War for the Planet of the Apes is a 2017 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback and Reeves. A sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), it is the third installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot series. The film stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn, and follows the confrontation between the apes, led by Caesar, and the humans for control of Earth.
Set 15 years after the events of the first movie, the remaining human soldiers are at war with the apes led by Caesar. A military faction known as Alpha-Omega. AO also has in its service apes who followed Koba, a bonobo who previously led a failed coup against Caesar. Some of the AO militants, including the gorilla Red, are captured and reveal that Alpha-Omega follows the leadership of a ruthless Colonel. Caesar releases the prisoners as a peace offering to the humans, but makes plans to relocate the clan across the desert, not wanting to suffer any more ape casualties. The night before their journey, Alpha-Omega infiltrates the apes’ base and the Colonel kills Caesar’s wife, Cornelia, and their elder son, Blue Eyes. A distraught Caesar leaves his younger son Cornelius in the care of Lake, a chimp who was Blue Eyes’ lover, and makes the rest of the apes leave for the desert.
Maurice the orangutan, Luca the gorilla and Rocket the chimpanzee accompany him against his orders and they come across a human who draws his gun against them and Caesar is forced to shoot him dead. They find his mute young daughter in the cabin and Maurice forces Caesar to bring the girl along with them. Caesar’s party confronts traitorous albino gorilla Winter in an Alpha-Omega camp and learn that the Colonel has departed for a location called the “border”. Caesar inadvertently kills Winter, which causes him to worry that he is becoming like Koba. They also discover some human soldiers who cannot speak just like the girl. Later the group meets Bad Ape, a chimpanzee hermit who lived in the Sierra Zoo before the Simian Flu pandemic. Bad Ape directs them to the border, a former weapons depot that was turned into a quarantine facility when the virus first began to spread.
At the border facility Luca is killed trying to protect Caesar from a patrol and the chimp decides to move alone. he is captured by Red after witnessing the rest of his ape clan being forced to build a wall with no food or water. The Colonel reveals to Caesar that the Simian Flu virus has mutated and now causes humans who survived the original strain to become mute and regress back to a primitive state, and that he is barricading himself in the facility to fend off rival military forces coming to defeat him because he favors killing any infected humans – including his own son – to stop the spread of the virus. While Caesar is tortured with starvation, the mute girl, whom Maurice names Nova, sneaks into the facility to give him food and water. To prevent her from being discovered, Rocket allows himself to be captured as a diversion. Together, Caesar and Rocket are able to work out a means of escape via an underground tunnel that leads out of the facility.
Maurice and Bad Ape use the tunnel to rescue the apes, and Caesar orders the others to escape while he goes to confront the Colonel. As the facility comes under attack by the rival military forces, Caesar reaches the Colonel, but realizes that he has been infected by the mutated virus. Caesar ultimately spares the Colonel, who takes his own life rather than exist as an infected primitive. During the battle between Alpha-Omega and the rival militants, the escaping apes come under fire from Alpha-Omega. Caesar attempts to attack Alpha-Omega from behind, but is shot by Preacher, one of the AO militants he had previously set free. Red saves Caesar’s life at the cost of his own, and Caesar blows up the facility’s fuel supplies, causing a cascading explosion which wipes out Alpha-Omega and allows the rival militants to triumph. However, the human forces are subsequently buried by an avalanche, which Caesar and the other apes (carrying Nova) survive by climbing nearby trees.
The apes make their way to the desert and just beyond that they find an oasis like paradise where they can make their new home. While the other apes joyously celebrate their new home, Maurice discovers Caesar’s wound, and assures Caesar that he will be remembered as Caesar quietly dies. Fitting end to a great franchise character. Just wonderfully shot and acted. This is the best of the three reboot movies and everything was done really well. 8.5 outta 10!