A year ago, the idea of one last war between humans and apes to determine the fate of civilization seemed far-fetched. But with President Big Mouth spilling our most classified intelligence to whomever will give him an ear, well, anything’s possible.
If we do end up duking it out with an army of well-armed sentient primates, let’s hope Woody Harrelson will be around to lead the way. The part-time actor, full-time stoner looks like the ultimate badass in this, the final trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes.
In our summer movie guide (which if you haven’t read, what are you waiting for?), we called Matt Reeves’ engrossing Planet of The Apes trilogy—which concludes on July 14—a “quietly ambitious franchise” because of the way it’s often overshadowed by flashier tentpoles like Star Wars or basically anything Marvel does.
The final installment of the trilogy completes the transformation of a world that was once familiar to one that has been overrun by apes. Though the series has flown under the radar relative to other tentpole offerings, this is a breathtaking, fully realized narrative arc.
So why does this franchise lack the same wattage of its summer counterparts? Well for one, there are no real heroes to latch onto. As you can see from the trailer, both Cesar and Harrelson’s solider are governed by the same ideology: Kill or be killed. Neither of them are tradiitonal heroes.
The films also lack any recurring characters that audiences can get attached to over the course of multiple movies. James Franco’s scientist disappeared after the first film, and Jason Clarke’s role in Dawn of the Planet of The Apes was also a one-off.
Perhaps these films are meant to be consumed as a whole instead of once every few years. But they’re so damn good, we’ll take once every few years, too. Watch the final trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes below.