Category Archives: Blog

Wind River

’Danger comes with the territory’’, the tagline say it all. Director Taylor Sheridan takes us on a Wind rivermurder mystery on an Indian reservation in Wyoming, a veritable Third World country in the American heartland. (If only there was someone who could, I dunno, make America great again for its Native citizens, but alas such a person doesn’t exist).

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!

We follow US wildlife agent Cody Lambert (Jeremy Renner), as he takes his son to visit his ex-wife’s Native parents on the Wind River reservation. While tracking a mountain lion that attacked cattle, Lambert discovers the body of Natalie Hensen, a girl who was friends with Lamberts own late daughter. Calling in the Tribal police who in turn call in FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) to investigate. Banner enlists the help of Lambert and his expertise as a tracker to help find Natalie’s killer, Lambert agrees to after promising Natalie’s father Martin that he’ll kill the person responsible.

The autopsy reveals Natalie was raped before escaping, having run six miles in the snow,wind riv 2 barefoot before collapsing from frozen air bursting her lungs. Banner and Lambert then interrogate Natalie’s brother Chip (Martin Sensmeier) who tells them Natalie was dating a white man named Matt (Jon Bernthal). Along with Tribal police they head to the oil refinery where Matt works. Matt’s co-workers attack, a flashback sequence revealing they where the ones who assaulted Natalie and beat Matt to death. In the following shootout, Banner gets blasted; saved only by her Kevlar, while the Tribe cops are all killed, but Lambert shoots the remaining oil workers, gets Banner a medical helicopter and then hunts the last man.

After tracking down Pete, the man responsible for Natalie and Matt’s death, Lambert forces him to confess before letting him run off, where Pete then dies the same way Natalie did. Banner recovers and Lambert returns to Martin to tell him his daughter have been avenged (and you thought I wouldn’t slip an Avengers reference in there, this film has 3 Marvel actors for crying out loud!)

Wind River could best be described as a modern Western, like a western it features a small town,wind riv 3 a killer on the loose and a lone lawman out to bring justice. It also doubles as a social commentary about life on Native American reservations, which are beset by poverty, drugs and mental illness, the Tribal police chief even says how many Natives will get arrested just to have a 3 warm meals and a place to sleep. It also touches on the sexual victimization of Native women, and how they are the highest demographic of missing persons in the US, the characters of Lambert and Matt are motivated to protect the women they love without going into full white savior territory and you do feel for not only them but for all those still resigned to reservations like Wind River.

If you want to check out more police procedurals like this, I recommend Skinwalkers: the Navajo Mysteries available on Netflix or if you’re more of a reader pick up Vertigo comics series Scalped.

By Daniel Murphy

 

 

We All Float Down Here!

Dara O Briain once stated in one of his shows that nostalgia is basically, “heroin for old people…. it4Oh the good old days.” I know what you’re thinking, what has this got to do with, if anything, the new version of Stepehen King’s IT? Well dear reader if you will allow me to indulge for a bit, I will explain. When news broke of this reboot in 2009, I was actually quite happy. Calm down Tim Curry fans, chill the beans. I saw the original miniseries years and years ago. It terrified me, mostly because of Tim Curry truth be told. The miniseries riveted me to the spot and I lost sleep for at least a fortnight. But I re-watched it upon hearing the reboot idea and well meh. The first half of the series stands up but it loses direction for the second half and that ending? Jesus. Woeful. So how does the remake stand up?

Well to be totally honest it blows the original out of the greywater (see what I did there?). The film has been moved out of the 1950’s and is shot into the 80’s, more specifically 1989. One of the many reasons I adored this movie. There are posters of Gremlins, Beetlejuice adorning the kid’s walls and the local movie theatre is showing Batman and later on that faithful summer, rather tellingly A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 5: Dream Warriors.it 3

The posters on the walls belong to the kids central to the plot. Bill, Richie, Ben, Mike, Eddie, Stan and Bev, or as they affectionately call themselves, The Losers Club. These kids are dealing with a lot, an awful lot. That awkward phase that most of us went through, unsure of where you stand in life but comforted by familiar faces and generally having solid friendships. They have to deal with parents that either won’t accept what is happening in the town of Derry, Maine. That is the disappearance of a lot of kids and the suspected cause, the terror that is Pennywise The Dancing Clown (a phenomenal Bill Skasgard, who is absolutely amazing and brings a terrifying clown to life).

