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Battle For The Planet Of The Apes
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2006
Format: DVD
Rarely does the restoration of deleted scenes added back into a film work to its benefit. The Extended Edition of Battle for the Planet of the Apes (available previously only as a Japanese laserdisc) is one of those rare exceptions. The fifth and final chapter in the Apes theatrical series is generally regarded as its weakest link. It had the lowest budget of all of the films in the series and it painfully shows and looks more like it's a made-for-TV movie. In fact, it feels almost like a pilot for the Planet of the Apes Television Series.

The film begins in the year 2670 and is bookended with John Houston as the revered ape Lawgiver reading from the sacred scrolls like a bedtime storyteller, "In the beginning, God created beast and man so that they could live in harmony and share dominion over this world..." From here the story is told in flashback and the viewer is left scratching their heads by the befuddling logic. Events not clearly explained are left to the viewer to make assumptions or draw conclusions about the contradictory order of events. It must be assumed that a nuclear war had devasted the Earth immediately after the ape uprising in Conquest and somehow only a decade afterward the ape society had unbelievably evolved their verbal powers of speech and intelligence. These facts are inconsistent with Cornelius' explanation of the apes' evolution in Escape in which he explains that the plague that destroyed all cats and dogs occurred some 200 years later than it did in Conquest and that Aldo was the first ape to utter human speech when he said the word "No" which was spoken by Lisa in Conquest, and that Aldo led the revolt against the humans which was led by Caesar. We can only conclude that the incongruent events in Conquest and Battle are the events of an alternate timeline forged by the creation of the temporal paradox from Cornelius and Zira's arrival in Escape. The apes also adorn costumes similar to the fashions of the ape society from the first film which had evolved over several thousand years but again this is only a decade after their revolt against the humans (one explanation could be that since this story is told as a flashback to ape and human children we are seeing it as depicted by their imaginations as a point of reference). Caesar has a son named Cornelius which might initially confuse the uninitiated viewer into mistaking this to be the young Cornelius from the first film which lived several thousand years into the future until it is made obviously clear late in the film that it is not the same Cornelius (I actually spent a better part of the film pondering how Caesar could paradoxically be both the son and the father of Cornelius). Also, MacDonald in this film is not the same MacDonald who was the Governor's Adjutant in Conquest but rather his brother which is confusing since Caesar appeared to have found a human sympathizer and ally in the MacDonald from Conquest and the only reasonable explanation for the deliberate change of character is that MacDonald is played by a different actor this time, but if you aren't paying close attention, you are likely to miss that inference. Ape City is located in a very lush and hospitable forest area within miles of the inhospitable desert wasteland of the annihilated Forbidden City. Automobiles such as jeeps and school buses still work somehow and were not rendered inopperable by the EMP of the atomic detonation. Radioactive half-life apparently only affects the surviving humans living within the irradiated remains of the Forbidden City (again, this takes place a mere decade after the war) and the apes can somehow sustain bombardments of high levels of radioactive fallout for a few hours while they search its archives for a videotape of Cornelius and Zira which also amazingly happened to not be vaporized or magnetically degaussed by the atomic blast. The mutated humans all wear skull caps for the purpose of (take your pick): A.) protecting their craniums from high radiation levels B.) to hide the fact that their hair has completely fallen out due to radioactive fallout C.) to enhance telepathic reception of their now-suddenly mutated telekinetic minds or D.) All of the above.

