War for the Planet of the Apes ★★★

The good: impressive score, incredible visual effects and acting by Andy Serkis, Steve Zahn, Woody Harrelson and others, sharp, well choreographed action set pieces, and a complex story more impressive than its Hollywood wrapping would lead you to expect.

The bad: overwrought writing, pacing that lulled me to boredom in the second act, and overbearing sense of despair that was not balanced by other emotions to bring the story to life.

This trilogy has been impressive to follow, and although it took me a few minutes (thanks to the overly prescriptive intro text) to remind myself of the previous films' plot lines, the through-lines about communication, civilization, violence and self-determination are well explored. I don't think this is the best in the trilogy but I would have to go back and re-watch the first two to be sure.