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“war for the planet of the apes” movie review

War for the Planet of the Apes

I realize this may shock you — trust me, it shocked me, too — but I kind of loved War for the Planet of the Apes, and found it surprisingly moving.

Of course, I was rooting for the apes.

In this third chapter of the blockbuster franchise, ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) is pitted against the evil Colonel (Woody Harrelson) in an epic war between the two species that’s deeply personal for both.

I was riveted by Caesar who is gentle, caring and whose emotion-filled eyes say it all. Sure, he is also a killer but that’s only because his loved ones are attacked and he has to save the survivors. “I fight only to protect apes,” he says, unlike his human counterparts who fight for so many other stupid reasons.

I had to close my eyes during some of the more violent scenes, especially the ones in which the apes were the victims. I wanted to smash the soldiers’ helmets which read “Monkey killer.”

The movie makes it very clear that talking about our “humanity” in a positive way and calling bad people “animals” is totally inaccurate and should probably be reversed. It’s the apes who actually take an orphaned mute girl under their wing, showing more empathy than her own kind.

War for the Planet of the Apes

When will we acknowledge that other species also love and grieve?

I realize that, during these troubled political times, everything seems to take on new meaning. In this context, War for the Planet of the Apes is a real story for the Resistance. It’s no wonder there’s a burning American flag in the humans’ corner.

At one point, Caesar, whose idealistic goal once was to live in a world where people and apes could co-exist happily, dismays, “I can not escape my hate.” Oh, I hear you, my furry friend. Welcome to the club.

With a rallying cry of “Apes together strong,” he sets out to avenge his losses and make the planet safe for his simian brethren.

All I could think as I watched him was, “Hail, Caesar.”


  1. I just volunteered to takeover as an admin for the “Across the Aisle” FB group. I hope I don’t end up viewing it as my own personal “War for the Planet of the Apes”.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      OMG Suzanne. I specifically didn’t join that group because I’ve had too many run-ins with some of the people, um, across the aisle. There is no reasoning with them. Would love to hear your experiences. Wish you lots of luck 🙂

  2. Thanks for the review!

  3. Now I am interested. I am sure I will cheer for the apes too!

  4. The apes look adorable. I can’t see anything with violennce, though. So not for me!

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