They also have to deal with the terror of the high school bully, in this case there are four and are led by your average local sociopath, Henry Bowers, seriously that boy ain’t right! And this is the heart of the story. These kids have a lot to deal with in their everyday lives, terrible adults it 2who should know better, adolescence, puberty, bullies and the clown. Now let’s clear something up here. IT is not Pennywise, there that had to be sorted. It is merely the form the entity, or Bob Gray takes as it is primal fear and very alluring to young kids and even bigger kids! It is merely a face of fear that moulds to fit a person’s particular fear.

Things I Loved about this film:

The Losers Club. Seriously the kids in this movie were all amazing and their chemistry was off the charts. Their adventure over the course of the summer made me laugh and cry. They were the heart and soul of this movie.it 1

Skasgard, Holy Christ, his contorting eyes, his voice, his costume his general existence. Terrifying.

The nostalgia. This movie is a mix of The Goonies and Poltergeist

The effects. I am aware that there was CG used but it looked seamless and was terrifying.

The last fifteen to twenty minutes. No spoilers here but be prepared to cry.

Things I Did Not Love:

We have to wait nearly two years for Part Two!!!! Blast it!!

No all joking aside, go see this movie. It is one of the best King adaptations ever. Loads of heart, scares were not plentiful but I’m glad for that. Modern horrors are mostly rubbish and full of cheesy jump scares which renders the film useless. The cast are phenomenal and you will leave feeling things other than abject fear!

By Jamie T. Murphy

American Made

As  be expected from Tom Cruise, he does a lot of running in this film, only its not a cardioam workout, this time he’s running drugs, guns, guerrilla fighters for the CIA, Cartels, Contra’s and the DEA all over the course of a few years. This is the Barry Seal story.

T.W.A. pilot Barry Seal (Cruise) is recruited by ‘’Schafer’’ (Domhnall Gleeson) for the CIA in 1978, to fly over Latin American countries with Communist affiliations gather intelligence on ‘enemies of democracy’’. Being a hotshot pilot, Barry agrees and pretty soon feels the need, the need for speed (you can be my wingman anytime). However he quickly becomes a victim of his own success, after arriving in Colombia in ’78 he is quickly brought before the future Medellin cartel, including a young Pablo Escobar for any fans of Narcos.am 1

 Instead of killing Barry, they pay him to smuggle cocaine into the US and with his wife Lucy (Sarah Wright) and his children to provide for, Barry does so. After being arrested by Colombian police, Schafer bails Barry out and makes him a new offer, smuggling guns into Nicaragua to arm the Contra’s ‘’freedom fighters’’ against the Communist regime. Schafer also re-locates Barry’s family to Mena, Arkansas, bequeathing him an air field and 300 aches of land. Barry finally tells Lucy the truth and soon they get swept up in the excess and glamour of the 80’s (*snort* HOO! BEST DECADE EVER! ) (y’know, apart from mass incarceration, AIDS and Able Archer…and bad hair)

By ’82 the Seal household is literally overflowing with cash and Barry has expanded his operations to include more pilots, affectionately called ‘’the Snowbirds’’ all the while out running the DEA, ATF and the FBI all at once while Escobar goes crazy and declares war on the Colombian government, and Lucy’s deadbeat brother steals from Barry, gets caught and after he’s taken care of  (we never learn who by) Schafer decides to burst Barry’s bubble and cut off all ties to him and then Barry is arrested but freed by the DEA  and now he’s working for the White House to get pictures incriminating the Medellin and giving the US the justification it needs to am2get behind the Contra’s and oust Communist’s from Central America.

Over the course off the film Barry narrates over old home video recordings he made in ’86 to document his side of things and shed light on the events as they transpired. In fact the director Doug Liman frames every shot like it was taken on an old VHS camera, which is a nice technique and paint the era it was set in. The plot never wastes a minute and every scene serves a purpose, and Barry goes through more alliances and loyalties than 4 seasons of Game of Thrones and after the Mummy flopped Tom Cruise is back on top form, American Made is part documentary, part history lesson, part political drama and an autobiography, all based on a true story about lies.

