While this film does have parallels to Battle for the Planet of the Apes it’s not as much of a counterpart of it in the way Rise of the Planet of the Apes is to Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. This is more of an inbetween two major events movie focusing less on the big battles and more on the events that lead to them and the aftermath of the previous film.
With that in mind while it’s not as good as the previous film it’s still one of the stronger films in the franchise. I’m especially impressed that a majority of the ape dialogue is in sign language, they could have very easily done like Battle for the Planet of the Apes and just had all the apes speaking perfect English but instead their default is sign language only speaking when they need to.
While there are human antagonists the main villain is Kobo, the scarred bonobo from the previous film. While yes his design just screams evil it also justifies his strong hatred for humans as in one scene he points to each scar saying “human”. He is comparable to Aldo in Battle for the Planet of the Apes but without the whole “gorillas are bad” thing. He’s without a doubt the best ape antagonist this series has had.
And with that I’m all caught up ready to see the new film. I’ve gone from being interested in seeing an iconic film series to being excited to see what happens next.