6/10 Like “War for the Planet of the Apes”, this is a movie that in certain circles people are trying to bring it up for Oscar buzz but I just don’t see any major nominations happening. I watched the 1971 original starring Clint Eastwood to prepare myself for this remake. Although I am glad they made a couple changes (Clint Eastwood is basically a pedophile in the original and Colin Farrell is very much less of one in this one), I take issue with the fact that this movie didn’t need remaking in the first place. 1971 was long enough ago to where it is very dated and the original isn’t beloved enough for the remake to offend anyone but remakes should be done very sparingly and I didn’t feel this movie qualified. That being said, a remake is what we got so let’s take a look at it. One advantage this has over the original is because it is so much newer, technology to make films has gotten better and therefore the production values are all way higher this time around. The lush cinematography paired with the almost haunting use of lighting makes this a beautiful experience for the eyes. The production design and costume design are expertly crafted and the only real shots at Academy Award nominations (although that may change based on competition from films coming out later this year). The acting is also consistently great across the board and well cast. I don’t see Kirsten Dunst acting too much these days but she gave one of the strongest performances in the movie. The biggest issue (as touched on earlier) is that despite a few smart changes, this is largely very similar to the original. The story hits all the similar beats. Making the same movie but prettier and with a different cast doesn’t warrant a remake. I’ll give the movie credit for (like the original) staying pretty ballsy, but this remake tends to not be extremely memorable. If you don’t like watching older movies and this is the only version you will watch, you will most likely appreciate it and how well made it is. However, if you saw the original already or the prospect of this didn’t excite you too greatly, then you won’t be missing much. This is definitely a rental that will impress you in some ways but ultimately be forgotten a year from now.
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