Today’s Prayer Focus
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War for the Planet of the Apes

also known as “Planet of the Apes 3,” “El planeta de los simios: La guerra,” “Planeta dos Macacos: A Guerra,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, thematic elements, and some disturbing images.

Reviewed by: Justin C. Rose

Moral Rating: Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults Teens
Genre: Sci-Fi War Action Drama Sequel
Length: 2 hr. 20 min.
Year of Release: 2017
USA Release: July 14, 2017 (wide—4,022 theaters)
DVD: October 24, 2017
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Relevant Issues
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The awfulness of CRUELTY—both physical and mental—and its terrible, lasting consequences

Hate / hatred

Compare hate to Biblical LOVE

Self-sacrifice to save others

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with sin, oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer

What is SIN?


Traitors / treachery

hypocritical “Christians”

Highly infectious viral diseases / pandemics / plagues

“Apes” in the Bible

Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

EVOLUTIONISM—Does DNA similarity between chimps and humans PROVE a common ancestry? Answer

EVOLUTIONISM—Who’s who and what’s what in the world of “missing” links? Are the “missing links” really missing? Answer

Is there fossil evidence of “missing links” between humans and apes? Answer
A detailed report paleontologist Marvin Lubenow, Ph.D.

Top choice for accurate, in-depth information on Creation/Evolution. The SuperLibrary is provided by a top team of experts from various respected creationist organizations who answer your questions on a wide variety of topics. Multilingual.
The first man

What was the FIRST MAN, really like? Answer

WAR—What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer

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FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

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Featuring Toby Kebbell … Koba
Andy SerkisCaesar
Judy GreerCornelia
Woody HarrelsonColonel
Steve ZahnBad Ape
Amiah Miller … Nova
Ty Olsson … Rex
Sara Canning …
Terry Notary … Rocket
Max Lloyd-Jones … Blue Eyes
See all »
Director Matt Reeves — “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (2014)
Producer Mark Bomback
Peter Chernin
See all »
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Trademark logo.
20th Century Studios
, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company

“For freedom. For family. For the planet.”

“War has… begun.” —Caesar

It all started with an attempt to cure Alzheimer’s, but it turned into a war for planet Earth. Caesar (Andy Serkis) was an ape that was born with a chemical inside that helped him grow in intelligence, but once humans found out about him, he became an outcast, living in a primate shelter among other apes. He released the same chemical he was born with to his new ape friends, and they became intelligent and escaped into the forests. Unbeknownst to them, a disease brought out by the chemical produced a worldwide epidemic killing millions.

Ten years later, Caesar meets some of the last remaining humans and seeks to help them live in their post-apocalyptic world, but Koba (Toby Kebbell) wanted to be rid of the humans. Koba launched a war on the humans, and the great battle between man and ape began.

Two years later, the apes are hunted by an army. This movie is about that hunt and the abduction of a king and his people.

The film opens with a human attack on an ape fortress, but the humans are immediately attacked by reinforcements, and all are killed, except four. These four are taken to Caesar, including a gorilla whose loyalty is to the humans and against Caesar (apes and gorillas who do this are known as “donkeys”). Caesar allows them to leave, but with a message for the human leader, “Leave us the woods, and the killing can stop.”

Caesar returns home to his wife and two sons (the baby is named Cornelius, a nod to the original movie) and all seems peaceful.

That night, humans with guns sneak around the apes’ camp. All but the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) of the human army escapes immediately after taking the life of Caesar’s wife and firstborn child. This is what begins Caesar’s journey of hate for humankind and especially for the Colonel who took his loved ones away from him.

Positive Content

From a production standpoint, it is a very well-made film. The first film of this trilogy (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) had CGI that, throughout, looked cartoony. The second film (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) had much better CGI, but you could still see at times that the characters were not looking right. This time, the CGI is beautiful, and it is tremendous how real the characters look.

The writing is excellent. All the apes, except for Caesar, typically use sign language to speak which is a brilliant idea to make most of the dialog in a film sign language and subtitles.

Andy Serkis’ acting in this movie is amazing. Some might remember him as Gollum from Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” series. Many might think that Caesar is just animated in this movie, emotions and everything. On the contrary. Serkis is standing where Caesar is standing for most of this movie, and the emotion you see on the CGI Caesar is taken directly from Andy Serkis’ face and body, through very advanced motion capture. Serkis is the reason I love this character, and why I feel for this character. In my mind, this is an Oscar worthy performance.

HATE is terribly consuming, destructive and sinful and leads to further evil.

Lust for REVENGE leads to more pain and suffering.

Christians are to forgive, in humility, and leave final judgment to God, who is the only one who is fully righteous, knows everything and is totally just.

