Dallas Movie Screening

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Friday, July 14, 2017

War of the Planet of the Apes

This latest “Apes” entry delivers the goods.

“War For Planet of the Apes” works because the director (Matt Reeves) knows his material all too well. The director, Reeves handled the last monkey entry with 2013’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

Everything about the recent tales is more mature and serious in tone. That is not to say the past entries were horrible, but they lacked a certain dynamic and milieu that had them resting in the C grade of mediocrity.

What is cool is seeing the apes communicate via sign language.

New into the group is Bad Ape, voiced by Steve Zahn and Nova (Amiah Miller), a mute girl who adapts to the monkeys way of sign language.
Woody Harrelson returns again to the antagonist role he played so well in director Oliver Stone’s overrated “Natural Born Killers” in 1994. In that one, h was part of the serial killer duo of Mickey Knox that had him pairing with Juliette Lewis’s Mallory Knox, who were just despicable human beings.

With “War,” he is an AWOL soldier just referred to as “The Colonel,” who even brags about killing his own son. He is not a guy you will be bringing over for Sunday dinner anytime soon.

What occurs is essentially a modern day version of “The Great Escape” (1963) wherein soldiers flee the jails to absolute freedom and live outside of the confines of their jail.

Going back to the 1970’s incarnations that included “Beneath” (1970) and “Escape” (1971), the movies back then were more cornball and out of touch with reality.

When they were initially made and produced, I’m sure the filmmakers took their time and care to make them as realistic as possible.

No complaints here, because “War For the Planet of the Apes” does this as solid as a monkey entry can get.

Grade: B
(Review by Ricky Miller
Entertainment Editor)

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