“War for the Planet of the Apes” (Fox)
By Catholic News Service
Monkey business turns deadly serious in this climactic installment of the rebooted film franchise based on the work of French science-fiction author Pierre Boulle (1912-1994) and directed in 3-D by Matt Reeves.
An epic battle is underway between the super-sentient simians and what’s left of the human race after a devastating epidemic. When the erudite ape leader (Andy Serkis) suffers a personal tragedy, he puts aside his peace-loving ways to seek revenge on the leader (Woody Harrelson) of the human army. Accompanying him on his journey are a trusted orangutan adviser (Karin Konoval), a mute human girl (Amiah Miller), and a clownish ape (Steve Zahn).
Regrettably, the spiritual messages are mixed; while the apes espouse winning Christian values of peace, love, and family, there’s an anti-Christian theme in the evil human leader, who wears a cross around his neck, displays one in his quarters, and gleefully announces that he is waging a “holy war.”
Frequent stylized violence, two uses of profanity, and a subtle anti-Christian message. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.