I love Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It’s one of my favorite movies. I love Caesar. I loved the way his character development was nurtured in the film.  I found it moving and powerful. The whole film falls into the done well category of moviemaking in my book. I can rewatch it and never get bored. It’s a far too rare example of how to make a good movie.

Slow clap for director Rupert Wyatt.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Not so much. I have no love for Matt Reeves direction. I’m sorry, I just don’t. I find him to be a blunt instrument. He lacks subtlety and nuance. I found his Let Me In (2010)  ( A remake of Let The Right One In (2008) by Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson.  Watch that film instead as it is far, far superior ) to be borderline unwatchable. I winced every time the characters explained to the audience what didn’t need explaining. Hammering home plot points the viewer should be deducing for themselves.

Blunt.

Thudding.

Mindlessness.

I found this same cloddishness accompanied Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and will likely permeate this movie as well.

However…

Woody Harrelson is a thespianic beast, always has been and probably always will be. As far as I’m concerned he can do no wrong. That coupled with my endearing love for the Caesar character and I have no choice but to tune in for this third installment…I just hope Reeves doesn’t make me pay too much for that choice.

War for the Planet of the Apes starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Judy Greer. opens worldwide July 14th.