Greatest Movie Series
Franchises of All Time
"Planet of the Apes" Films

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Planet of the Apes Films (Original)
Planet of the Apes (1968) | Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) | Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) | Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

Planet of the Apes Films (Remake)
Planet of the Apes (2001)

Planet of the Apes Films (Reboot)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

"Planet of the Apes" Films - Part 9
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
d. Matt Reeves, 140 minutes

Film Plot Summary

Opening Title Captions (to summarize the films in the 'reboot' trilogy):

Fifteen years ago, a scientific experiment gone wrong gave RISE to a species of intelligent apes... and destroyed most of humanity with a virus that became known as the Simian Flu. (RISE)

With the DAWN of a new ape civilization led by Caesar, the surviving humans struggled to coexist....but fighting finally broke out when a rebel ape, Koba, led a vengeful attack against the humans. (DAWN)

The humans sent a distress call to a military base in the North where all that remained of the U.S. Army was gathered. A ruthless Special Forces Colonel and his hardened battalion were dispatched to exterminate the apes. Evading capture for the last two years, Caesar is now rumored to be marshaling the fight from a hidden command base in the woods... as the WAR rages on... (WAR)

Title Screen

A squad of soldiers emerged within a deeply-wooded forest, searching for the apes. Helmets were emblazoned with scrawled sayings: "MONKEY KILLER," "BEDTIME FOR BONZO," and "ENDANGERED SPECIES." One had the symbol for Alpha-Omega, the name for a rogue paramilitary faction (led by a ruthless Colonel). On a high ridge, they spotted a trio of apes (one armed with a weapon on horseback) at a trench (a wall of logs to form a fort). The soldiers were being led by a number of load-bearing apes (these turncoat apes had been loyal to Koba, a human-hating bonobo who led a failed coup against Caesar), each referred to derogatorily as a "Donkey" - headed by a massive gorilla named Red (Ty Olsson). An attack on the apes' base up the slope was initiated with a cross-bow and grenade launcher, followed by gunfire, but one of the apes escaped and alerted others. On horseback, an ape cavalry of reinforcements viciously counter-attacked the militants with spears, arrows, gunfire and smoke bombs. Four surviving soldiers (including Preacher (Gabriel Chavarria)) and gorilla Red were captured by the apes.

The leader of the apes, Caesar (Andy Serkis) arrived at the site of the carnage, along with his gorilla Lieutenant Luca (Michael Adamthwaite), trusted advisor orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval), and an albino gorilla named Winter (Aleks Paunovic). It was reported that there were sixty-three dead apes. Caesar told the prisoner-humans his message of self-defensive peace: "I did not start this war. The ape who did is dead. His name was Koba. I killed him. Now, I fight only to protect apes." Caesar struck Red for expressing his loyalty to the Colonel ("Kerna") who was leading the US military faction, and ordered him to be imprisoned for his traitorous remarks. However, he mercifully spared the four humans, and sent them unharmed back to their military camp (tied back-to-back on horses), to deliver a message: "Tell your Colonel you have seen me now. And I have a message for him. Leave us the woods and the killing can stop." Caesar spoke to Maurice about his message: "He will see we are not savages." At that moment, Winter notified Caesar that Red had struck him in the head and escaped.

Two simian apes were welcomed as they arrived at a fortress-like stone cave - the fortified dwelling of the apes:

  • Caesar's son Blue Eyes (Max Lloyd-Jones)
  • Blue Eyes' friend Rocket (Terry Notary), one of Caesar's lieutenants

Blue Eyes greeted his mother Cornelia (Judy Greer) and younger brother Cornelius (Devyn Dalton), and his female mate Lake (Sara Canning). Later, Blue Eyes described what they had discovered across the mountains - a safe haven to escape from the threat of humans: "We can start over. A new home." He explained they had found a place across a desert, but it was a long journey away. Caesar agreed, but explained that they needed time to prepare to move everyone: "Yes. We must find a safe way out of woods. There were only two of you. But we are many. We will find a way out of here. Apes together strong."