The newly restored scenes with the human mutants and the Alpha-Omega bomb at least help to make some sense of the rather weak narrative and gaps of logic and provide some continuity to the rest of the series. In the first scene, Governor Kolp unveils the Alpha-Omega bomb and instructs his assistant Alma to use it to annihilate Ape City should he not return from battle which is exactly what happens in the final scene where we see Mendez and Alma playing a game of checkers when Sargeant York returns and declares the defeat of their army and waves his arms in the air signalling an explosion just before he collapses. Alma says "Then I know what I must do." Mendez says "But wait for Kolp's signal," Alma's response is "I have just received it." Mendez, implores her not to carry out Kolp's original instructions making the arguement that its destructive power should be protected and even venerated and that they should become its guardians because it was one of their ancestors that made them what they are. This scene is significant because it shows the mutants beginning to hone their developing telepathic powers and it establishes the fundamental doctrine of their quasi-religious sect that will worship the Alpha-Omega bomb in future generations. It almost feels more like a direct prequel to Beneath now. Why this subplot was excised is almost as baffling as the film's logic but one reason perhaps is the fact that the film ended with a more optimistic outlook suggesting that the timeline of events were changed when Caesar united the apes and the humans and that the crisis of Beneath may have been averted but it is left open for the audience to decide from the ambiguous tear of the weeping statue of Caesar suggesting that perhaps the fateful events of the future cannot be avoided after all.

Battle is definitely the worst of the five apes films but compared to most low-budget sci-fi shlock I've seen, it's really not as bad as it's made out to be, but judged against the superior standard set precedent by the first film it is a quite a disappointment. In addition to the restored scenes, there are few highlights that make the film worth at least a viewing if you have enjoyed watching the other films in this series at all. Of particular interest are the sets of the melted down post-apocalyptic Forbidden City that are just visually interesting to look at, even if the obvious matte paintings were composited into the background. It gives the film a future-coda feel in a way that evokes images of James Cameron's The Terminator but pre-dates it over a decade. If nothing else, Battle (and the rest of the Apes saga) was at least influential in inspiring other science fiction films in the genre and was the template for subsequent franchises and was more than influential to George Lucas and his Star Wars mega-merchandising empire that would follow only a few years later and the Planet of the Apes series would forever be buried under its apocalypse and reside in the realm of Saturday afternoon and late-night television broadcasts.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
After not seeing this version of the film for so long, the restored scenes really stand out and are a plus to the movie as a whole.

The following previously missing scenes have been restored:

1. After Virgil explains to Caeser the classroom situation in which Abe (the teacher) told Aldo "No!" at class, McDonald elaborates further that Abe should have known better.

2. After Caeser, Virgil, and McDonald enter the forbidden city, a mutant is seen sitting near Kolp and messing with some wires, presumably the alpha omega missile wiring.

3. Prior to the viewing of the archives, and while traveling down the city corridor, McDonald fusses at Caeser and Virgil for being so slow. Caeser and Virgil claim that they can smell the radioactive humans and mention that they are not like the other normal humans.

4. After Virgil shoots the moving camara he apoligizes to Caeser and claims that everyone now knows they are there.

5. After Kolp tells the captain that they are going after the apes "now" he then tells Alma that, no matter what, surrender is not an option. Kolp: "Alma, either we must cage the beast, or destroy the whole zoo." They then gather around the alpha omega missile. Kolp opens the missile silo hatch while Mendez looks on.

6. Extended scene of the convoy of mutants going towards ape city with some of the mutants walking out of rank and falling on the ground, presumably dying.

7. After Kolp and the captain view the ape barricade, Virgil sneeks down from his house - then the movie cuts back to Kolp who reminds someone via radio about his message to Alma in case things go wrong.

8. Extra war footage of the apes fighting the mutants with the barracade on fire.

9 A scene near Kolp's bus where a gorilla blows up a mutant with a grenade. Afterwards, Aldo dances on top of the bus in victory.

10. A final scene of the mutants with Mendez and Alma playing checkers. Another mutant shows up and informs that they have lost the war, then falls over dead. Alma goes over and prepares to launch the missile, but Mendez talks her out of it. This is an important scene which directly ties in this movie with "Beneath the Planet of The Apes" for continuity purposes.

The movie intro of Aldo riding his horse into the village is also extended and contains the full version of the title theme music instead of the shortened theatrical version.

I agree with one of the reviewers that the reason this movie had some of it's material previously edited was to make the ending more uplifting. However, if you had already seen this movie on television in the 70's (all scenes included) then you knew what the tear from Caeser's statue at the end of the movie ultimately signified. I have always thought "Battle of the Planet of The Apes" as a dark and mysterious movie and with the edited scenes included this makes it much more so.

