With all due respect to King Kong, it has become apparent that Andy Serkis is the Alpha on screen in this conclusion to a successful reboot/remake trilogy that turns a grown man in a leotard into an Oscar worthy performance. Hail Caesar!
Five years after the end of Dawn and the Ape/Human war isn’t going so well for Caesar (Serkis) and his army. Not only does he have to contend with human soldiers out for blood, but also Koba loyalists who are aiding the humans against Caesar out of a combination of spite and survival. After a battle with humans and their Ape ‘’donkeys’’, Caesar releases the prisoners to return to their leader with the message of truce, shortly after Caesar’s son Blue-Eyes and his lieutenant Rocket return to inform that they have found a suitable new home for the apes.
But that night more soldiers storm the ape home and in the ensuing scuffle, Caesar’s wife and son are killed by the leader of the human soldiers Colonel (his uniform reads ‘’McCullough’’ but everyone just refers to his title). After the attack Caesar sends the other apes into the desert to the new home, while Caesar himself goes on a one ape quest for revenge, but despite his bitter protests his closest allies join him, Maurice the orangutan, Rocket the chimp and Luca the gorilla.
Along the way they meet a mute human girl, whom Maurice adopts (he was a circus orangutan so naturally he’d be good with children) and subsequently names Nova as a cute little nod to the original Apes. They find the soldiers camp and Caesar is forced to kill Winter, an ape defector, the act of which weighs heavily on Caesar’s conscious to the point where Koba’s ghost haunts him. Soon after they meet Bad Ape, another intelligent chimp who guides Caesar and company to the base where the Colonel and his troops-calling themselves the Alpha-Omega- live.
Instead of cooking delicious fried chicken, this Colonel (Woody Harrelson) has rounded up Caesar’s herd and is using them as forced labor to build a wall( insert joke here) to keep out another approaching army. Turns out the reason Nova- and other humans the apes met- can’t speak is because the Simian flu which evolved the apes and killed most of humanity has mutated. The surviving humans genetically immune to the initial outbreak are now susceptible to de-evolution, losing their ability to speak and higher functions. The Colonel was forced to kill his own son, and now the Alpha-Omega are purging anyone who is infected, which is why the other army is opposed to the Colonel and his brutality.
So while Caesar is strung up and captured, it’s up to the others to rescue him and the other apes before war arrives. An epic struggle for the fate of the world that will determine just who is the dominant species is, War brings this trilogy to a highly satisfactory conclusion that ends with a bang, and a whimper. (Seriously how do those ninja’s keep sneaking around cutting onions whenever something emotional just happened?)
By Daniel Murphy