This is the third of the Planet of the Apes prequels, and it seems as though it will be just as forgettable as the first two.
Let’s get this out of the way: this is a fine film. It is above a “meh” and earns a “yeah, I guess it was pretty good.” But it cannot rise to the level of some of the other films that have come out this summer. Using the criteria I somewhat set up in the Baby Driver review for a perfect summer film, it is well put together and it does not make any stupid decisions that so many films cannot help but do. While it definitely takes itself more serious than Baby Driver, it is still entertaining enough for most audiences. So why can it not earn the title of being a perfect summer film?
First and foremost is the messaging of the film. It is so incredibly heavy handed with its symbolism and messaging. It must assume that the audience is filled with a bunch of mindless goons who need to be spoon-fed all of the reasons why they should care about the apes and their struggle against the humans. The apes are overly sympathetic protagonists while the humans are practically sinister antagonists. Woody Harrelson plays a cartoon character the entire film.
We get it- the humans are the real savages while the apes are ironically more humane. The film establishes this in the first five minutes, yet it just keeps beating the audience down with its message.
Finally, the plot is just kind of obvious. It is a very by the numbers film that does not take very many risks, and it doesn’t try to subvert the audiences expectations in any way. If you have seen the first two of this series, they you know exactly what you are getting here.