Review: War for the Planet of the Apes is an emotional finale

I've said it before, I'll say it again: All hail Caesar!

What Weta Digital, Andy Serkis and his co-stars have done with these films have re-defined digitally enhanced performance, and it's nothing short of astonishing.

War for the Planet of the Apes takes this to the next level again, as Director Matt Reeves builds on his Dawn, completing a trilogy which will take up permanent residence in my home collection.

Caesar (Serkis) is being hunted by a relentless Colonel (Woody Harrelson) whose real mission is revealed only as the apes' future hangs in the balance.

Caesar must choose between saving his apes, or seeking his revenge - until both become one.

So much will be lost, the cost of survival far more than even Caesar seems capable of bearing.

This War could have so easily been just that, but Reeves takes a far bigger risk with his final story. The simpler narrative of Dawn for me had a far greater impact, but this grand cinematic statement certainly sinks into the subconscious.

As much as it pains me to say, Woody Harrelson took the edge off a little. Doing his best to channel Marlon Brando, his Colonel was no Kurtz, a weak link in an otherwise 'Apes Together Strong' grand finale.

Serkis and his troop of apes are infused with a humanity that humanity itself could only hope to imbue and this final chapter, while not as commanding as the other two, is a slow-burning, ambitious and emotional experience.

Four stars.

* War for the Planet of the Apes is in cinemas now.