By Daniel Murphy

 

 

 

Detroit

The word ‘’relevant’’ is used by Hollywood to refer to any film that captures the current climatedetroit in a meaningful way. And sadly, Detroit is very much relevant in America’s social and political landscape today and the truly saddening thing is that once the movie is over and the credits roll, you have to wonder, what, in 50 years, has changed?

July 23 1967. Police arrest patrons at an after hours club over a liquor licence. Dozens of black Detroit citizens are lined up and rounded up in police paddy wagons while a mob demands to know why they are being arrested, shortly after a riot on 12th street breaks out. The story doesn’t follow the riots themselves, but focuses on what happened at the Algiers motel. But before that we need to know the people involved.detroit 2

Philip Krauss, (Will Poulter) Detroit police officer who we first see shooting an unarmed looter in the back but allowed to return to active duty. Algee Smith (Larry Reed) a singer with the soul group ‘’the Dramatics’’, who missed his shot at the big time because of the riots, along wit his friend Aubrey, they had to the Algiers to weather  out the riots where they meet two white girls Karen and Julie Ann whom they befriend. Security guard Melvin Dismukes (John Boyega) is protecting his corner store and decides to try and ease tension by offering National Guardsmen coffee, right when everything goes horribly wrong.

Carl Cooper, one of the Algiers residents, fires a starter pistol with blank rounds, which the National Guard and police mistake for sniper fire, as such they return fire and Carl is shot by Krauss who then plants a knife next to his body. All other residents are arrested –  Algee, Aubrey, Fred, Karen, Julie and Vietnam veteran Greene (Anthony Mackie).

What follows is Krauss interrogating each suspect with threats and taunts demanding to knowdetroit 3 who fired the shots, when he doesn’t get immediate answers he pulls one of them into the other room and pretends to kill him to terrify the others into confession. This goes on for 30 uncomfortable minutes with everyone too scared to say anything as well as honestly not knowing. But Krauss is on a power trip, and one of his fellow officers shoots Aubrey for real, not realising Krauss’s interrogation. The worst part is to Krauss, it was just a game.

Days after the riots died down, Dismukes is arrested for the Algiers murders. Unable to find the starter pistol, Krauss let everyone go providing they never speak about what happened but his fellow officers confess and they all go to trial. But despite the testimony of everyone who Krauss brutalized, the all-white jury finds them not guilty. For everyone else, they go on with their lives knowing justice was never truly served.

No spoiler warning because it’s not a story, its history, of tragedy and how hatred utterly detroit 1destroyed the lives off so many innocent people who had nothing to do with the riots. Like Django Unchained Kathryn Bigelow pulls no punches, and if you feel only uncomfortable after watching Detroit then I say you have it pretty easy.

If you want to learn more I suggest checking out Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th on Netflix or for a more honest and light-hearted take on American race relations, Justin Simien’s satirical Dear White People as well as Jordan Peeles critically acclaimed Get Out.

By Daniel Murphy

The Dark Tower

It’s an oft repeated critique regarding the adaptation of a novel into film, one we’ve all used,dark tower 3 ‘’the book was better’’. Such is the case with Stephan King’s Gunslinger saga centering on the Dark Tower trilogy. Now I confess that I have never read the Master of Maine’s Gunslinger series so I’ll be judging this on its own merits as I am not qualified to speak ad nausea on the nuances of King’s writing. OK? OK.

Jake Chambers, a teenage boy has nightmares and vivid dreams regarding a mysterious tower and a plot to destroy it by a malevolent man in black (Matthew McConaughey). Despite his mother, step-father and therapist all telling him that it’s just a dream and him trying to cope with the death of his father, because he is a teenager in a fantasy setting, he is naturally correct and there is indeed a tower and the man in black’s dark tower 4henchmen, the fake skins, out to capture him.

Evading capture Jake finds himself at a house he saw in his dreams and enters, discovering a portal to Mid-World, where after wandering the desert for a day he meets the other figure in his dreams, the man opposing the man in black, the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba). Roland is initially dismissive of Jake until he tells him about his dreams and the tower and the man in black. Roland tells Jake the man in black is Walter Padrick, a wonderful sorcerer trying to destroy the Dark Tower that stands at the epicenter of all worlds to let the Darkness in.

