For the record, I loved the first of these movies, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and I really really liked the second one, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. (I wrote an entire post about how the film thinks about justifying violence; the movie is very interesting.) This means, of course, that I am the target audience of Matt Reeves' third movie, War for the Planet of the Apes, since I already love the characters, already care about the fate of the apes, and am hoping the humans can leave them alone to live in peace. (Rupert Wyatt directed Rise; Reeves directed Dawn and War.)
The small, tearful, white child up on Caesar's horse stands in for all of this movie's many many feelings.
The other problem with War is that it is too intent on meaning. It takes itself extremely seriously (à la nineteenth-century melodrama). The other movies were serious too, don't get me wrong, but now that we are in a third movie, Reeves has decided that what the films are about is racism and not animals. To be sure, both topics are about the ways that we exclude people from the category of the human, but the first two movies told us a story and let us make sense of what the movies had to say. Not War. War makes explicit allegories about nationalism and Steve Bannon and the alt-right. Worse than that, the film simply tells us all what we already know about racist white supremacist without using the allegory of apes to see if there's anything new we might learn about the logic of neo-Nazism.
Still, the allegories aren't really the problem. What the allegories do is contribute even further to the slowing down of the entire pace of War. The real problem is the slow pacing of Reeves' staging and his sentimental treatment of every moment of feeling so that what could be a simple moment turns into a four-minute sequence. What could have been a good, tight, 117-minute movie became instead a 140-minute Spielberg melodrama with chimps.