The soundtrack, a masterpiece by Leonard Rosenman, is extremely gloomy and eerie. The technique to creating this dark music is called atonality - meaning there is no center musical key or root notes, but the musical notes are related to each other using the 12-tone system. This type of music can sound quite disturbing at times due to the dissonance.

For some of you who are confused with the timeline of this movie, the year shown at the beginning of the movie (2670 AD) is the time of the Lawgiver's speech - NOT the time of Caeser's reign (which was much earlier). The Lawgiver is reading out of the sacred scrolls of history mentioned by Dr. Zaius in the first two films.

Enjoy!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This version of Battle for the Planet of the Apes is the uncut version that contains the scenes of the Alpha Omega bomb. These scenes make a clear connection between the mutants in Beneath and the ones in this film. Of course, Mendez is still there in the chopped version, but many might not connect him with the Mendez dynasty alluded to in the second film. These scenes make a huge difference in this film. I'd say they elevate the film from 3 to 4 stars.

The most obvious way to differentiate the two versions is the cover. The cut version has Virgil, an orangutan on it. This version has a picture of a very angry chimp or gorilla. In the cut version, you see Virgil from the chest up, the latter only has a face above the logo and a few film clips below it. While I'd really only recommend this to apes fans, I'd say anyone who's truly devoted to this series must own it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Finally, we have come round full circle. Oh, there's undoubtedly room for one more between this one and the original, but it was never made. As mentioned before, they all seem to have been made with no implied promise of another episode.

This is just a few years after the revolution from "Conquest." Or rather, it is a flash-back to that time, because the opening scene is the Lawgiver reading to a group of children, both ape and human, about the early days, and Caesar the hero.

Caesar's son was still a child, but since we can't say how quickly these kids grow, it's hard to say exactly how long it's been since the revolution. Caesar and McDonald, the black man who helped in fomenting the revolution (with several comparisons to the days when his people were slaves, too), together with a peaceful group of apes and men (and women) have created a rather primitive communal village where they all work hard and live in peace. But the proud General Aldo (he insists on the title) thinks learning English is far less important than learning riding and weapons and so on.

Because Aldo is so temperamental, he stirs up problems within the community. He clearly resents Caesar's rule, even though everyone except the gorillas seems to have accepted his leadership without question. That's champanzees, orangutans and humans. But Caesar himself stirs up far more trouble without intending to when McDonald suggests that they could go to the Forbidden City and see the tapes of Caesar's mother and father that were presented to the presidential commission. McDonald's brother was head of the archives, and he knew where the tapes were.

The city is radioactive, but they take a Geiger counter and count on getting out as quickly as possible. But there are people living in the underground portions of the city, people who are mostly suffering from radiation poisoning. These, then, provide the link to the "Beneath" episode.

But Caesar's curiosity will cost them all plenty. Because now the humans know that there are apes who survived the nuclear war, and that they have a village somewhere nearby. So they gather together what vehicles and weapons they can muster, including a pitiful old school bus, and head out to conquer the ape village.

No, I'm not going to tell you any more than that. Due to the circular nature of the time sequence of this series, you know the ultimate results already, if you've watched the earlier episodes, or even just read the earlier reviews. And it is worthwhile to see the entire series in sequence. Go ahead; go ape!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
For this installment we do go both forwards & backwards & then forwards & backwards & again & again through time.Yes I was taken away more immediately by the 2nd time that I saw "Battle" than I was the first & this even made Planet of the apes: The Forbidden Zone at Malibu Graphics their best publication courtesy of me for the little or not known peace time of the humans & apes of which this film had both begun and ended with & then as a result the people at Malibu Graphics were just as annoyed by me as they were glad to have me there for them.They invited comment & Critique & got from me more than what they bargained for as a result and along with this for not doing their own homework.but still check out the zpota website for damn the continuity all to Hell.As it agree's with someone's response of what continuity?Also please check out the IMBd sites for this movie as others too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
"Battle for the Planet of the Apes" is the fifth and final film in the original Planet of the Apes series. It was released in 1973 and was produced by Arthur P. Jacobs, directed by J. Lee Thompson, and written by John William Corrington and Joyce Hooper Corrington. It stars Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Natalie Trundy, Severn Darden, Lew Ayres, Paul Williams, and John Huston.