Walter has been using children to power a machine that damages the Dark Tower by using their Shine- a psychic power that some children possess, just like in The Shining. Apparently Jake’s Shine is ‘’pure’’ and Walter can use him to bring down the Tower single handily. During one of Walter’s attacks on the Tower a demon from the Darkness slips through and attacks Roland before getting six shots of lead for its trouble, but Roland is injured and they head for a village which also has a portal that leads back to ‘’Keystone Earth’’- Jake’s world. After patching themselves up and preparing for a final encounter, they go in pursuit of the Man in Black.dark tower

Much like how Valerian and the city of A Thousand Planets condensed its source material, so too does The Dark Tower. And unfortunately if this is your first introduction to the Gunslinger or Stephan King in general, you may be disappointed. The film is only ninety five minutes long and yet it feels as if not enough is going on, the plot moves forward quickly and the world that King imagined that is presented to us here feels cliched regarding a vague evil plot to destroy the world using Love craftian horrors from beyond the universe, it just feels rather underwhelming like ‘’yeah it’s the apocalypse must be Tuesday’’.

Although the performances by our leading men doesn’t disappoint, while Tom Taylor as Jake is just a very bland Harry Potter, McConaughey and Elba are on top form as the Man in Black and the Gunslinger. McConaughey is charismatic and malevolent, charming but never losing that menace and never letting you forget that. Elba’s performance as Roland really captures the characters sense of lost purpose and his struggle to hold on and fight despite being the last of the Gunslingers, , but as for the Dark Tower  itself and director Nikolaj Arcel, let’s just say they dark tower2have forgotten the face of their father .

(If the kid from the Shining could sense the collapse of the tower, he should have gotten Roland, Andy Dufresne, Carrie, Cujo and the gang from Stand by Me to from Stephan King’s Avengers, now that would be awesome.)

By Daniel Murphy

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review

Strange to think that something so influential that it would go on to inspires Star Wars, and yetvalarian 4 we’re only learning about it now 50 years after. Luc Besson’s French sci-fi graphic novel series Valerian and Laureline has had a cult following for decades, and only now Hollywood is attempted a movie adaptation.

We begin with a montage starting in 1975 with Russian cosmonauts docking on board the international space station, followed by representatives of other nations in the years following, until in 2150 representatives from alien species make first contact, within 400 years the international space station grows to the size of a city amalgamate of alien technology and diverse cultures.

That brings us to the present (future?) with agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Caravalarian 1 Delevingine) on route to a mission aboard there sentient ship Alex. Our intro to the title characters is one big exposition dump and a rather clumsy one, where just given all we need to know about the two, personalities, qualifications, etc, in a bicker some conversation that in no way feels organic. So the gist is Valerian loves Laureline but she doesn’t like him blah blah he’s been waiting for the ‘’right partner’’ (he totally stole that line from Captain America) but enough of that, SPAAACE!

Their mission takes them to Big Market- an inter-dimensional bazaar- to recover a rare Valerian 3specimen, a ‘’converter’’ which is an adorable armadillo dog creature that mass produces whatever you feed it including pearls and diamonds (he and the niffler from Fantastic Beasts would get along famously) before a hasty retreat and arrival on Alpha, the titular City of a Thousand Planets. After securing the converter and slipping into some rejected Mass Effect Armour, they learn there is a radiation leak in the heart of Alpha and before they can be dispatched to investigate, their commander is kidnapped by an alien race from the planet Mul we see at the beginning of the film whose planet was destroyed. Valerian does in search of the commander to try and figure out what is occurring.

For a seemingly simply story, it’s easy to get lost or forget where we are, what follows involves Laureline going on a side quest to find a way to find Valerian, finding him, getting kidnapped herself, and then Valerian having to rescue Laureline from an alien king without causing anvalarian 2 diplomatic incident (I suppose in the future shooting the bad guy and proclaiming ‘’its just been revoked!’’, isn’t a thing anymore). Anyway, to get into the alien palace, Valerian enlists the help of a glamour-pod, a shape shifting alien who works as a burlesque dancer. She name is Bubble (played by Rihanna) and she unfortunately contracts that disease that kills your character after their done being relevant to the plot.

