War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes ★½

as always, the special effects here are critical - it's not that the apes look real, it's that they feel physical, and seem to have weight within the world of the film. The movie has an incredible texture without any sense of history (that awkward shift between the first and second of this trilogy left the film with ample pretty landscapes but absolutely no sense of place or culture - even within the apes). the movie has no jokes, which is less of the problem, but indicative of the fact that the movie has no ideas, philosophical or dramatic. the subversion here essentially boils down to "the apes are the humans now" which is actually the dumbest this franchise has probably ever gotten, at least in some time. This is a film rooted in the feelings of depth, but not in feeling nor in depth. The film is pristinely formed without a shape, emotionally engaged without authenticity, searching without thought. when it apes, shut up, other war films, it does so simply as a touchpoint, as if to say, this is a work that could fit here. It's filmmaking by footnote. This too, extends to the dialogue, analogous plot ciphers with neither coherent or substantial psychologies or formed idealogies. also, uniquely boring - Matt Reeves is not a bad director, but he has no sense for genre, only interested in ways to break it, lost without a starting point. i'm all for moving away from anthropocentrism, but this ain't it fam.

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