As the apes slept in their cave enclosure, Caesar noticed that strange green lights were visible through the sheltering waterfall, and he reached out and touched a taut cable dangling downward. In a dank cave closeby, several Alpha-Omega soldiers with green-laserlight scopes approached cautiously toward Caesar's family dwelling, as Caesar went to alert Luca and other ape-guards, including Rocket. Blue Eyes and Caesar defended against one soldier's incursion, but heard through the dead man's radio headset that elsewhere, the Colonel was claiming his mission had been accomplished: "Target acquired. Repeat, King Kong is dead." Caesar rushed back to his dwelling where he saw bald-headed, black-mud face-painted Colonel McCullough (Woody Harrelson) preparing to rappel up the cable line. Caesar turned his gaze to the side and saw the bloody, lifeless bodies of both Cornelia and Blue Eyes. Vengeful and in rage, Caesar escaped the Colonel's gunfire, then jumped toward McCullough, who was being lifted upward on the cable to the top of the high cliff for his escape. Caesar fell into the rapidly-flowing river below when the Colonel severed the cable behind him.

Caesar survived the fall, and was extremely despondent, and bereaved over the needless deaths of his son and wife. The other apes reported that Winter had disappeared - Luca interpreted it as a betrayal. Winter had previously seemed agitated, nervous, and fearful about the encroaching humans. Fortunately, Caesar's young son Cornelius was found safe, and was entrusted to Lake's loving care.

As the remainder of the apes assembled to start their journey toward the desert to find a new safer home the next morning, Caesar was determined to confront the threatening humans led by the Colonel, and serve as a diversionary decoy to protect his ape clan. He reluctantly agreed to let his trio of confidantes Maurice, Rocket, and Luca join him. They rode on horseback and came upon a dilapidated cabin in an abandoned village near a rocky shoreline. As they searched the area, they encountered a lone man carrying firewood. When the armed soldier (identified by an Alpha-Omega insignia tattooed on his neck) reached for the rifle hidden behind his back, Caesar shot him dead. The group found a blonde young girl cowering in the cabin's bedroom - she was apparently mute and very frightened. Maurice befriended her by presenting her with a small rag doll he had found on the floor. Meanwhile, the other apes scavenged in the cabin for useful items (i.e., a pair of binoculars) before preparing to leave. Protectively mothering, Maurice convinced his companions to let the 'orphaned' girl accompany them: "She'll die out here alone...I cannot leave her."

The four apes arrived at a mobile Alpha-Omega military camp along the beach, where a hand-written sign was posted: "The only good Kong is a dead Kong." With their binoculars, they spotted albino gorilla Winter in the midst of the soldiers. Later, they approached Winter inside one of the camp's tents, and saw "DONKEY" written across his back and the A-O symbol on his head. Caesar and the group questioned the surrounded Winter about the Colonel's location -- Winter explained why he had defected:

He's gone...He left this morning, took many men with him. More soldiers are coming down from the North. The Colonel is going to meet them at the border...The rest of us are going tomorrow. The donkeys think the soldiers from the North are coming to help finish off the apes for good. That day, after the battle on the hill, the donkey [Red] we caught promised me the Colonel would spare my life if I told them where you were hiding. (ashamed) Forgive me!

Caesar bitterly replied that his wife and son were dead as a result of Winter's betrayal. Winter was subdued to keep him from alerting nearby Alpha-Omega soldiers - and Caesar inadvertently killed him while struggling to keep him quiet by covering his mouth and choking him. Later that night in the forest around a campfire, Caesar had worrisome visions or thoughts about his transformation into a vengeful Koba-like killer. He hallucinated that a bloody-faced and scarred Koba was repeating his last words to him: "APE NOT KILL APE."

The next morning, the apes watched as a convoy of soldiers departed from their beachfront camp for the 'border.' Later as they followed behind, the ape posse entered a snowy, mountainous area. After hearing gunshots from a distance, they came upon the bodies of three soldiers shot and left for dead in the snow. One lethally-wounded solder was asked by Caesar why he had been shot - but he could not speak (similar to Nova's affliction). When Maurice pointed out: "He will die of those wounds," Caesar ended his life with a gunshot.

Later, as the apes were atop a cell-tower and conferring about the direction of the 'border,' a small-statured, fur-hooded, parka-wearing creature approached their horses. The unidentified figure attempted to steal a shotgun and one of the horses, and then hurriedly fled. The apes gave chase after him, riding under an abandoned ski-lift and past a discarded snow-plow. Eventually, they cornered him in a derelict, rustic hotel - at Kettle Ridge. When the posse questioned him, they learned that he was an intelligent talking chimpanzee hermit named 'Bad Ape' (Steve Zahn) - he had often been yelled at by humans for his bad behavior, and thus adopted the name. He removed his parka to offer it to the young, freezing-cold girl, revealing his own hairless chest.