This is a film sequel that I do believe requires the viewer to see at least part IV before watching this film. You'll be able to enjoy it if you haven't seen the other entries, but there will be some unanswered questions if you are not familiar with the other Ape films.

THE PLOT -

It's been twelve years since the events of "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" - Due to so many Ape-uprisings, as well as a nuclear war among humans, the Apes have taken over the world. In a place called "Ape City", under Ape leader Caesar's leadership, all Apes have learned to speak English, as well as do many other things. Almost all human beings have been enslaved by the Apes and are kept to serve their needs.

Caesar and his human friend MacDonald desire for the Apes and humans to live in peace. However, a militant gorilla named Aldo believes the Apes should become more strict on the humans and that all humans are evil and violent by nature, and must be punished for all their past crimes against Apes. Aldo plots with the other Gorillas to carry out justice.

Meanwhile, a group of radiation-scarred human rebels who live amongst each other out in the desert, far away from Ape City and any Apes, and are lead by a crazed, Ape-hating fanatic named Kolp have plans to invade Ape City, rebuild society, and put the Apes back into slavery. What will happen when two civilizations go to war and battle for control of the Earth?

MY THOUGHTS -

This is a film that does not tell you who the heros are or who the villains are, and suggests to you that you think for yourself. When I watched this film, as well as read the book that was based on the screenplay of the film, I honestly did not know who to cheer for. One of the reasons why I like the movie is because it doesn't really pick a side. It lets the viewer have his or her own opinion, and doesn't really "tell" you who to root for. The movie respects it's audiences intelligence and leaves the end very thought provoking.

I didn't appreciate Aldo's remarks about humans, or how he treated them and what his plans were for them. But then when Kolp was on the screen, I did not care for his pretentious attitude, as well as his condescending comments about Apes. While I do not enjoy seeing humans enslaved, and mistreated, and was hoping that Aldo and Apes like him would get their comeuppance, I also did not enjoy how the Apes were treated in "Conquest" by Kolp and humans like him, and Kolp desires to bring back the old ways.

Like the previous Ape films, this one is also anti-racism, and is full of political, historical, and social parables. The thing about parables in films is I believe plenty of filmmakers desire to make films about current events going on in the world, but can't without offending too many people and thus getting bad press, so for decades now, they create stories that are similar to the events going on in the world, and they change the people involved.

One example I can think of the top of my head is "Predator" - A film about U.S. Soldiers going into a jungle, and facing an enemy they assume is weak, but also an enemy they know nothing about, and they soon discover this enemy is far more powerful then they ever realized. - I just described the Vietnam War in just a few short words.

There are plenty of other examples as well. To get even more touchy - Let's say an Al Qaeda sympathizer desires to make a film about U.S. troops invading the Middle East - He could never make such a film without causing a riot and getting himself killed, so instead - He makes a film about Native Americans in the 1800's getting invaded by U.S. troops, and this Al Qaeda sympathizer could put in all his opinions on the subject on the War on Terror, only change the role of the Al Qaeda to any Native-American tribe. No feelings would get hurt then because we live in a very White-guit society when it comes to the topic of Native Americans.

In the Battle for the Planet of the Apes - The conflict between characters like Kolp and Aldo reminds me of the feud between the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Hebrew Israelites. Two opposite sides of the same coin.

Then (again) there was the Vietnam War - Many Americans in 1973 were against the war, and saw it as a conflict between two power-hungry tyrants much like the conflict between the human mutants and the Gorillas was a battle for power and control.

