We’ve gone APE for this movie! With Caesar’s clan looking to escape the humans in order to live freely, and a specific group of humans getting ever closer to finding them, there was non-stop action from the start! There was some new characters that really warmed our hearts too including Nova, a young girl that is unable to speak.
ALERT: SPOILERS LAY AHEAD
It has to be said that this film very cleverly summarised the previous two films in just a couple of sentences at the start. This means that whether you’re up to start with the series or not, you’ll be able to enjoy the film. Naturally, there are references to the previous films but it is done in such a way that means that you are not completely lost if you haven’t (or if, like us, you probably needed a refresher!). After that… ACTION.
Immediately, we’re involved in a battle between humans and apes. On the one hand, we see the ruthlessness of both the humans and the apes as the war between the two rages on. There are elements of compassion at this point but soon the movie descends into a thrilling tale of revenge when Caesar’s wife and son are killed, leaving only his smallest son alive.
Caesar is the main focus of the film, and his struggle with killing another ape (in the previous film he killed another ape that did not believe apes and humans could live alongside each other. Naturally, apes would be the dominant race and hence the deep set hatred within the war) and his new found hatred for the humans.
Caesar is not alone though, with a few trusted friends - that admittedly join him despite his wishes - as the rest of the ape clan move in the hope of finding a place they can feel safe and live freely. On Caesar’s journey, we quickly find a deserted human settlement with a man who is quickly killed (both sides fearing the other). However, they discover a little girl, scared and now completely alone. She also has a problem - she is unable to speak. Again, amongst all the hatred, we now see a flash of compassion as the group take in the girl and bring her on their journey.
The little girl, later named Nova, and her inability to speak is not truly explained until near the end of the film. However, we do watch her grow within the group as she learns to speak their sign language and they grow to love each other. Later we learn that a degenerative virus plagues the human population, which takes away their ability to speak (and as the Colonel, who is hunting the apes, says) removes the higher functions that distinguishes humans from animals. The remaining human population have two schools of thought; treat and control, or isolate and kill.
The Colonel is the leader of the group of soldiers we first see attacking the apes, ordered the attack that led to the death of Caesar’s family, and is the antagonist throughout the film. His role is somewhat like that of a god, revered by his soldiers and feared by many others. How do we know this? Along the Caesar’s journey to find the Colonel not only does he find him, but finds that he has captured the rest of the apes and captures Caesar himself.
The Conoel’s hatred for the apes is filmed in an interesting manner in so much that it reflects much of history - fear of the other, slavery, fear of your own. With the apes at work to build a fortress to help fight other humans, the Colonel’s war with Caesar changes. Now it is one of David and Goliath - with starvation, physical work, beatings and death the outcome of failure.
Certainly, you wouldn’t expect the story to end just there. It is important to highlight that Nova’s role along with their new ape friend, Bad Ape, who escaped from a zoo. Certainly, Nova’s feeling that she is an ape means that she daringly (and in a childish naivety) helps Caesar and the apes. Her role continues to the end of the film as her fate is tied in with theirs.
Overall, we loved the film and the rollercoaster of action, compassion, and humour. Watch out for great sarcastic and truly British humour within the film. Our ‘Bad Ape’ is certainly one of our favourites.