War for the Planet of the Apes is a stunning and moving…

It’s a bleak story, set in the dead of winter, and you never once feel like anyone was destined to survive. Even War’s final confrontation between Caesar and the Colonel eschews cheap thrills for character.

The action, blocking and stunt-work are organic to the story. There is nothing that happens in this film that feels like fan service. As much as I love the two new Star Wars films, both of them have immense amount of action that was designed to ‘give the fans what they want’ rather than build it organically from the choices characters make.

And that’s what sets War for the Planet of the Apes apart from the rest of the genre. This film, in terms of pace, story and commentary, has more in common with Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven than it does with Wonder Woman. Many critics went for the easy references to Apocalypse Now, but I think they missed the point.

Sure, there are obvious nods to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness here, but Unforgiven is the better comparable, for my money. Caesar and William Munny are driven by selfishness and set in motion things that can only end one way.

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