After conquering the oppressive humans in "Conquest for the Planet of the Apes", Caeser must now keep the peace amongst the humans and apes. Gorilla General Aldo views things differently, and tries to cause an ape civil war. In the meantime, other human survivors learn of the ape city, and decide they want to take back civilization for themselves, thus setting the stage of warring ape factions and humans.
Directed by: J. Lee Thompson
. Starring: Roddy McDowall
, Claude Akins
, Natalie Trundy
, Severn Darden
, Lew Ayres
, Paul Williams
, Austin Stoker
, Noah Keen
, Richard Eastham
, France Nuyen
, Paul Stevens
, Heather Lowe
, Bobby Porter
. Music by: Leonard Rosenman
I'm not a fan of the (Plant of The Apes) series. Of course the first one was a classic, but the rest isn't as high as the 1967 movie on ALL the levels. Rather I see that this very rest wasn't necessary in the first place!
Look at them. The first (Beneath the Planet of the Apes - 1970) was maybe the lousiest sequel ever made. Being totally pointless, repeating the first one yet poorly and meaninglessly. However it defined the way of exploiting the success of the original movie. (Escape from the Planet of the Apes - 1971) was the first in 3 idiot prequels. It was the funny episode, but it was also one of the silliest movies. And if it was produced for little entertainment then it would've been better if it wasn't made. (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes - 1972) was a dull version of Spartacus. And it has the worst title in the series as well! By this far I didn't know for whom exactly these movies were made?! (and I still don't!). But I bet, the studio was happy and earning some profits out of it; again and again something was wrong with the American cinema, or strictly speaking the American audience, in the 1970s!
Now it's the winter of MY discontent. Because (Battle for the Planet of the Apes - 1973) wasn't as bad as the above. It's the best of the worst. Compared to the rest it's more snug and less idiot. This time it got solid screenplay as a decent B movie. But is it suitable for more than one watching? I don't think so, unless you're a die-hard fan of the series (god help you!), or a fan of the old cheap western adventure flicks, or a fan of the most campy movies along the history of cinema!
I believe (J. Lee Thompson) at the time was the man who can make "not bad" movies out of low budgets. He managed here to give the simple movie somehow an attractive image. Looking fine as a pilot for a TV show. But the masks were horrible, the music was like any soundtrack was done for TV at the moment (it's dangerous situation so let's put some noisy wind instruments and screaming violins to horror the viewers!), the editing was artless; the black dude thought A LOT to discover the murder, suddenly you'd find a shot for Cesar's wife making up the bed while talking about his parents, and the battle at the end was nothing but many uninterrupted explosives only! And one more note: the parent's tapes were a farce!
(Roddy McDowall) tried much (by his eyes, voice, and the body performance). He even was somewhat lovely and serious. But sorry, he seemed wasted like a propaganda employee who's wearing a body suit along with inflexible character-mask, standing among badly-made toys! It's the way Hollywood industry deals with its talents sometimes. The human team's actors were pathetic. I didn't have the honor of knowing the name of the one who performed their leader who has a blood lust. In fact this guy gave me a high blood pressure! He looked like Rod Steiger' younger brother who can't act well, or just can't act!
The main apes story had suffered from high triteness to this point, running wretched and so uninterestingly thin. So, don't busy yourself thinking what it means? Ah.. there is something about saying yes to living all in peace and no to violence but don't bother, because it's an adventure movie and nothing more. Therefore the last scene with a crying statue for the dead saver was a desperate attempt to look sad or deep; it seemed over the top and out of the mood as Caesar is not Christ. Or he is if you're a devoted fan of these movies. So, as you see, it's the winter of my discontent Not the end of it!
I felt relief when I discovered that the 4 years exploitation had ended with this one, but who said so?!! There was: one short lived TV series directly in the next year (1974), followed in (1975) by animated TV series yet short lived too! and TV movies (have been edited from the first series) as well! Not to mention the foolish remake of the first movie Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (2001) which by the way looks like the 4 movies that were produced after the original but with big production and some quality. Simply all what Franklin Schaffner's Plant of the Apes (1967) did is being successful.. Damn! It's sometimes a curse in a town named Hollywood, if you want to know why, so you have to watch all of its followings to understand that well, then you have to watch the remake to understand that the exploitations will never end! So if this treatment is the fate, and as much as I hated it: it is, so I hope someday for one good sequel, prequel, remake, (or hell.. parody!) that gives us any good time, or good idea...I'm not that covetous to wish both!
Anyway, to wind it up frankly: with the exception of the original one, to hell with the rest of them! They're ugly cheesy and miserably diverting at best movies, I don't know who the hell waited for them back then or even stands them together?? The only consolation is that (Battle..) was less ugly. But still I can't be sympathetic with a talking ape that wants to make monkeys get along with humans! I HATE THESE MOVIES, THE BAD EXPLOITATION, AND THE 1970S TOO!!!
Review by ahmed elshikh from the Internet Movie Database.