those of course is Draco Malfoy poking him with an electric stick and blasting him with water from a hose. (Sa Harry Potter pa lang, ulol na talaga yang si Draco Mafloy e) He then came into his own as a leader in “Dawn” and he’s become a full-fledged military leader and family man in “War”. He now speaks much more clearly and is visibly much smarter than he was before. He’s almost human by now, but a human that has the strength to break your dick in half if he mistakes it for a banana. (Enjoy the mental image!)
Ang isa sa mga pinaka-gusto kong eksena sa movie na nag-highlight ng dominance ni Caesar over the other apes ay nung napayuko yung gorilla sa isang tingin lang ni Caesar. You can give Caesar a shotgun and a horse but you really can’t get any more badass than that. It’s the real-life equivalent of myself giving The Rock a look and him bowing his head in fear kahit na kaya niyang baliin yung leeg ko na parang toothpick. At this point, Caesar is almost like the Michael Corleone of apes. Tingnan ka lang nanginginig ka na.
One of the most amazing things for me about this movie is how it makes us sympathize with the apes and root for the extinction of the human race. Unlike the two previous movies, “War” is told using only the perspective of the apes that’s why there’s more of a tendency to feel sympathy towards the apes. The movie kinda makes you feel like you’re betraying your own species. You sympathize with the apes because it wasn’t exactly their fault that the humans are dying out. They’re the reason but they’re not the ones to blame. You can credit that to outstanding writing but it also took us three movies of consistent and fantastic performances by Andy Serkis as Caesar.
Real talk lang muna tayo sandali, how is it that Andy Serkis hasn’t won an Oscar yet for giving us characters such as Gollum, King Kong, and Caesar. Dahil ba motion capture lang? If anything, you can actually argue that what he’s doing is actually much more difficult than a regular actor. Sadly, I don’t think he’ll end up winning an Oscar for “War” but I do hope that he gets to win one someday. Kahit Lifetime Achievement Award siguro ilang taon nang umaarteng unggoy si Andy Serkis! At this point baka mas unggoy na siya kesa tao maawa naman tayo!
The movie is book-ended by major battle scenes in the beginning and another one at the end so audiences may find the lull in the middle to be a bit boring. But I didn’t mind because I thought it was important to the overall story. You can almost consider “War” as “Anti-Transformers” in the sense that there are parts where it’s more quiet and introspective and it doesn’t feel the need to be loud all the time. That’s a rare quality for a summer blockbuster and that’s why “War of the Planet of the Apes” and the rest of the franchise stands out in my book. It’s one of those rare movies na kahit nakakatatlo ka na, hindi ka pa nagsasawa at gusto mo pang ituloy nila. And I’m almost certain that they will.
All hail, Caesar!
War for the Planet of the Apes is now out in cinemas in the Philippines.