Mark Bomback and Matt Reeves wrote this installment, with Reeves returning to direct. Two years after the human-hating Koba attacked humans — Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — Caesar and his tribe of intelligent apes have been forced to fight against Alpha-Omega, a military faction led by The Colonel (Woody Harrelson), who uses the apes loyal to Koba as his soldiers, calling them donkeys and Caesar’s troops kongs.
After Disney bought Fox this year, it was thought that this would be the last film in this universe. However, Wes Ball (The Maze Runner) is directing another sequel that is supposedly taking place in the same continuity.
This film has way less humans in it — save the Alpha-Omega and army troops that fight one another and the mute Nova, who befriends Maurice. Steve Zahn also shows up as Bad Ape, a chimpanzee who lived in a zoo before the flu outbreak led to the apes moving up the evolutionary ladder.
All the apes want to do is find a place in the desert that will be an oasis for them, so that Caesar can raise his sons Blue Eyes and Cornelius in peace. However, getting there will mean going through hell and confronting the past, where Koba had to die. It will cost him a son, a wife and nearly his own life to find the heaven on Earth that the apes deserve. If the goal was for Caesar to become the Moses of the apes, this movie certainly achieves that.
After all, Maurice, an orangutan, makes the promise to tell Caesar’s story to his son. In the original films, the Lawgiver is responsible for carrying on these traditions, so much so that their statue becomes revered long after Caesar has been forgotten.