Battle For The Planet Of The Apes Movie Review
Cast & Crew
Director : J. Lee Thompson
Producer : Arthur P. Jacobs
I guess Arthur Jacobs and Paul Dehn decided that no one would notice that this final chapter of the sage was actually a remake of the second one, Beneath The Planet of the Apes. This time around, though, the radioactive human mutants would not be telepathic.
The movie begins with John Huston, playing some mystical ape figure called the Lawgiver, delivering a pathetic speech while wearing uncomfortable ape makeup, discussin ape and human co-existence after a major nuclear war. Caesar (Roddy McDowall, now making a living playing a talking monkey) is the dominant ape leader of the future and has established a weird hippie cult where apes and humans live in peace together. That peace is threatened when a gorilla general named Aldo (who strangely resembles Tim Roth's character from the 2001 remake of The Planet of the Apes) mucks up the works with his proclamations that all humans must be extinguished to in order for apes to survive.
To further make things worse, Caesar, his buddy Virgil, and the fourth Apes film's token black guy's brother McDonald (Austin Stoker, the main dude from John Carpenter's classic Assault on Precinct 13) venture into the Forbidden City, which is made up of mainly bad matte paintings of New York, to find archived footage of Caesar's parents. During their investigation, the apes and their soul brother piss off a group of radioactive humans living in the sewer system. This action evitably leads to the radioactive humans leaving the sewers in order to wipe out the ape/human colony, culminating into some type of homogenized battle scene that feels like a cross between The Road Warrior and Ice Pirates.
This final chapter of the saga drains all the energy from everyone involved in the production. Roddy McDowall looks tired and irritated. The directing of J. Lee Thompson is confused and restricted due to budget and thematic restrictions. The studios wanted the last chapter of the saga to better be suited for children. Alas, it's not only unsuitable for children, it's not suitable for anyone.
Our full Apes coverage:
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)Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)Planet of the Apes (2001 remake)
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