After mourning and subsequently forgetting Bubble, they find the commander and-shock of all shocks, sarcasm of all sarcasm- he’s not really a good guy. Turns out he accidentally destroyed Planet Mul and killed most of its people during a space battle (although ‘’accident’’ is a bit of a stretch) and he’s been trying to cover it up ever since. As you do.

Luc Beeson directs alongside his wife, although sadly this isn’t the best way to promote your creation. The film’s greatest strength is in the world building, showcasing various alien species, cultures, technology it truly feels like a real place in its scope and scale. Our leading duo’s performance is somewhat lacking Delevingine in particular shows little expression in face or voice, and on the subject of Laureline her treatment doesn’t do her justice. She’s either being bossed around by Valerian or having to rescue him (to no thanks I might add), her name is absent from the title when she was one of sci-fi’s first real heroines.

But I can suggest the Valerian and Laureline anime series, now streaming on Crunchy Roll, if your interested and want to see more of Beeson’s universe, until then, to each your own.

By Daniel Murphy

Dunkirk

Hollywood’s long standing love affair with World War 2 is as old as the industry itself, hankeringdunkirk 1 back to the ‘’good old days’’ when the good guys where the good guys and everybody knew who the bad guy was. WW2 movies often detail the personal struggles of the soldiers fighting in the war; such is the case of Dunkirk, Director Christopher Nolan brings to life the story of British troops evacuated from German occupied Europe.

The story begins with a troop of five being gunned down by German soldiers off-screen, as the last Brit, a Private named Tommy manages to escape and make his way to the barricades where French soldiers are holding off the Germans while the British troops prepare to board Destroyers to escape occupied Europe.dunkirk 3

The story is told in three parts, from three different interconnected narratives, part one is the ‘’mole’’ where British troops are awaiting evacuation, part two ‘’the sea’’ where best friends Peter and George take Peter’s Father’s fishing boat and sail to Dunkirk to aid in the exodus, and part three ‘the air’’ showcasing three R.A.F. pilots as they patrol the skies over Dunkirk to protect them against Luftwaffe pilots.

This mosaic of storytelling can feel a bit lackadaisical in places as its jumping from morning to night to the middle of the day, focusing on a different narrative, but it does help paint a concise picture of just how perilous Dunkirk was, the R.A.F being ambushed by Luftwaffe at any time and soon the three are reduced to one, as Tom Hardy’s Captain Farrier is left to guard the skies above Dunkirk solo while he’s running low on fuel. Tommy and his troop getting on-board a Destroyer only to have it struck by a torpedo and then going down in a claustrophobic drowning scene. Peter and George pick up a shell shocked soldier played by Cillain Murphy, whom they lock up, only from him to escape and demand they turn around rather than return to Dunkirk, and when trying to wrest control of the helm, George gets pushed aside and is concussed, when all George ever wanted was to be useful.dunkirk

Dunkirk is certainly ambitious it its scale and the pathos is genuine, but it feels not as epic as it ought to be. There are certainly very tense moments where they’re fighting for their lives and you do wonder who will survive in the end, but we’re not really emotionally invested in these characters. The dialogue is sparse and honestly it feels more like watching human shaped props that are meant to serve as some purveyor of tragedy, but with no real autonomy to themselves. I don’t mean to sound like I’m hating on this, is just the impression I got from watching it, I like to believe Christopher Nolan is a better director than that, because he is, and like I said there is genuine pathos, in fact the most rousing moment is where all the civilian boats come across the channel, luxury yachts, fishing boats to the rescue, and you really feel for the weary soldiers. It doesn’t end on a happy note of course, there is still a war to fight but at least the story ends with Tommy reading Churchill’s ‘’we will fight them’’ speech in the newspaper after he returns home, so out of respect for all the men at Dunkirk, who am I to nitpick?

(Bet if Aquaman showed up at Dunkirk nobody would make jokes about him being lame ever).

By Daniel Murphy

Buddy Holly Story Hits Enniscorthy

I’ve to got to play in front of people.  If I’m not moved how can they be moved – Buddy Hollybuddy cado

If you were born then, or were too young to be part of this exciting period of musical history then you won’t want to miss out on the electrifying party that is BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story!

