‘War for the Planet of the Apes’: Is It Worth the High?

(Chernin Entertainment)

Welcome to “Is It Worth the High?”, where our writers see newly released movies, listen to the latest album drops, and try other experiences while high to determine whether they’re worth your time, money, and most importantly, your cannabis buzz. This week, Dante Jordan assesses if we should love or hate every chimp we see (from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z) in the third installment of the rebooted Planet of the Apes series.


Product Enjoyed Pre-Movie: A bowl and blunt of Anthrax OG

High Experienced (1-10 scale): Oh, I was a definite 10. Ya boy made sure of that. I faced an entire blunt and then got to the theater right as previews were ending. That’s a little something called perfect timing.

I’ve been a Planet Of The Apes stan since Day 1, so when it came to War for the Planet of the Apes, ya boy was suuuper excited. I couldn’t wait. The trailers made it look incredible, the buzz about it made me feel like it had Movie of the Summer potential, and even the critics managed to not have their heads up their asses about it, so I was like, “Oh yeah, this is definitely going to be worth the high.”

Then I got there and 12 minutes into the film, I discovered that I was 100% right. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH THE HIGH AND ANYONE WHO DISAGREES IS WELCOME TO NEVER SPEAK TO ME OR MY SON EVER AGAIN.

The movie was so much different than what I expected. I thought it would be 90% war, explosions, and death, and 10% real movie and storyline, but it happened to be the reverse. Instead of focusing all of its Last Movie Ever energy on killing everyone, it provided a more intimate experience where you really got closer to the apes. The way it was shot, the close-ups, the “deep” feeling that seemed to linger behind every scene, all came together to make an incredible film.

RELATED STORY
Cannabis Strain Highlight: The Great Grape Ape

Key Takeaways:

  • It leaves no questions unanswered. There are no characters you need to follow, there’s no hidden threat to the apes, there’s absolutely no room for a sequel. That’s how you wrap up a franchise. Don’t make me wonder if the main ape Caesar’s kids are going to go to college or if his wife will ever get the equal pay she deserves from her stressful-ass banana picking job.
  • Admittedly, the movie was long as hell, but I wasn’t mad at how long I was there. (I definitely did leave sleepy, but that’s probably from crashing from my high. I was up there, man.)
  • Woody goddamn Harrelson is such a great lunatic. It’s the eyes. He has those big-ass eyes that make you think you should probably leave the bar before this dude gets too drunk because he’s giving off “public nuisance” vibes. When it comes to movie villains, I truly only care about one thing: does he make me want to hop through the movie screen and stab him through the heart with my ICEE straw? For that to happen, the villain has to draw me in emotionally, and boy oh boy did Woody’s character do just that.
  • Every single scene is so tense. Literally. Every. Single. Scene. The background music combined with the way everything is shot just makes it seem like, at any given moment, someone is going to get fucked up. And you’re on the edge of your seat ready to watch it all unfold. (So far on the edge of your sheet that you actually topple over onto the person who’s sitting in front of you and then they turn around like WTF BRO, and you look down like “Ay man, this shit is thrilling, okay?!”)
RELATED STORY
Does Cannabis Make You Grumpy?

There was one major drawback, though: the ape in the blue vest.

Look, I get it. He was a zoo ape that became humanized, but there’s absolutely no way that ape was not made to represent DeRay Mckesson. For those who don’t know, DeRay is a civil rights activist known for rocking a blue Patagonia bubble vest at all times. Literally, all times. It’s his thing. So for the movie to have an ape wearing a blue vest, over any of the other colors in the color wheel, it had to be blatant. You don’t just do something like that on accident.

Additionally, the parallels between slavery and the apes’ struggle made me feel pretty uncomfortable. I vowed to never see another slavery movie after 12 Years a Slave, but War had other plans. The scenes with the apes getting whipped and branded were just too much for me. Then you’ve got the plans for ape genocide once they finish serving their purpose. Then you factor in the Underground Railroad symbolism and it’s just like ALRIGHT, WE GET IT. THE HUMANS HAVE TAKEN CONTROL OF THE APES AND THEY’RE TREATING THEM LIKE LESS THAN SHIT. PLEASE STOP WITH THE WHIPS.

RELATED STORY
Watch This: Chance the Rapper Urges to ‘Let Everybody Out of Jail for Selling Weed’

Ahem. Aside from that, the movie was excellent.

Is It Worth the High? I repeat: absolutely yes. Load sum’n, twist sum’n, eat sum’n, do whatever you need to do to reach peak levels of smackage, then head to your nearest theater. You will not be disappointed.