War for the Planet of the Apes – 4K Ultra HD Review

War for the Planet of the Apes - Poster #3

After doing a marathon of the Apes trilogy, one can see the series improve with each passing film. Clearly, they have saved the best for last with War for the Planet of the Apes. Director Matt Reeves consciously puts all of the audience’s emotional investment into Caesar and his apes. Especially with everyone’s fan-favorite ape characters going on a suicide mission. Tensions will run high.

Not to mention, the screenwriters go dark in War for the Planet. This is a more personal journey for Caesar and his brothers-in-arms. Thankfully, the comedy and action prevent the film from getting too dark. On the other hand, the human sickness plotline detracts from the storyline. It might be because it’s not really plausible or it doesn’t fit with the rest of the story. Either way, it took away more than it added to the film.

In addition, the film’s final act still feels very underwhelming. After a grand build-up, just to have everything conveniently end the way that it did is a bit disappointing. Mass Effect fans will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Andy Serkis is easily the best part of the entire film. Watching the film again solidifies my appreciation for Serkis. If he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for this role then that is a crying shame. That’s because Serkis provides his most emotional, nuanced, and impressive performance of his illustrious career.

Steve Zahn’s Bad Ape is easily one of the stand-out characters in the film. The character is so incredibly funny and humanistic. It’s all because of Steve Zahn’s work. Karin Konoval and Terry Notary also deliver nice performances as Maurice and Rocket, respectively. They may not talk but they still provide some emotional performances. The brotherhood between Caesar and these guys is a great thing to watch. All in all, the motion-capture cast is solid all around.

Although he plays an excellent villain, Woody Harrelson doesn’t quite live up to the series’ previous villain, Koba. Then again, Koba is a tough act to follow. Be that as it may, Harrelson is easily the series’ best human villain. He’s calculating and ruthless but he has a clear purpose. You also fear for heroes because he’s the type of ruthless villain that will kill them on the spot. Most good villains are the type that truly believes that they’re right. That’s certainly the case here.

Overall, War for the Planet of the Apes is the most emotional film in the series and most of it is because of Andy Serkis. As good as the film, though, is there are some flaws in the film. A one-dimensional villain, subplot issues, and convenient third-act are just a few of issues in the film. Despite all that, the film is an excellent conclusion to one of the best prequel trilogies of all time. As I said in my previous review, be prepared to put your two fists together and say, “apes together strong”.

Movie Review: 4/5 atoms

Video

War for the Planet of the Apes hits 4K Ultra HD with an HDR 2160p transfer and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. This is easily one of the best video presentations that I’ve ever seen. For one thing, the film is extraordinarily clear. It’s amazing to see the various amount of detail in the film. From the fur to the texture to the environment, everything is so crystal clear. The downside of all this clearness is that some of the CGI begins to not look realistic.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray is a definite step up from the regular 1080p Blu-ray. Although the regular Blu-ray still looks good, it’s very bright. Thus, it washes out the black levels. Fortunately, the HDR fixes these issues while keeping the film really bright. Unsurprisingly, the colors pop more in the Ultra HD Blu-ray than it does in the regular Blu-ray. Overall, this is an excellent video presentation by Fox Home Entertainment.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Audio
War for the Planet of the Apes - Steve Zahn

War for the Planet of the Apes hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio track. The review will reflect War for the Planet of the Apes‘s core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio track. Much like the video presentation, the audio presentation is simply amazing. It may not be as immersive as the Fantastic Beasts presentation but it’s definitely up there. First of all, the surround and rear surround channels pan all the sound effects, score, and vocals cleanly throughout the soundstage. It complements everything that comes out of the front and center channels. Additionally, the front and center channels clearly convey the dialogue even during the loud war scenes. Not to mention, your subwoofer will receive a workout as it booms with authority through each action scene. Overall, the audio tracks are one of the best out there.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features

War for the Planet of the Apes‘s 4K Ultra HD disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, the regular Blu-ray contains the following special features:

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves
    • Graveyard
    • Turncoats
    • Barrier Wall
    • “I Owe You One”
    • “A Great Man”
    • “Do Not Lose Hope”
    • Snowfall
    • The Colonel’s Speech
    • Malcolm and the Dinosaurs
    • “I Am Like Koba”
  • Waging War for the Planet of the Apes
  • All About Caesar
  • WETA: Pushing Boundaries
  • Music for Apes
  • Apes: The Meaning of it All
  • The Apes Saga: An Homage
  • Concept Art Gallery
  • Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves

The special features for War for the Planet of the Apes are very comprehensive, to say the least. There is a lot of content and a lot of deleted scenes to get through. Each deleted scene doesn’t really add anything to the theatrical cut of the film. Since there’s a lot of them, it’ll feel like forever as you go through each scene. Each featurette covers a different facet of the making of the film. Although there are a lot of them, every featurette is a must-watch. That’s because each featurette has something interesting in it that you’ll appreciate and enjoy.

Special Features Rating: 4.5/5 atoms


Overall, War for the Planet of the Apes is an epic conclusion to the Caesar trilogy. The trilogy sets the bar for how all prequel trilogies should be. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Andy Serkis should be considered for an Oscar nomination for his role as Caesar. It’ll be a shame if he doesn’t. The video and audio presentation is top-notch and the special features is comprehensive and enlightening.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Fox Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1160 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.