Justice of God


Positive messages against hate and revenge, and for family, self-sacrifice, and even humanity are told through the story. Caesar’s biggest flaw is his hatred of humans and his desire for revenge against the man who murdered his family, but it is eventually resolved in a brilliant way. He also shows sacrifice for his people, who are taken into captivity. More than one critic has equated his acts with the story of Moses, and I will not deny that the similarities are pretty close. The difference being, one is an ape—saving other apes, and the other was one of God’s chosen men, leading God’s chosen people.

Negative Content

The humans are blasphemous with their main slogan, “We are the beginning and the end,” which includes the Alpha and Omega Greek letters.

From His Heavenly throne, God famously said to the Apostle John:

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” —Revelation 21:6

See: What is blasphemy? / also see: Names of God

I am also concerned that the Colonel wears a very noticeable cross necklace, and in the background of his office hangs a cross symbol. He also calls his war with the apes a “holy war.” (see: Hypocrisy)

Humans are the antagonists in this film, except one. So, you are basically forced into rooting for the apes. That is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is about as bad as rooting for an alien from outer space fighting a human (Superman and Lex Luthor). These particular humans are evil, but events later on show these are pretty much the only rotten humans.

This may be an odd thing to point out, but in these three movies, Evolution has never contributed to the apes becoming intelligent, however, in this one, Bad Ape (yes, that is his name, and he is played by Steve Zahn) never mentions having been exposed to the same chemicals Caesar and the other apes were exposed to make them smart. I am not sure if Bad Ape is supposed to be a product of Evolution or not, but it is worth pointing out.

There is a scene where excrement is thrown at a guard twice, as distraction.

VIOLENT CONTENT—Where to begin? The first word in the title of the movie is “War”. That pretty much sums up much of the movie. The very first scene is very violent. Humans fire guns at apes and throw grenades, sending dying apes flying. Humans are hit and killed by arrows. Later, Caesar views the carnage of his family after the battle. Piles of dead apes and many others are wounded (blood is visible).

Human soldiers who attack Caesar’s home are attacked and killed by apes in very violent ways. The death of Caesar’s wife and son is not shown, but their dead bodies are visible in the dark with puddles of blood surrounding them.

Caesar later shoots a human defective soldier in self-defense. We later see this man’s daughter(?) looking at his dead body.

Caesar and his friends find three bodies in the snow with blood coming from their chests. They take the men’s masks off, revealing the men had bloody noses, which hints at an unusal death (I will not spoil the reason for you). One of these men is still alive and cannot speak, his eyes plead Caesar to finish him off. Caesar does so, offscreen.

Caesar and his ape family are captured and forced to work at gunpoint. An elderly orangutan is whipped for messing up his job and shot by the Colonel in the head. The Colonel then points the gun at Caesar’s head. When given the chance Caesar, also points the same gun to the Colonel’s head.

Helicopters are blown from the sky, and apes fall all around. There is also an explosion which kills many humans. An ape is shot at point blank range by a crossbow, in the side, ***SPOILER*** and dies from his injury. ***END SPOILER***

INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE—The apes provide most of the dialog in this movie and, as mentioned earlier, they mostly speak with sign language and an unintelligible languag translated by subtitles. It is interesting to note that not one of them uses any profane or vulgar language. The humans, on the other hand, do have some coarse mouths. “H*ll” is misused twice, God’s name is misused once—twice with “d*mn—one of those is not audible, but if you are a lip reader you will catch it). Jesus Christ’s name is misused once (by the man who wears His symbol on his neck, go figure).

SEXUAL CONTENT—There’s no sex, and little nudity to mention—a shirtless male human, and apes who do not wear clothes (nothing offensive is visible). A female ape has visible nipples.

ALCOHOL OR DRUG CONTENT—The Colonel drinks what is presumed to be an alcoholic beverage from a flask and is later seen pouring an apparent alcoholic beverage bottle into that same flask.


When I first saw “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” I fell in love with these movies. I enjoy the action, the characters, and, most importantly, the emotional story it told with a interesting plot. Sure, the action is exciting, but if you have all this action, but no strong story or emotion to back it up, your movie is weak (somebody needs to tell that to Michael Bay).

I think the story of Caesar growing up to be a self-sacrificing leader and warrior defending his kind is inspiring. I know he is not a human protagonist, but the emotion he is given in each of these movies, especially this one, has drawn me in better than most Hollywood flicks with human protaganists. It is because the creators of these movies know that the best way to write a story is with emotion. Luke Skywalker’s story in the original Star Wars is told through emotion, as is Bruce Wayne’s story in the “Dark Knight.” Emotion is strong in this movie, and that is what got me invested in Caesar’s story.