Around the hotel's roaring fireplace, he described more of his background - he had previously lived in the Sierra Zoo, and was the sole survivor of all the animals ("all dead") - after everyone else had been decimated by sickness (the Simian Flu pandemic: "Human get sick. Ape get smart. Then human kill ape. But not me"). He showed everyone packages of vacuum-sealed food rations - one of which was labeled: "CALIFORNIA BORDER QUARANTINE FACILITY - Tower Rock." Bad Ape claimed he had found the rations at a "bad place...human zoo, zoo for sick" (a human quarantine camp) long ago, where everyone eventually died: "All dead now for a long time." Rocket deduced that the camp Bad Ape described was what they were searching for: "A deserted military camp on the border!" Luca added: "Maybe the Colonel and the troops are going there?" Bad Ape was frightened about the prospect of returning to the "human zoo." He offered the girl a chrome trinket - a flat medal emblem from an old automobile - a Chevrolet NOVA (it would later become her name). But Bad Ape changed his mind, and offered to help Caesar by leading the group to the border's military encampment.

The group arrived at the snowy military camp (an ex-quarantine facility) - a compound surrounded by sheer granite walls. Luca and Caesar watched from a closer vantage point as they saw humans working on X-shaped structures. Suddenly, they were attacked from behind by two soldiers. From nowhere, Rocket who saw them coming, knocked out one soldier, and Luca killed the second soldier but he had been mortally wounded by the man's bayonet. As he lay dying, Luca told Caesar: "At least this time, I was able to protect you." After Luca died, Maurice advised: "Caesar, it's not too late to join the other apes," but Rocket objected: "We cannot turn back. Luca gave his life." Caesar remained vengeful: "They must pay." Maurice told Caesar about his hatred: "Now, you sound like Koba." Caesar was regretful that he had allowed the others to join him, and he no longer wanted to endanger them: "It was a mistake bringing you all. This is my fight. I will finish this alone. Go. Now. Join the others."

Going on alone at night, Caesar approached closer to the camp and discovered two captive apes hung up on the X-shaped structures. At the edge of a cliff, he overlooked the compound where he saw hundreds of more apes held captive, with soldiers patrolling the perimeter. One of the barely-surviving, frost-bitten apes on the X behind him, recognized as his friend Spear (Alessandro Juliani), told Caesar about what had happened to the clan after they had been seized:

They came out of nowhere, attacked us. We thought they would kill us all, but the Colonel stopped them! There was madness in his eyes! He said they would use us, before we died! And they brought us all here!...They've been forcing us to work!

And then as Caesar cradled Spear in his arms, an unseen gorilla from behind smashed him in the face with the butt of a rifle - cut to black.

Caesar awoke - he stared up at the face of Preacher (with his cross-bow), and then a voice and indistinct figure strolled into view, as he repeated the names of various rival combatants in history who had confronted each other: "Grant and Lee. Wellington and Napoleon. Custer and Sitting Bull." Caesar found himself face-to-face again with Colonel McCullough, and realized he had been shackled around the wrists and neck - a captive of Red! The Colonel asked Caesar: "Have you finally come to save your apes?" Caesar vowed his revenge after the murder of two family members. The Colonel offered an insincere apology for his error: "I'm sorry. I was there for you."

Caesar revealed that he knew the Colonel's plan (told to him earlier by Winter):

I was told you were coming. That more soldiers from the North would be joining you here...To finish us off. For good.

Bound and captured, Caesar was led by the Colonel, Red, and the Preacher, to the outside location of other captured apes of his clan in an enclosed holding pen, where he saw young Cornelius imprisoned in a separate cage. He heard his son piteously crying out for him: "Father!" Caesar was taken to a pen of captured adult apes and locked inside - many of the apes turned away from him for abandoning them and not leading them to a safe haven, and instead sought revenge. Lake was one of the few to speak to Caesar: "Forgive them. We've been through much." Caesar self-reflectively asked himself: "What have I done?"

The next morning, Caesar and other apes watched as a battalion marched by and chanted ominously - looking upward at their leader on a high balcony - the Colonel - who was shaving his bald head under a 'Stars and Stripes' flag marked with the Alpha-Omega symbol:

Makes the grass grow!
Make the blood flow!
We are the beginning!
And the end!

