The third of the 21st century Apes movies (following on from Rise… and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes), this takes place a couple of years after the explosive events of the previous movie. Intelligent ape Caesar (Serkis), along with his followers and family, are living peacefully in the forests. That is, until soldiers led by Woody Harrelson’s shaven-headed The Colonel decide to attack their woodland home, leaving Caesar with just one option – retaliation.
Haunted by visions of nasty ape Koba (Toby Kebbell), the Caesar of this movie is conflicted, angry, vengeful and in pain, and Serkis once again delivers a powerhouse performance as the tortured ape. He brings heart to a movie that is part furry Apocalypse Now as he and a handful of apes head up river on their mission of revenge, part war adventure and even part family drama as the group expands to include a comical ex-zoo captive named Bad Ape (Steve Zahn) and a mute orphaned human girl (Miller).
Slightly slow in places, this is darker and more brooding than the previous movies, but when a set piece comes it is simply stunning, from the initial soldier attack to an edge-of-the-seat finale escape. Throughout, it is Serkis and the jaw-dropping visual effects that deserve all the praise, and leave you hoping that there will be more instalments to come for this impressive movie series.
Is War For The Planet Of The Apes suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This is a 12A certificate in the UK and PG-13 in the US and is aimed at adults and older children. There are numerous fights, battles, and explosions throughout the movie and injuries are often shown.
More specifically, younger viewers (under 11) may find the initial attack far too tense, and upsetting due to the death of one character.
Later in the movie, there are scenes of captured apes that would upset younger viewers, especially as some of the apes are children.
Characters are shot and killed, and one ape is whipped. We also see apes being forced to work, and the bodies of those that have been killed which will be upsetting for the under-11s and sensitive viewers.