I also could not help but think of the Reconstruction Era of the United States of America - The U.S.A. freed the slaves, and some former slaves became violent with some White people as a result, so a large number of Whites formed the KKK to defend themselves, and attack former slaves.

Well, in the Ape series, the humans had Apes as their slaves, until the Apes turned the tables on them, and now rule the world. Now Kolp plans to get humans together to fight the Apes and repress them, much like the KKK tried to do in the 1860's when they began attacking former slaves.

On another topic - In Ape City, the Apes (of all ages) are getting educated on a variey of topics such as reading and writing by going to a school taught by a white human schoolteacher. Because there are no Ape teachers, and because the more intelligent Apes are too busy doing other things to help build the city, Ape leader Caesar had no choice but to bring on a human teacher to do the job of educating the other Apes. The school is the final and only place where a human has any type of authority over Apes.

There is a moment where the schoolteacher inadvertently says to Aldo - "No, Aldo, no!" - This is met with shocked silence by everyone - Apes and humans. It turns out one of the first laws enacted in the new Ape civilization was that no human may say "No" to an Ape.

The reason being is because a long time ago when Apes were learning how to be slaves to humans at a place called "Ape Management", one of the things Apes were forced to do was lay down on a table while being electrically shocked over and over again while a recording of a human saying the word "No" was repeated on a speaker. This was done so that the Apes would learn to fear the word "No".

And when an Ape became a slave to humans, if an Ape did something wrong, their human masters would shout "No" and that quickly put the Apes in an act of fear and submission. Humans said "No" so much to Ape that is scarred the Apes emotionally, and now, in this new society where Ape rules over Man, a human's right to say the word "No" to an Ape is a highly offensive crime.

Try to imagine a White man calling a Black man the "N" word - The same shock and anger can be applied in this film when the teacher tells Aldo "No". Which leads to another parable - The N word - One of, if not the most offensive word in the English language.

And why is it a bad word? (I'd like to answer it because by answering it, I am also answering the question of why saying "No" was so upsetting to the Apes in greater detail.) I'm an American History buff, and the N word, among some other comments that in the here and now are consider racist terms, was the most commonly used word to describe black people during slavery days. White people back then thought nothing of it - It was simply what they were called.

What's interesting in "Battle" is that it's okay for an Ape to say "no" to a human, but a human must never say "no" to an Ape. Much like how today, it's okay for an African-American to call another African-American the N word, and it's even okay for a Black person to call a White person the N word, but for any White European-American to say the N word to a Black person is highly offensive. Not even rap star Eminem has never said the N word in his songs, even though the phrase is popular in the gangsta lifestyle. I, the reviewer, and also a white man, do not even dare type the word out, and will always refer to it as the N word.

I believe the word is so offensive because it's a disturbing reminder of how things once were in the U.S.A. for Black people. They were enslaved for their color alone. No reason. The phrase can mean a lot of things. It can mean that it's bad to be Black, it can mean a lower-class of a person, it can be being submissive, etc. It can mean all those things, and more. And it's a powerful word, and a very hurtful word. Black people were slaves for two-hundred and forty-six years. They have only been free for one-hundred and fifty years, and have only had equal rights for fifty-one years. Compared to just how old the world is, Black people have not had equal rights nearly as long as White people, so it's not shock that it's still a sensitive topic.

Another example - The term midget is offensive to little people. I apologize to even little people that may be reading this, but sadly there are a lot of people who still do not know the word is upsetting towards little people. Reason being is because in the 1800's, the only type of work dwarfs could get was with circus's, and they were called "midget" so much that it appears the term later came to mean "short people put on display for public ridicule and sport." The word "midget" thus reminds little people of a bad time for their people' history. The appropriate terms are either dwarf since that is part of the word to describe their disability, and "little people".

So I thought that was an interesting topic the Planet of the Apes makers took on by making it clear in the city of Apes, for a human to say "No" was very inappropriate.

So more parables worth mentioning -

During World War II, Japanese-Americans were taken from their homes, and placed in internment camps by the U.S. Government. In "Battle for the Planet of the Apes", when the mutant humans were about to invade Ape City, the humans living in Ape City were placed in a locked corral by the Apes.

