Tuesday, August 8, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes Adoption Movie Review

As apes have become increasingly intelligent, a virus has evolved which renders humans mute. In an effort to avoid the spread of this disease and to preserve the human species, a renegade branch of the military, called Alpha-Omega, has taken it upon themselves to kill all of the apes, and also to kill any infected humans and any humans who would work against them. A tribe of apes led by Caesar intends to escape from Alpha-Omega, and they have released captured Alpha-Omega soliders as a sign of peaceful intentions, but the Colonel of Alpha-Omega raids Caesar’s hideaway anyway and kills Caesar’s wife and son. Caesar sends the other apes off to escape, but he sets off to kill the Colonel. Caesar and his companions encounter an Alpha-Omega soldier and kill him before he can shoot them; then they discover his daughter who cannot speak; they keep her with them and care for her. However, Caesar learns that his tribe has been captured by Alpha-Omega. He must set them free, but he is captured by Alpha-Omega, and his capture brings him face to face with the Colonel. The Colonel knows that the rest of the Armed Forces are being sent against him because of his willingness to kill other humans – including his own son – and he is using the captured apes to perform forced labor to prepare his compound for the impending Armed Forces attack.


The Adoption Connection

Caesar and his companions care for Nova, the mute daughter of the solider they killed.

Strong Points

The apes show a willingness to forgive, and they show care for a human child who is left alone after her father, an enemy soldier, is killed.

Caesar’s friends challenge him when he intends to act out of anger.

Nova repays the apes’ kindness to her by giving them food and water; however, it is a strange dynamic that she is travelling with the ones who killed her father.


The Colonel shot his own son in the chest and left him to die, in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus that infected his son. When he learns that he himself has been infected, he kills himself.
It is difficult to see the apes forced into labor. They are starved and not given water. When Caesar attempts to defend an ape who is being whipped, he himself is beaten at the Colonel’s order. Others are left to die of exposure.

Even though Caesar achieves a peaceful future for his tribe, he dies from wounds he receives in the battle.

The Colonel tells Caesar that, although he hadn’t intended to kill Caesar’s wife and son, he is glad that he did.

An ape who had betrayed his tribe and sided with Alpha-Omega ultimately changes his mind and saves Caesar’s life, and a human responds by shooting him; the scene is graphic.


War for the Planet of the Apes is a well-made movie and tells a gripping story. There isn’t much of an adoption connection, and the only adoption connection I do see is a problematic one but it’s not a particularly strong connection. The film is heavy and violent, and so probably isn’t a good choice for kids. Many teens will be OK with this one, however, for kids who have experienced familial loss or domestic violence, it might not be a good choice, because Caesar’s wife and child are killed, Caesar dies, and a Colonel kills his own son.

Questions for Discussion

Why did Caesar ultimately choose not to shoot the Colonel?

Have you ever seen someone respond to a crisis in a way that made the situation even worse?

What are some other ways that the Colonel could have tried to save the human race from the virus?

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