California School of the Arts

‘Planet of the Apes’ movie series review

The “Planet of the Apes” movie series, the 20th century reboot of the original franchise, has astounded the world with a moving plot, incredible CGI effects, and unforgettable characters. With the first “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, our main protagonist ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) became one of the smartest apes on the planet through a viral-based drug. Caesar is exposed to the outside world and is treated like an animal. Through his anger, he releases the drug onto the world and apes are quickly evolving. Together, the apes must fight against human forces, which have deemed the apes as monsters.

The first film blew the world away with the idea of semi-evolved apes coming to power. With the emotional story of Caesar and his owner, Will Rodman, I fell in love with the characters and their relationships. Andy Serkis demonstrates his skill at acting with the motion capture technology and the CGI was unbelievable. The plot was moving and adventurous, however, this was only the exposition to the amazing trilogy.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” featured Caesar and his son, Blue Eyes. The Simian Flu has wiped out the world, leaving only a few human survivors. The story takes place a couple of years after the first. The apes have built up a village in the mountains, but when they run into a human settlement, tension builds. Koba, a scarred ape from experimental mistreatment, holds a grudge against the humans. With a few other apes, Koba turns the humans against the apes and sparks a war. Caesar and those loyal to him must turn the tide of the battle.

This second film builds intensity in the lives of the apes. Although most people cannot relate to an evolving ape, I find Caesar more compelling than any other human character through his character development as a leader. The storyline never feels rushed; it builds up to the climax and explodes onto the scene for the audience to enjoy. The movie perfects the portrayal of the sophisticated, mysterious creatures.

In the upcoming film “War for the Planet of the Apes,” a bloodthirsty Colonel and his troops threaten the lives of hundreds of apes. With the introduction to other, lovable apes, as well as a human girl, the movie highlights the apes and human interactions. Caesar fights his internal battles after the Colonel murders some of his loved ones, struggling against the anger and urge to avenge the ones he has lost.

The most climatic movie of the trilogy has arrived. What I enjoyed about the antagonist, the all-powerful Colonel, however evil as may be, is that he has somewhat justified reasons to kill the apes, yet the wars have driven him slightly crazy in the head. The plot moves quickly, yet never seems to end with each complication that Caesar must overcome. The true intelligence of these apes is really brought out in the last film. The comic relief character, “Bad Ape,” brought laughter to the audience and turned out to be a great addition to the “Planet of the Apes” universe. The ending was quite satisfying and emotional. I believe it touched my heart as well as the hearts of the rest of the audience.

Overall, the trilogy has continued to amaze me with each film. It has stirred my sentiments, kept me on edge, and has always left me wanting more. The universe of the “Planet of the Apes” is definitely unforgettable.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” releases in theaters July 14.