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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk (Spoiler Edition) => Topic started by: DarkeningHumour on July 28, 2017, 11:04:22 AM

Title: War for the Planet of the Apes
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 28, 2017, 11:04:22 AM
War for the Planet of the Apes
Matt Reeves (2017)[/b]

I think I've got it. I know what these movies are always about, their common theme. They are stories about compromises and hard choices, about how nothing can ever go as planned or as you wished, about making tough choices in difficult situations and living with them. To be with his people Cesar must leave his family. A carefully managed peace is shattered by the chaotic fervour of rogue elements. War for the Planet of the Apes is replete with bitter choices and unsatisfying resolutions.

That's what the apes are there to show us and the rest is just window dressing. Really fun window dressing though, like the window is connected to your Xbox and you can playing videogames on it. It nails what most action movies are utterly unable to even approach. Cesar's arc is one of the most rich in recent memory and I would have trouble thinking about a blockbuster trilogy with similar wealth. Every gives a handful of secondary characters a chance to shine. They have stories, personalities, they actually matter. Insanity. Everyone's motivations are clear and they are never simplistic. The villains in the Apes movies are never out to destroy the world because reasons, they are compelled by understandable beliefs that you can empathise with.

It's difficult to compare this movie with Dawn. The decisions the screenwriters take about which story to tell are unfathomable in both cases, but I just roll with it. The second episode had perhaps a narrative that I am more naturally drawn to, about the inevitability of conflict despite the unwillingness of the leaders. This one is more all over the place - it has more themes, but it is also less cohesive as a result. The story is less compelling.

It does have a good villain though, and there is one action scene that is like nothing I have ever watched. In the twentieth century the US has no military equal, so no movies have ever shown the American armed forces facing a similarly formidable adversary. This movie gives you that, and it't pretty baller. There are also a few fantastic scenes of pathos and lyricism that elevate the movie, and for once, I actually laughed at the comic relief character. This is the movie that concludes Cesar's story, turning the leader into a messiah. I was a bit underwhelmed by his achievements. In the Apes lore, Cesar is supposed to have ushered a new civilisation. And yet, there is somehting poetic about that last scene.

Title: Re: War for the Planet of the Apes
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 28, 2017, 11:05:46 AM
It seems odd that they have a single extra movie planned for the series. If the trilogy is the arc of Cesar's life, what is the fourth movie about? Are they starting a new arc that only spans a movie? Or are there more episodes in the works in truth?
Title: Re: War for the Planet of the Apes
Post by: Junior on July 28, 2017, 11:56:38 AM
There's a heck of a lot of setup to do a remake of the original Planet of the Apes movie in this one. People losing their ability to talk and do complex tasks is a major one, Nova is the name of a human who can't talk in the original, the "good" ape in the original is named Cornelius, and there's a pretty big implication that Maurice becomes the Law-Giver who kind of set the rules for how apes live. The apes also live in a place like the one they went to at the end of this film. The first film also sent a group of 3 astronauts into space at the beginning (or maybe the end? in the credits or something?) and there's an underground cult of mutant humans in Beneath the Planet of the Apes that has something to do with a bomb they call the Alpha and Omega, much like the rogue military group at the center of this film. Any one of these might have been a fun shoutout to fans of the series, but all of them together indicate that they're going to do something of a remake of the original film as the final(?) movie in the series.

There are a lot of interesting things about that proposition, though. The first is that the twist is ruined. Of course this is Earth, so that can't be the end. Maybe they'll try to have another twist, maybe not. The other is a smaller matter, but the original happens around the area that used to be New York and there's a time jump for the astronauts that explains how the apes could have taken over and built a culture up. If the Nova and Cornelius from this movie are going to be the Nova and Cornelius in a sequel set like 20 years from War, that's not going to be as big a difference. I'm sure they've got ideas to work with for this, but it's kinda fun to think about if you're a big old nerd like me.
Title: Re: War for the Planet of the Apes
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 28, 2017, 12:05:17 PM
But the whole point of the original Apes is that the apes are astounded at discovering an intelligent human. In the remake you're describing that would be impossible. What would be the story, the astronauts get back to Earth and integrate ape society, like Nova does, with no conflict because everyone is used to intelligent humans?

I think I'd like to see an entire trilogy set ages after this one. A clean slate, new characters, new arcs. The arc of this community died with Cesar.
Title: Re: War for the Planet of the Apes
Post by: Junior on July 28, 2017, 01:00:23 PM
I agree, there'd have to be some changes to make everything work, and that is a pretty big problem. I would like to see a version of the original from the apes' perspective, though, and that might be a way to go. Maybe it'd work because Cornelius is so young here? I'm not super sure what they'd do, but there's so freaking much in the movie that connects to the original to just ignore, I think.
Title: Re: War for the Planet of the Apes
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 28, 2017, 06:24:11 PM
I think they're just Easter eggs. Wither that, or the next one is going to pick up with those characters, but the story it is going to tell will not be a retread of the original.