Thursday, August 3, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes
A number of years ago I did a review at Hollywood Jesus on the reboot of Planet of the Apes.  The original movies goes back to my youth and has a special place in my heart. After putting my faith in place of priority in my life, the analogy of being delivered with heavy allegorical associations of Jesus and Moses has been abundantly clear from those early movies. I wrote about this to some extent in my original review of the initial reboot of the Planet of the Apes. My review on that page linked here can be seen by scrolling down the page.  Over the last number of years there has been a more successful reboot of the series and the apparent conclusion to that series, War for the Planet of the Apes, clearly continues that theme, of being delivered. That was abundantly clear in this movie in that immediately after my viewing, I heard several people sitting behind me, in a packed out movie house, some weeks into the movie being in theaters, talking about that very theme. Caesar was just like Moses, delivering his people from a place of captivity, both literal and spiritual, to a promised land.

War for the Planet of the Apes is an outstanding achievement in film. The CGI is so good that it was virtually impossible to distinguish whether the apes in the film are real or not.  There has to be a ton of credit given to the CGI and special effects crews, as well as the actors such as Andy Serkis. His portrayal of Caesar in this movie is one of the reasons the Academy needs to consider an award for roles of this nature. We can't stop there though, CGI and special effects alone should not be a driving force behind whether one sees a movie or not. There has to be story and other aspects to keep the viewer interested in more than just eye candy and on those levels, along with cinematography, a spectacular score, acting and thought provoking themes that has this 2 1/2 hour movie flying by as if one has just finished watching a 30-minute series on television, this movie delivers. 

www.thevirtualpew.comI must also comment on the supporting cast, the young girl, Amiah Miller who plays the human Nova is outstanding and she doesn't say a word the entire movie. Then there is the laugh out loud funny moments provided by Bad Ape played brilliantly to comedic perfection by Stephen Zahn. The only not quite up to par acting part is surprisingly done by Woody Harrelson who plays the human antagonist Colonel. Yet, while Harrelson is not quite up to his award winning performance, his part is so well written that in the end, you can't help but have gone through a wide gamut of emotions regarding his character. Tremendous credit has to also be given to the direction provided, Matt Reeves does an outstanding job.

www.thevirtualpew.comWhile War for the Planet of the Apes could stand as a stand alone movie, it is however beneficial to have seen the pervious renditions of this reboot. They help explore the entire journey these characters have been through and display the captivity, lack of understanding and imprisonment and treatment from the humans over the years. The apes are in many ways, an allegory of many in society who have been abused, not understood and taken advantage of. The movie illustrates the power of the many when they come together, it also illustrates though the importance of a leader who is often needed to bring the masses together.

As stated in the first part of this review, this movie, this story, is in many ways a retelling of the people of the Hebrews and their deliverance from bondage by Moses. It is also the story of a messiah figure who is willing to give up their lives, to make sacrifices for the ones they love. Just like in the Bible that messiah has disciples who will follow him until the end of the earth, even willing to give up their life in the process for the one they love, believe in and follow. There is ultimately the willingness to offer life to others despite their guilt. These are often ones which could be perceived as being worthy of death, yet, in that willingness of a messiah and his followers to ultimately offer love, with forgiveness, there is the love and willingness that will allow the individual to make the decisions they make, even if those decisions ultimately lead to death.  It is a free will decision being offered, not forced and ultimately on the receiver of that gift as to what to do with it.  

www.thevirtualpew.comThere is a reason that people who I have no idea who they are, are talking about the themes related to Moses and Christ after this movie. They are that clear and intentional. One only has to ask, will the metaphor used in the movie, which can be applied to our individual lives as a viewer be taken seriously? What route will we take regarding the decisions we are faced with on a daily basis, ones that can lead to serving, or intending to be served, ones that lead to freedom, or, will ultimately lead to imprisonment? Will we choose the paths before us that can lead to the promised land, the ones that lead to a spiritual and life freedom? 

www.thevirtualpew.comThose types of themes that make this movie well worth watching and thinking about. It is those themes that still has this movie doing extremely well in the theaters and thus, some weeks later, has me motivated to write about it. Is it worth seeing? You bet it is, even if you don't like stories of this type, or at least think you don't, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised at how good this movie is.

On a scale of 1 - 10, to take my last review of a movie which I gave a 6 to, I am turning this review upside down and giving this wonderful film a delightful 9.

 To see the extended video trailer for this movie, click on the video, if this doesn't work, try the following link:

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