The year was 1973 when the film was released, which was around the same time Whites and Blacks started going to school together, so I thought the issues in the classroom scene were touching on the topic of the tensions that were going on in schools all across the U.S.A. There's also a scene where Kolp and the mutant humans invade Ape City via a school-bus, which was symbolic of the time when Whites and Blacks were being bused together.

Kolp and his men go into Ape City in the school-bus, and given what they planned to do, the bus represented hate and violence. Was something being said about the school-buses in real life? The buses full of White kids that were going into Black schools were no doubt full of hate and violence, and the buses were going to places where they were unwelcome, much like the Apes certainly did not welcome Kolp and the humans.

And for example - Blacks at black schools saw the Whites on the buses going into their school, and assumed the Whites were violent and were going to cause trouble. In the Apes films, Kolp and the humans *were* going to Ape City to cause trouble. And there was a firefight between the humans on the bus, and the Apes outside attacking the bus. So the bus is indeed a very symbolical item to appear in the film, and I think the presence of the bus subconsciously reminded audiences of the racial tensions going on in their very country, and gave the scene a more creepy atmosphere for audiences since actual acts of violence were going on, and a school-bus was largely connected to all of it.

FINAL THOUGHTS -

I mentioned earlier I did not know who to cheer for and who to be against in "Battle for the Planet of the Apes". - Characters like Aldo and Kolp are both faces of rebellion. Dark faces. Characters like Caesar and MacDonald are the light faces of rebellion. But all four characters are indeed rebels who are against the system, and in most cases, it's always the system that is the true villain. What is the system in the Planet of the Apes films? - Tyranny.

Any kind of tyranny, no matter who is pulling the strings, is wrong. All that live deserve....to indeed live and be free to be who they with to be, and not be repressed all because someone does not understand them.

Hate is a horrible and contagious disease that can spread and scar you forever, and turn you into the very thing you hate. We see an example in the New Black Panther Party and the Black Hebrew Israelites - Their people were so horribly treated that now they too are racist, and desire to enslave White people, not realizing they are only spreading the disease of hate.

Hate must be stopped, and it's up to all of us to be the cure. What makes the world so great I believe is the diversity. I believe the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. And we defeat hate with love, compassion, and understanding.

All and all, I enjoyed "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" very much. It is wonderful, and entertaining. It's full of parables that will appeal and educate the subconscious mind. The film could only hope future generations would learn from the mistakes of the past. As I write this in 2015, I can say that while this country is not nearly as bad as it use to be as far as racial violence goes, we as a society still have some more evolving to do, and the mistakes previous generations made in the past still haunt the here and now, but with each generation, we clearly improve, but I believe and hope that one day, the garden of Eden will rise again.

Peace.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
"BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES" (1973)is the fith and final entry in the "PLANET OF THE APES" series. It is directed by J. Lee Thompson.

Set in flashback to the turn of the 21st Century, this sequel focuses on the ape leader, Caesar (Roddy McDowall), about ten years after he led the ape revolution in the previous film, "CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES." In this post-nuclear war society, Caesar tries to cultivate peace between his simian peers and the surviving remains of humanity. Gorilla leader Aldo (Claude Akins), however, wants nothing to do this, as it reminds him of his former enslavement, so he plots Caesar's overthrow and doom, as do a band of mutated humans from their former city of the last film who want to reclaim Earth and destroy the entire ape society.

Towards the end of the movie, however, Aldo and the human mutants are overthrown. The apes and humans then decide to coexist with one another and they begin to make a new society.

It turns out that the story is being told by an elderly ape (the Great Lawgiver, played by John Huston) over 600 years later to a group of young humans and apes. It is left ambiguous as to whether the ape-dominated society as in seen in the first film, and the eventual destruction of Earth as seen in the second, will actually come to pass. However, as this film takes place after a nuclear war has nearly wiped out civilzation, at least one major element the first film still comes to pass.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES is the fifth movie in the PLANET OF THE APES series. It's a decent movie, but could have been much better with a bigger budget.