During the playing of the National Anthem, the bars of the adult pen were opened, and the apes were whipped by a turncoat chimp, as the soldiers urged them on. Caesar and the other adults were ordered to leave the cage and work in a yard next to a tanker car, to tirelessly construct a huge barrier wall (made of wood and stone) in an assembly-line chain gang. Caesar noticed that missile launcher projectiles were defensively positioned facing outward along the wall's perimeter. Lake complained to Caesar that the apes were being starved and dehydrated: "We haven't had food or water since we got here." Caesar watched as one frail orangutan, who had caused a construction accident, was whipped by donkey Red. After Caesar objected ("Leave him!"), some of the apes also showed their rebellious solidarity by tossing boulders to the ground and holding their fists in the air. McCullough sent the Preacher and Red to replace the orangutan with Caesar - who would be lashed instead.

Face to face with Caesar, the Colonel demanded: "Tell them to get back to work." Caesar was defiant: "Apes need food and water." The Colonel touched Caesar's face: "Tell them," but Caesar repeated: "Give them food and water." The Colonel angrily pulled out his pistol and shot the orangutan, then placed the gun up to Caesar's forehead. Realizing that Caesar would remain stubborn, Lake and the other apes kow-towed and returned to their work. For his disobedience, Caesar was strung up by donkey Red on one of the X-shaped structures. From a vantage point high above the facility, Maurice, Bad Ape and the others watched helplessly: "Bad place." Maurice thought outloud about how to save the apes: "Must think. What would Caesar do?"

Back in the ape prison, Caesar was hanging from the X-structure between the pens. Under orders, Red (and the Preacher) escorted neck-shackled Caesar to the Colonel's quarters, where the commander (who was twirling a small jack game piece in his hand) faced a wall scrawled with the words: "History." He placed the jack on a strategic map laid on a table, with bullet casings serving as markers. The Colonel threatened Caesar:

Interfere with the work again, and I'll begin slaughtering the apes, one by one. Understand? I need that wall. They'll get food and water when they finish their work.

Caesar repeated his demands: "Apes need food and water...Give apes food and water or they cannot finish it." The Colonel responded: "You know, you're very emotional. What makes you think you're in a position to make demands?"

As the two faced off, the Colonel (with a memorable and classic monologue) explained his rationale for building the wall. He predicted the threatening existence of the pandemic spread of a debilitating, mutated virus that would destroy humanity by regressing the human race back to mute, primitive beasts. Caesar realized that the Colonel's 'holy war' to preserve the survival of humanity was predicated upon the building of a protective wall - to keep US Army forces from the North (poised to assassinate him) from stopping him. He had already proven that he was deluded and 'sick' because he had radically and single-handedly decided to execute infected humans (including his own young son) to stop the plague:

