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War for the Planet of the Apes


Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Toby Kebbell, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller, Judy Greer, Terry Notary

Director: Matt Reeves

Scenes staged with painterly precision, notably the 'tableau' ending, underline the ambition of director Reeves' latest entry into the 'Apes' franchise, which struggles somewhat to justify its title, in spite of a dynamic opening sequence in which an ape stronghold is attacked by human forces.

But some dodgy CGI effects, an often slow-moving scenario and a plot that should occupy about half of its allotted 140 minutes, take the film a notch down on its two predecessors.

Some of the apes here are beginning to look more like monsters from Hollywood horror films of the 1940s, and are not even up to the standard of the Charlton Heston original from the 1960s, although Konoval is to be congratulated for bringing wordless personality to the giant orangutan Maurice, through a series of whistles and snuffles.

The film bursts into life in an explosive last 20 minutes, but it's a long wait.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour (unspecified).
137 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 24 Nov 2017

DVD review