If you have liked the previous two films, I expect you will really like this one. It is a well-made motion picture, with excellent special effects and complex drama. The negative content levels are not terrible, when compared to many other movies these days. Still, this is a war movie with a lot of violence and some disturbing images, and our Lord’s name is misused.

Violence: Very Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Andy Serkis in Wild Bill (2011)PLEASE PRAY for a change of heart in Andy Serkis, . He is a very talented actor and has been crucial to the success of these films, but he has rejected Jesus Christ in his life and placed his faith in Atheism and, without a turnaround, is headed, not for eternal life, but for God’s judgment on all unsaved sinnerseternal death. He has 3 children. According to Andy, both his parents are “staunch believers” in Christianity and are Catholics.

Editor’s Note: In addition to its obvious messages, mentioned above, is the film also subtly promoting a Secular Humanist, anti-Christian message? What do you viewers think?
Article Version: October 14, 2017

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—There is a scene, perhaps the most important scene in the movie, that some Christian viewers may pick up on. It takes place between the Colonel and Caesar and features the Colonel explaining why he is the way he is, and what drove him to that particular point. I won’t spoil the scene with exact details, but the Colonel (depicted as a brutal taskmaster who rules harshly from his perch up high) basically describes himself as God—and his actions as God-like. Now, he doesn’t say that specifically, but a discerning viewer will absolutely pick up on the parallels. In that moment, it seemed as if the filmmakers were comparing this unhinged military dictator to God.
[Editor: Or could the implication be that this is a likely outcome for a leader who believes (or claims to believe) in God and the Bible? Like a cult leader, he ultimately legitimizes his power by using religion—using it to justify his harsh actions—becoming a hateful, power hungry, delusional, cruel dictator—a prideful hypocrite devoid of “humanity.” All this is exactly opposite the goals of true followers of Jesus Christ—see: LOVE, MERCY/COMPASSION, GOODNESS, HUMILITY, and RIGHTEOUSNESS]
In contrast, Caesar the ape [with no belief in God], is portrayed as the sympathetic, more merciful one.

The film, as a whole, is an enjoyable end to the trilogy, and well-filmed, scored, and acted. But the dig at the Christian God is brief, but very telling.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jonathan Rodriguez, age 33 (USA)
Positive—I remember watching the original planets of the apes with my dad as a kid and have always loved them. That said, I think that this movies is really good, not as good as the original, but pretty close. I would recommend this movie.

On a side note, since “hell” is not really a swear word, you can’t really misuse it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Brittanie, age 27 (USA)
Editor’s Response—In response to the suggestion that “hell” “is not really a swear word,” please consider this. Dictionaries define “swear word” (swearword) as a profane (or obscene) word, expression or oath—usually of surprise or anger.

  • Misuse of the words “Hell,” “damn” and “damnation” are profane (profanity)—irreverant and disrepectful of their true and terrrible meaning in Scripture.
  • God-fearing, Bible-believing people, such as myself, believe that HELL is a very real and terrible place. We wince at the mere thought of what faces people that pridefully reject Christ and die in their sins—to one day face the full, righteous justice of God—the Final Judge of every soul, great and small. Scripture states that after the great white throne judgment, Satan, his demons, and every unsaved soul will be cast in that pit of concentrated evil, eternal despair, and torment—and, worst of all, ETERNAL separation from our righteous, good and glorious Creator.
  • A flippant “what the h*ll” or “d*mn it” is a very inappropriate use of these serious words—again “profanity.” They disrespect God’s Word and disrespect our sovereign God—the only Judge of the whole world, the only One who can condemn anyone to Hell.
  • Curses such as as “G*d d*mn you,” and “Go to H*ll” have long been recognized as blasphemous.
Neutral—I am a big fan of the original five films and television series. I have all these on disc, as well as the animated series, books, a couple of annuals, all the soundtrack CDs, and, back in 1976, saw an arena show in the UK! To the film, then.

I do not think as highly of “War…” as many seem to. A lot of the story and action is a retread of the previous “Dawn…,” rather than really advancing the story, although it does come to a proper ending. They could easily have shorn forty-five minutes from the running time, I feel.

Biblically, there are various ideas that came either by design or by osmosis, from Exodus and the New Testament, but, overall, one rooted for the apes, not the humans (intentionally). There is no mention of God as a deity, beyond the main human villain mentioning or blaspheming and wearing a cross.

Caesar of course has a wife, and taking a wife is Biblical, as this is what God intended for man from the outset. So he “acts” human, in that regard.

