Battle for the Planet of the Apes


This was the last of the Science Fiction films for me this week. Next we have a football movie, a Bond film and a musical. Hope these posts have been entertaining in some way, and now on to today’s film.

Today’s film, released in 1973 is the last in the Planet of the Apes series. I don’t really know how I feel about today’s film. I really liked Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and its underlying messages but today’s film wasn’t as … eloquent? I don’t think it was as cohesive as yesterday’s movie, both in its story and message. It fell a little flat for me. I wasn’t as caught by the anger between the apes and humans as I was yesterday. It was okay, not great.

I don’t know why but the ape faces really bothered me in this film. They looked especially fake and I don’t think it would have been as distracting as it was to me, except that, as I said, I felt the story was lacking. But it is hard to be the last in a series that starts with such a groundbreaking film as Planet of the Apes.

To give the film a little break, I did like Lew Ayres as Mandemus. I thought the questioning required to obtain the weapons was a nice touch. It is also the last in the series so it has questions to answer or paths to change. It ends fairly hopeful and I guess that’s a good thing.

The film also attempts to answer the question of whether or not people (or apes) can outrun, change their destiny. Throughout the film it is suggested that the paths may change but the end result will be the same but the ending suggests that people/apes can, and did choose their futures. That’s a more positive outlook than most Science Fiction films of this time. Of course, the film does start off with the end of a nuclear war and people and apes at odds with each other, though trying to live peacefully.

So, the two Planet of the Apes films I watched were entertaining, I liked one a little more than the other, and thought it was a little more developed but, in the end they both had the same effect on me. They made me want to watch the original Planet of the Apes.