The hallmark of this reboot is that we cheer for the apes now. What keeps it all going is the thrill of seeing realistic intelligent apes, and this film is no different. The CGI is superb. I think the high scores reflect the enjoyment that audiences get from seeing this CGI artistry. After a while, you simply forget that it's not real and focus on the story.
I didn't find this one to be as good as Rise or Dawn. The apes are an interesting lot, but they didn't blow me away this time. There were too many of them, I suppose. I didn't feel connected to them. The villains here are not yahoos and hotheads, but crazed, plague-infected humans. The humans are all soldiers and they live in fortresses and are armed to the teeth (an American view of a post-apocalyptic Armageddon). The theme is oppression, brutality, militarism, and so on. Nasty human stuff. This is a dark movie with too much violence for my taste.
I wish the series had slown down and maybe gone somewhere else in this movie. Europe? China? But this is the last in the Caesar trilogy and I suppose they had to play that out. It was interesting to see the situation getting closer to the Planet of the Apes we saw in 1968. Humans are falling mute.
There were a few plot problems with this one. The biggest one for me is that the simian society can rise so far, and human society sink so low, in such a short space of time. It's happening too fast. Not enough time was spent by the writers in figuring out how that would have played out realistically. The first movie in this reboot did seem vaguely realistic, and I liked that.
Another problem is that the movie is not that verbal. I suppose this is necessary, but it's not an easy thing to pull off well. In hindsight, I don't remember any of the apes or their characters really. What are they going to do next?
This was...well, a run-of-the-mill movie. It didn't soar for me. It was entertaining enough, but if you miss it, you wouldn't have missed much. It's worth about 7.5. I hope the next one is better.