The movie takes place several years after the ape revolt and after mankind has almost destroyed itself by nuking cities around the world. Caesar has established an ape city several miles outside of what was once New York City. In Ape City, apes and men coexist but not as equals. Men are subservient to apes and Caesar says it will stay that way until he can trust the "race of man", not just a few individual humans. The climax of the film occurs when mutants attack Ape City in an attempt to reestablish human supremacy.
The movie itself is an average 1970s film. The movie illustrates how the apes were just as destructive as humans. However, this latest edition of BATTLE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES tries to rewrite the Apes mythos by leaving out a crucial scene. This version of the film leaves out the scene where the remaining mutants begin worshiping the Doomsday Bomb that destroys the world at the end of BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. This version of the movie ends with a scene of The Lawgiver teaching to a group of ape and human children leaving the viewer believing that history had been changed, when in actuality it had not.

Overall, an average movie, but the weakest of the APES movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is my favorite Apes movie! Now stop laughing and just read for a minute. I think Claude Adkins was an excellent choice to play Aldo. I think only the actor who played Ursus in the 2nd film was a better "lead gorilla" :-) This film has the most action of any of the films. I think another thing for me is the similarities to the movie The Road Warrior (which is in my top 5 all time movies). The awesome square off at the end between some apes and a bunch of 70 year old warriors fronting an assault with a school bus as their main combat vehicle is EXTREMELY Road Warriorish....and I love watching this movie everytime!! Another of my favorite characters is the guy who tries talking the governor out of fightning.... "A destroys B, B destroys C who is then destroyed by A"...and "Why govenor??!!! Why????"
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In reading through some of the more negative reviews on this, the 5th and final installment of the original "Apes" movies, I get the points made to support that negativity up to a point. True, it was apparently on the smallest budget of the series and this fact does show through at times in lots of ways. I also do acknowledge the inconsistencies in "ape timelines" in relation to other installments of the same. However, these facts are not enough to deter me from still liking this movie for what it is. What is it? pure escapist entertainment. From this perspective and if you can suspend your disbelief just a little bit, it is actually a very enjoyable romp!

I probably also have a soft spot for this one as it is the first one of the original movies that I remember when it actually first came out and not based on seeing it in re-runs years later. While the subject matter is apocalyptic in nature (post-nuclear war with humans losing rank over apes) and thus a bit depressing, there are some genuine elements of dark humor that are exploited quite effectively against this backdrop. This aspect is really reinforced by the actor Severn Darden, who plays the role perfectly of Governor Kolp (Leader of the mutant humans) as both emotionally detached, yet sinister and who gets off some great one-liners ("well we're all radiated but at least we're active") I also really liked the scenes that take place in the archive section of the bombed out city where you could really feel the tension as the mutant humanoids (due to the nuclear fallout and still living in the bowels of the city) attempt to close in on and capture (unsuccessfully) Caesar (played by Roddy McDowall) and his orangutan and human compatriots.

I also loved the climactic battle scene between the apes and mutant humans to determine who rules what's left of Earth as more dark humor prevails via the dilapidated equipment the humans have to employ against the apes (i.e. mutant gets out of his car during the march to Ape City to check the engine, school bus that needs a car wash badly used to transport the troops, etc.) thus proving that man will always go to battle as long as he has anything even close to operational to deploy...

Again, given that all the movies have timeline inconsistencies in them from one to another, this battle was as good as any way to end the series with a bang (OK, a whimper...) Somehow, you also get the sense that the entire production team and actors had no illusions that they were making an epic masterpiece here but still had a lot of fun making it!

Finally, the cameo of the great Director John Huston as "The Lawgiver" in full ape makeup was a cheesy delight. Perhaps he got most of the budget money on this film for his appearance!

Enjoy it for what it is. Pure escapist entertainment with some dark humor thrown in. My kind of movie...
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