Caesar: The soldiers who are coming here, they are not coming to join you, are they? I saw men outside, on the wall, preparing for battle.
Colonel: They told me you're smart, but that's impressive. No, they won't be joining me.
Caesar: They are against you?
Colonel: They fear me.
Caesar: Why? Because you kill your own men? We found bodies. Something wrong with these men.
Colonel: Jesus Christ, you are impressive. Well, you paint quite a picture. What you must think of me.
Caesar: I think you have no mercy.
Colonel: You came here to kill me. Were you gonna show me mercy?
Caesar: I showed you mercy when I spared your men. I offered you peace and you killed my family.
Colonel: Mercy. Do you have any idea what your mercy would do to us? You're much stronger than we are. You're smart as hell. No matter what you say, you'd eventually replace us. That's the law of Nature. The irony is, we created you. We tried to defy Nature, bend it to our will. Nature has been punishing us for our arrogance ever since. 10 months ago, I sent out recon units to look for your base. My own son was a soldier with one of the units. One day, he suddenly stopped speaking. He became primitive, like an animal. They contacted me and said that they thought he'd lost his mind. That the war was too much for him. Then the man who cared for him stopped speaking too. Their medic had a theory, before he stopped speaking, that the virus that almost wiped us out, the virus that every human survivor still carries, had suddenly changed. Mutated. And that if it spread, it would destroy humanity for good this time. Not by killing us, but by robbing us of those things that make us human. Our speech, our higher thinking. It would turn us into beasts. You talk about mercy? What would you have done? It was a moment of clarity for me. I realized that I would have to sacrifice my only son so that humanity could be saved. I held that gun in my hand for a long time. I pointed it at my only child. He looked at me with trust in his eyes. Even in his primitive gaze, I felt his love. I pulled the trigger. It purified me. It made my purpose clear. I gave the orders to kill the other infected. All of them. Burn their belongings and anything that might spread contamination. Some of the men questioned my judgment. I was asking them to do what I had done. Sacrifice their friends, their family. Of course, they refused. So I had them killed too. Others with children deserted into the woods. One of those cowards fled to my superiors up north. They tried to convince me this plague could be dealt with medically. That's when I realized that they had learned nothing from our past.
Caesar: You killed them too?
Colonel: What did I do, Preacher?
Preacher: You severed their heads, sir.
Colonel: Except for the one I spared so that he could return and deliver a message. If they wanted to relieve me of my command, they would have to meet me here, and do it themselves. This used to be a weapons depot. They turned it into a relocation camp when the crisis was just beginning. But the weapons are still here inside the mountain.
Caesar: How many men will be coming?
Colonel: Probably all of them. But don't get any ideas. The only thing they fear more than me is you apes. This is a holy war. All of human history has led to this moment. If we lose, we wiII be the last of our kind. It will be a planet of apes. And we will become your cattle. Look at you. You think I'm sick, don't you? I didn't mean to kill your son. But if his destiny was to inherit your unholy kingdom, I'm glad I did it.

Caesar had heard enough and lunged at the Colonel, but was restrained by his neck chain. The Colonel continued: "So emotional! I can see how conflicted you are. You're confused in your purpose. You are angry at me for something I did that was an act of war. But you're taking this all much too personally. What do you think my men would have done to your apes if you had killed me? Or is killing me more important?" Caesar was resigned to the Colonel's mad objectives.

Outside of the unfinished wall enclosure, Maurice, Rocket, Bad Ape, and Nova were attempting to avoid guards, and to determine how to assist and get inside. As they scampered away, they discovered an underground escape tunnel when Bad Ape fell through some wooden planks. It had markings on the wall that read: "THIS WAY OUT OF HELL" and "APE-POCALYPSE NOW." They discovered that they were directly underneath a row of railroad ties near where the soldiers supervised the apes at work.

After Caesar's confrontation with the Colonel, turncoat apes delivered animal feed-grain and buckets of water to the captive apes - except for Caesar who was still bound and secured to the X-structure outside the pen. Lake signed to Caesar: "You saved our lives." To torture him further, Red poured a bucket of water over Caesar's face.

Troubled by the sight of Caesar both starving and suffering in the intense cold, Nova left the foursome and innocently walked into the camp. At the same time, Caesar experienced another hallucinatory vision of an approaching Koba with a machete, urging him to quit resisting and die: "Sleep. You cannot save them. Apes all die here. Join me." Actually, it was Red standing before him and cutting his ties, with the Colonel ordering Preacher: "If he's still alive in the morning, he goes to work like everyone else or you shoot him." Nova traversed the camp unnoticed, and approached Caesar lying down in an isolation pen. She offered him her rag-doll, a drink from a bucket of water, and a pile of feed. Apes in an adjacent pen held their clenched fists above their heads, as a sign of solidarity.

Soon, soldiers approached and Caesar urged her to hide. Watching from closeby, Rocket walked forward and created a diversion - allowing Nova to escape, although he was soon apprehended by guards. The Colonel questioned Rocket: "Are there others out there?" but he wouldn't answer. Rocket was imprisoned in one of the pens after being savagely beaten by Red. Afterwards, Rocket signed to Caesar: "Feeling better? Good. Then we can talk about escape. Apes together strong!"

The next morning, the Colonel approached Caesar's cage and said to himself: "Still alive." He ordered Caesar to work in the quarry, and then noticed Nova's limp and dirty rag-doll in the pen, now stained with blood. Before taking the doll, he asked Preacher and Caesar: "How did this get in there?" but received no reply.

In the work area, Caesar and Rocket worked together (planning their escape) to determine distances between cages. Caesar signaled the distances to Maurice, watching through binoculars: "Thirty-seven steps to the adult cage. Fifty-five to the children." That night when Red returned Caesar to his cage, Red reminded Caesar: "You know, Kerna (Colonel) shoot apes when wall is done." Caesar replied: "His wall is madness. It won't save him anymore than it will save you."

