This solid conclusion (?) to the franchise gets a solid 4.5 Icees out of 5.  This movie had a lot of expectations because both the first and second movie of this franchise were very good.  This lived up to its predecessors by taking the story in a direction you wouldn’t think.  I won’t give away spoilers but this really doesn’t have to do with an all-out “war” between humans and apes, but does have some interesting twists to it, twists which I enjoyed and I think you will too.

They say that an actor doing motion-capture in a movie has never been nominated for an Oscar before, to include Andy Serkis either as Caesar in these movies or as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  If he doesn’t at least get a nomination for this one, it’s just wrong.  The progression he has done throughout these movies, first as barely speaking and movie as most monkeys do, to speakign broken English in the second movie and standing upright at times, to this movie where his English is excellent and he almost always walks upright is exceptional. The facial expressions that Andy is able to do, even with motion-capture technology really works well to convey the emotions that Caesar is feeling, whether it be joy, pain or anger.

Let’s not forget Woody Harrelson, who has come a long way from his role of Woody in Cheers to where he is actually a respected actor with good range.  He displays that range in this movie as the Colonel. Of course we’re with the apes, right?  Well, he starts off by reinforcing our position but when he reveals why he is doing what he is doing, you have to wonder if you would do anything different if you were in his place.

The only character that I will call “iffy” is the new character, “Bad Ape”, who does provide some comic relief but did this movie really need comic relief?  I don’t know…  I could have done without this character but he does fill a role in the plot so I guess I’ll just let it go.

The acting overtakes the action in this movie, much like it did in the first 2, so know that going in and I think you’ll be just fine.

In short, if you liked the first 2 movies in this franchise, you’ll enjoy this one as well.  There are no scenes during or after the credits.