The score by Michael Giacchino is serviceable but a little irritating in places, with a quest-like theme lifting one out of the movie—at least it did me—as it sounds like a languorous John Barry theme, but the melodic line made me hum George Gershwin’s song “It Ain’t Necessarily So”!

So, overall, this trilogy has been a more literal take on the Apes idea than Boulle’s original novel and the quote different 1968 film and its sequels. Nothing in “War…” stretches the imagination or inspires per se.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dirk Wickenden, age 49 (United Kingdom)
Neutral—I wonder if anyone noticed the anti-military tone in this movie. It was kind of hard not to really. The military are portrayed as aggressively taking delight in capturing and brutalizing the apes, who are portrayed as a peace-loving species. There is a scene where the American flag is torn down and burned, and the National Anthem is played during the carnage being done by the military. This bothered me.

Otherwise, the movie was well done and entertaining. I’m just tired of Hollywood film makers who want to cast a dark shadow of tyranny over our wonderful country which, by the way, happens to be a Christian one—or, at least, that is what it was intended to be.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Janene B, age Over 50 (USA)
Negative—This movie is proof that even a huge production budget and talented actors can't make up for a flawed script—an endless litany of cruelty and hatred with several gaps in common sense.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
Brian Schacht, age 70 (Canada)
Negative—It was clearly Anti-christian. The evil colonel makes the sign of the cross with a razor, as if he is a Catholic priest. He wears a cross around his neck, and there is a cross hung very clearly next to the image of the son he himself had murdered. The Alpha and Omega symbol is found on the evil army and even on the American flag. There is a jab at Trump supporters also, “Why do they need a wall” and “A wall will not protect them” uttered by the hero. So sad, and none of that helped the plot, etc.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Luke, age 45 (USA)
Negative—I wanted to comment because I feel some of the outright blasphemous content was not sufficiently addressed. As a film, this is one of the weakest entries—which is poorly paced and at least 30 minutes too long.

The blasphemy is for me a game breaker. There are several Messianic images, but none of them are Biblical. ***SPOILER*** The colonel murdered his own son and says “I sacrificed my only son in order that man might be saved.”. ***END sPOILER*** He is portrayed as a religious lunatic and fanatic.

***SPOILER*** Also, Caesar, the ape, is crucified and takes the punishment for another ape, but, even at the end, he doesn’t really forgive the Colonel, but instead lets him commit suicide. That is not forgiveness, but shifting the guilt by allowing him to kill himself. ***END SPOILER***

The film is too much of a retread of the last film, runs too long and slow, and blasphemes the Gospel. These reasons make it a no go for me.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Dr. David, age 50 (USA)
Neutral—It’s a well-made movie, but there is clearly anti-Christian sentiments in it. Beside the fact that the colonel wears the cross, etc. He’s clearly setup as a God figure who sacrificed his son to save what’s left of humanity. Along side of that, he is clearly evil/lost, which points at the fact that the filmmakers think that the whole idea of God sacrificing his only begotten son is evil.

In contrast to that, you have Caesar who has a homosexual son that he loves and doesn’t judge, who fights for his people and eventually has mercy on his “creator”. In essence, the movie is saying that the creation has surpassed the creator. They don’t need their creators anymore.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Amir Pavlo, age 40
Negative—In the Summer of 2017, I went to this feature film in theaters with high expectations. To this day I have not seen “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” but I had seen “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” and it blew me away with how good it was. I had been expecting it to portray humans in a negative light, but it did not. That was this film’s job.

I very much enjoyed the first half-hour of this film, but as it journeyed on, the film fell into complete and utter madness. The villain of this story (played by Woody Harrelson) is a ruthless colonel bent on destroying the apes which did arguably cause the disease which wiped out most of the human race in the first place. The colonel was so similar to Matthew McConaughey’s character from 2002’s “Reign of Fire” that the characters may as well have been twin brothers. All the humans in this story were portrayed as vicious beasts who the viewer was supposed to root for to go extinct.

Well, there was this ONE little girl named Nova who was a human, but she turned her back on whatever it was that classified her as a human. I mean it, she does not shed a single tear when her father, who went through all this sacrifice to keep her alive, is gunned down by an ape, but weeps when a random ape who she only knew for a day gets killed.

I watched this movie from title to credits and was disgusted by the way it portrayed the human race. And the end credits song is a hymn of the last of mankind resolving to “fight on” which made me wonder what image the filmmakers wanted of mankind. First we are supposed to cheer for them to go extinct, but now we’re supposed to feel sorry that they did? Man was created in God’s image, but now it appears as if the filmmakers did not think so.

I have not seen this level of thinking portrayed so cunningly, that humans are terrible creatures and animals are superior creatures, since reading the finale of Jonathon Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Patrick, age 21 (USA)

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