Underground, the apes (Bad Ape and Maurice) sought to create escape routes connecting up from the tunnel into the camp's cages, to lead the apes out of the facility. Bad Ape poked his head through a small escape hole into the cage area, where Rocket noticed him. However, the digging had caused water to unexpectedly flood part of the tunnel, and they had to seal off some of the tunnel (by closing a heavy metal cover) to prevent flooding, before proceeding with any further escape plans. Above ground, Caesar urged that the escape plan be implemented immediately:

Find another way to reach the children. We must leave now! More soldiers are coming! Humans will destroy each other! And us with them! We'II have to get the children out above ground.

Caesar realized that they must find another way to save the children. A guard on a high catwalk was hit from behind with a handful of ape dung. He descended and entered the ape cage with his semi-automatic rifle and confronted the animals. Rocket flung a second pile of dark poo directly at the guard - just as Bad Ape yanked the guard down through an underground escape hole behind him. With the guard's keys and rifle now in their possession, the adult apes freed themselves. Caesar and Rocket also made their way to the cage of the ape children and released them - young Cornelius hugged his father. The young ages escaped by climbing across a strong cable stretching across the camp, and reunited with the adult apes. In the tunnel, Nova led the apes away from the camp.

At the last moment, Caesar told Rocket that because he was similar to Koba, he could not give up his vengeful hatred for the Colonel: "Maurice was right. I am like Koba. He could not escape his hate. And I still cannot escape mine." He was determined to remain behind to confront the Colonel. Simultaneously, the rival military forces from the north were beginning their attack on the camp in helicopters - first with rocket missiles that exploded inside the wall's perimeter and triggered a barrage of counter-defensive projectiles. Caesar watched as the soldiers streamed out to defend the compound before heading over to the Colonel's headquarters. Battalions of tanks also approached the Alpha-Omega camp, with intense fire-power raining everywhere.

Caesar apprehensively entered the Colonel's disheveled private quarters, where he found a table covered with a bandolier of grenades, a spilled can of pears, half of an ape's skull, and a whiskey flask on its side sitting in pools of alcohol. Nearby was a photograph of the Colonel's young son that he had sacrificed. In the Colonel's sleeping quarters, Caesar found him lying face-down - dead-drunk next to a liquor bottle. Caesar seized the Colonel's holstered gun and pointed it at the Colonel's bald head. The Colonel looked up - with blood running from his nostrils. His mouth moved, but only rasping noises were heard - he had become mute -- another infected victim of the Simian flu, via contact with Nova's rag-doll! The Colonel grabbed the gun in Caesar's hand, and positioned it against his head, silently urging and pleading with Caesar to pull the trigger. Caesar chose not to kill the Colonel, but instead watched his adversary pull the trigger himself and commit suicide.

In the midst of the battle between the northern forces and the Alpha-Omega camp, Caesar watched as the escaping apes scampered away across the snowy battlefield. To prevent any further killing of his clan from the crossfire between the two forces, Caesar grabbed the Colonel's bandolier of grenades, intending to toss one of the projectiles at a leaking fuel tank (marked with the words: "THE BEGINNING AND THE END") inside the compound. He descended from the Colonel's quarters toward the tank below while avoiding the gunfire of soldiers. But as he prepared to toss one of the grenades at the tank, he was shot in the side by Preacher's cross-bow. Red witnessed Caesar's downing by Preacher and suddenly had a redemptive change of heart. He turned on the humans by firing a grenade at Preacher to help Caesar, causing a nearby gunner to draw his pistol and execute Red in the head. After Red's sacrifice, Caesar was able to toss the grenade at the tank - causing a chain reaction of explosions that obliterated the entire facility and wall. He was able to escape through the tunnel and join the other apes.

As everyone watched the fall of Alpha-Omega's camp, a rumbling tsunami of snow in an avalanche of massive proportions wiped out any remnants of the surviving humans on both sides - the victorious northern troops (in white uniforms) and the Colonel's dissenting followers. The white cascading wall or tide of snow entirely covered the base and buried everyone. However, many of the apes (and Nova on Maurice's back), including Caesar, survived by climbing up the tall trees to safety.