Experience the ups and downs of Holly’s ‘budding’ musical career as he strives to fulfil his potential genius. The heart-warming tale of a small town all-American boy is told with care, detail and humour. BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story finally explodes into a celebration of youth and lust for life in a re-creation of his last concert at Clear Lake!buddy paper

Producer- Adrienne Murphy “I have been involved with musicals for the past 14 years but Buddy was the one show I always wanted to do. It’s a brilliant story and the music is amazing. I have been so lucky that all the people involved feel the same way that I do, that we really want to pay tribute to Buddy Holly a Rock’n’Roll icon.  Pieta House is for me the natural recipient for the proceeds – like so many people in Wexford I have lost a loved one to suicide, Phillip who was my cousin and my best friend this show is dedicated to him and the rest as they say will just be Rock ‘n’ Roll.

This joyous production will be performed by an amateur cast. The purpose of this production is to raise funds for Pieta House. All proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to Pieta House.

With audiences around the world dancing in the aisles this legendary production hits buddy originalEnniscorthy this summer for 6 nights only. It will be staged in The Presentation Centre with its natural acoustic sound and intimate.  Kicking off Sunday July 30th, 31st, Aug 1st, 2nd, 3rd at 8pm and Matinee on Aug 6th 2pm, tickets €15 in Aid of Pieta House in association Olive Ruane, Sinead Kehoe.
Buddy is a fringe event for Rock ‘n’ Roll Town weekender. Producer – Andrienne Murphy Director- James Power along with Musical Director-Pat Murphy along with local cast and Buddy being performed by Kildare musician Donagh Cadagan promise to have you jiving in the aisles with songs like Peggy Sue, Maybe Baby, La Bamba and Shout.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more details! https://www.facebook.com/BuddyEnniscorthy/

Purchase tickets on https://www.facebook.com/presartscentre/

 

Buddy Holly Story Hits Enniscorthy

I’ve to got to play in front of people.  If I’m not moved how can they be moved – Buddy Hollybuddy cado

If you were born then, or were too young to be part of this exciting period of musical history then you won’t want to miss out on the electrifying party that is BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story!

Experience the ups and downs of Holly’s ‘budding’ musical career as he strives to fulfil his potential genius. The heart-warming tale of a small town all-American boy is told with care, detail and humour. BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story finally explodes into a celebration of youth and lust for life in a re-creation of his last concert at Clear Lake!buddy paper

Producer- Adrienne Murphy “I have been involved with musicals for the past 14 years but Buddy was the one show I always wanted to do. It’s a brilliant story and the music is amazing. I have been so lucky that all the people involved feel the same way that I do, that we really want to pay tribute to Buddy Holly a Rock’n’Roll icon.  Pieta House is for me the natural recipient for the proceeds – like so many people in Wexford I have lost a loved one to suicide, Phillip who was my cousin and my best friend this show is dedicated to him and the rest as they say will just be Rock ‘n’ Roll.

This joyous production will be performed by an amateur cast. The purpose of this production is to raise funds for Pieta House. All proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to Pieta House.

With audiences around the world dancing in the aisles this legendary production hits buddy originalEnniscorthy this summer for 6 nights only. It will be staged in The Presentation Centre with its natural acoustic sound and intimate.  Kicking off Sunday July 30th, 31st, Aug 1st, 2nd, 3rd at 8pm and Matinee on Aug 6th 2pm, tickets €15 in Aid of Pieta House in association Olive Ruane, Sinead Kehoe.
Buddy is a fringe event for Rock ‘n’ Roll Town weekender. Producer – Andrienne Murphy Director- James Power along with Musical Director-Pat Murphy along with local cast and Buddy being performed by Kildare musician Donagh Cadagan promise to have you jiving in the aisles with songs like Peggy Sue, Maybe Baby, La Bamba and Shout.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more details! https://www.facebook.com/BuddyEnniscorthy/

Purchase tickets on https://www.facebook.com/presartscentre/

War for the Planet of the Apes

 

With all due respect to King Kong, it has become apparent that Andy Serkis is the Alpha onapes 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!

SPOILERS AHEAD

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.ape2

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- ape 3live.

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