Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

battle for the planet of the apes poster 1973 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Acting: 6/10
Story: 4/10
Visuals: 3/10

Takes the series' story in a different direction

Cheap looking and poorly plotted

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): June 15, 1973

MPAA Rating: G

battle-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-caesar

If one of you guys makes one more crack about Caesar Salads, I’m going to bite off your face

The world has been destroyed and now Caesar (Roddy McDowall) is leading a group of apes and humans in a peaceful Eden.  Unfortunately the survivors of Caesar’s overthrow of mankind are amassing forces, and Caesar is also facing betrayal from within his own party.

Directed by J. Lee Thompson, Battle for the Planet of the Apes is the fifth and final film in the original Planet of the Apes series.  Following Conquest of the Planet of the Apes in 1972, Battle for the Planet of the Apes fared poorly at the box office and was met with negative reviews from critics.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes was very cheaply made, and unfortunately, it also looks cheap.  For the big assault on the ape city, they only had one real base to explode and used multiple cameras to make it appear that the city is being decimated…this is just an example of how the once great looking film series ended with a whimper.

battle-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-gorillas

I cry every time I see ‘Gorillas in the Mist’

The movie just seems to have no life to it.  It is full of dead points leading up to the final battle between the ape city and the survivors of city’s destruction.  It feels much more like a grindhouse movie than the classy first movie which had such large spectacle to it.  It is a shame that the series sunk to this level (although I’d still argue that Beneath the Planet of the Apes is possibly worse despite the bigger budget…for the most part, it is a toss up).

Battle for the Planet of the Apes really doesn’t make much sense.  I was never sure if we were suppose to believe they were humanoid apes and how the apes were able to learn to talk between Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and this film.  The original movies had a little more scientific basis, and it wouldn’t be possible for the apes to develop vocal chords.  If the movie had been set maybe two hundred years in the future with a descendant of the original Caesar the movie might make more sense.  This would also help explain how society reverted so quickly from Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

battle-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-paul-williams

I’m Paul Williams…I’m already weird enough looking without the ape make-up!

The movie kinds of sets up an alternate timeline in which humans and apes could coexist (unlike the world that Charlton Heston came to find in the original Planet of the Apes).  There are chances that the world still could become the world of the original Planet of the Apes, but bookends shot with John Huston as the Lawgiver bring that in to question.

Battle of the Planet of the Apes was the nail in the coffin of the Planet of the Apes series for years.  A short lived TV series in 1974 followed (which Roddy McDowall playing another ape) and the animated series Return to the Planet of the Apes ran in 1975.  It wasn’t until 2001 when Tim Burton’s misguided remake of the original story made it back to the big screen and the more critically acclaimed relaunch Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011.

Related Links:

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Planet of the Apes (2001)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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