A procession of apes trekked forward toward their new home - they crossed from the snowy slopes to dry flatlands, and then to an area of sandstone buttes in an arid landscape. Finally, they reached a verdant valley with a sparkling blue lake surrounded by low mountains - an oasis. As most of the apes proceeded ahead toward the valley, joyful to have finally found freedom, Maurice noticed the lethal arrow wound that Caesar had acquired. They shared a few final words before Caesar peacefully succumbed with a tear rolling down his cheek:

Caesar: Don't worry. Don't worry. Maurice. You are all home now. Apes are strong. With or without me.
Maurice: Son will know who was father. (Caesar nodded) And what Caesar did for us. (Caesar slowly slumped over) Caesar...

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

This was the third installment in the Planet of the Apes Reboot series, forming a trilogy of its own. As with the other films in the trilogy, it had some similarities to the fifth film in the original series, Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), but was not a direct remake.

The setting was the same as the previous film although two years later - the apes (led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his colony) were still battling human forces - this time led by ruthless Colonel McCullough (Woody Harrelson) and his rogue military group Alpha-Omega. There was the addition of a new character named Bad Ape (Steve Zahn). This installment ended with the deaths of almost every major character, except orangutan Maurice and young mute orphaned human female Nova, Maurice's adopted daughter.

In the downer ending, it was implied that apes would inherit the Earth from humans (mostly decimated, and made primitive and mute by a new strain of the mutated Simian flu/virus), who would become subservient to the apes as in the first film Planet of the Apes (1968). [Note: Nova shared her name with Linda Harrison’s character from the 1968 original.]

However, it would be unlikely to assume that War for the Planet of the Apes led in a circle neatly back to the original film, because the timeframes don't exactly match up, and the genealogies aren't the same:

Title Year Notes
Planet of the Apes (1968) 1972 and 3978 Space flight was in 1972, and the landing was in 3978.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) 3978  
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) 3978 and 1973 Apes Zira (Kim Hunter) and Cornelius (Roddy McDowell) traveled back in time with their unborn baby Milo (later renamed Caesar (also McDowell)).
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) 1991 Caesar was the son of the dead Cornelius and Zira.
Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) About 30 years after Conquest In the early 21st century - a post-nuclear holocaust world, ape king Caesar (Roddy McDowall), the child of the apes from the future: Cornelius and Zira, ruled over 'Ape City'. Caesar’s son was Cornelius (Bobby Porter), born to his wife Lisa (Natalie Trundy).
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
2011 Now, Caesar was the offspring of Bright Eyes and biological father Alpha. Caesar was adopted by humans: Gen-Sys lab worker Will Rodman (James Franco) and Will's veterinarian girlfriend Caroline Aranha (Freida Pinto).
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) 2021 Caesar was 'married' to ape Cornelia, and their sons were named Blue Eyes and Cornelius.
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) 2023 same

There was also a slight problem with the film's timeline within the Reboot trilogy. A 10-year gap occurred between Rise and Dawn, and the opening text in War said that it had been two years since Dawn. However, the opening text of War also stated that it had been 15 years (not 12 years) since Rise: "Fifteen years ago, a scientific experiment gone wrong..."

With the tagline: For freedom. For family. For the planet.

In the film, there were direct allusions to films with Biblical themes (The Ten Commandments (1956) and its Exodus Story with conflict between the Pharaoh and Moses, and the search for a safe haven or "promised land"), war movies (Apocalypse Now (1979) and the character of Colonel Kurtz with a renegade army, and the prison camp ruled by Amon Goeth in Schindler's List (1993)), and epic dramas (The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) with its tension between the two main protagonists).

With a production budget of $150 million, and box-office gross receipts of $146.9 million (domestic) and $490.7 million (worldwide).

The film received only one Academy Award nomination: Best Achievement in Visual Effects, for its use of motion-capture and CGI technologies.

(Gabriel Chavarria)

(Ty Olsson)

(Andy Serkis)

(Michael Adamthwaite)

(Terry Notary)

(Karin Konoval)

(Aleks Paunovic)

Blue Eyes
(Max Lloyd-Jones)

(Judy Greer)

(Devyn Dalton)

(Sara Canning)

(Amiah Miller)

Bad Ape
(Steve Zahn)

(Alessandro Juliani)

Colonel McCullough
(Woody Harrelson)

Greatest Film Series Franchises - Sections
Series-Introduction - Index to All Films | Series-Box Office

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