War for the Planet of the Apes review round-up: Critics give verdict on the latest Andy Serkis starring instalment

Another triumph for the series

Jack Shepherd
Tuesday 27 June 2017 08:54

Critics are known to be remarkably snide when it comes to reviewing blockbusters. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the likes of Transformers 5, Pirates of the Carribean 5, The Mummy, and more all being met with disdain.

However, the rebooted Planet of the Apes series has become a somewhat critical darling, the first achieving 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — the review aggregator website — while the second scored 90 percent.

War for the Planet of the Apes — the upcoming, Woody Harrelson-starring sequel — looks set to top both, currently standing at 95 percent with 44 reviews.

Publications such as Empire, Hollywood Reporter, Guardian, Telegraph, and Entertainment Weely have all heaped praise, the only negative remarks concerning the bleak outlook that can become quite heavy. Read what the critcs are saying below.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 4/5

War for the Planet of the Apes has its own sense of purpose; it does not get distracted with tricksy or self-aware Statue of Liberty moments, either ones of their own or variations on the original, and of course this is partly because of the franchise’s prequel status. But it is also clearly a larger decision to frame the movies with clarity and directness, without huge cosmic ironies. It’s an engrossing, forthright adventure.

Rosie Fletcher, Digital Spy, 4/5

This is director Matt Reeves's second Apes movie – the first was directed by Brit Rupert Wyatt, and with the help of movement and mo-cap geniuses Serkis and Terry Notary, he's taken creating an actual planet of apes to a new level. It's a world that's never less than completely convincing.

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

Almost as rare as winning the Triple Crown in horse racing is to make a film trilogy that clicks from beginning to end, but Fox has pretty much pulled it off with its refurbished Planet of the Apes trio.

James Dyer, Empire, 4/5

Dawn’s chest-thumping performance boldly declared the state of the digital art, dropping photoreal primates into a forest shoot with seamless precision. War’s chimp collective is no less impressive, wowing with its verisimilitude (marvel at the damp digital fur and snowy pixel pelts) and dazzling with its subtlety.

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 4/5

Reeves marshals more than his fair share of battle scenes and sweeping set-pieces, but never forgets the flicker of a face can provide all the spectacle that cinema requires.

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, B+

Like Caesar and company, the films seem to be getting more intelligent and human as they evolve. Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes is the best Apes installment yet (regardless of whether we’re talking new or classic formula).

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