Caesar comes face-to-face with human villain The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) in a new clip from War for the Planet of the Apes. Directed by Matt Reeves, the film is one of the most anticipated releases of the summer, as it follows a pair of well-received predecessors that breathed new life into the classic sci-fi property. Audiences have fallen in love with Andy Serkis’s Caesar and can’t wait to see how is story comes to a close in the upcoming blockbuster. Late last week, the first reactions to War emerged online, teasing a riveting and emotional conclusion to the trilogy. Some are calling it one of the best films of the year so far.
For their part, 20th Century Fox has done an excellent job drumming up excitement by kicking marketing into overdrive. There is no shortage of trailers and TV spots online, showcasing epic battles between humans and apes fighting for survival. Lately, the studio has released some clips, including Caesar’s crew encountering the young human girl Nova and meeting a tragic figure in Bad Ape. Now, Harrelson gets an opportunity to shine in a new scene where he exchanges some words with Caesar. You can watch it in the space above.
In the video, Caesar is brought before the Colonel as a prisoner with a chain around his neck. This is presumably the “human zoo” that Bad Ape mentioned in the earlier clip. Caesar tells his enemy “I came for you,” but refuses to mention who told him the Colonel would be there. Harrelson showcases his more sinister side by taunting Caesar, saying the animal is “almost human” due to his eyes. When the Colonel’s interrogation goes nowhere, he takes Caesar to another location – presumably to be locked up in a cage. It’s worth mentioning there is at least one ape in allegiance with the Colonel, adding a healthy dose of realism to the conflict.
Besides featuring the two stars going head-to-head, this clip is also a showcase for the brilliant technical work on the film. Michael Giacchino’s score is haunting and ominous, setting a tone of dread for this sequence (and the ones that will follow it). The visual effects are unsurprisingly superb as well. One of the greatest strengths of the new Apes films is the extremely life-like CGI primates. Technology has only improved since Serkis made his Caesar debut in 2011, so the animals look as photorealistic as ever in War. Weta’s attention to detail is extraordinary, and it shouldn’t come as a shock the previous two installments were nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar. War is a shoo-in for a nomination in that category again this year, and many are hoping the franchise can finally secure a win after revolutionizing motion-capture acting.
2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stood out from the crowd because it lacked a traditional “antagonist” and instead painted its story in various shades of grey. Koba and Dreyfus may have favored violence as opposed to peace, but their points of view were justifiable. Hopefully, Harrelson’s Colonel is a similar kind of character. The actor has demonstrated immense talent over the years by taking on a variety of challenging roles, and it would be great if the Colonel isn’t simply a stereotypical villain. Based on the reactions, there’s some depth to him, so he should prove to be an intriguing and intimidating figure to watch.
KEY RELEASE DATES
War for the Planet of the Apes release date: Jul 14, 2017