Battle For The Planet Of The Apes - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Battle For The Planet Of The Apes Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 1, 2014
Building off of "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes," Battle does for this series what many great sequels have done in the past, making the set-up even better once you get to the action. Everything that happens in this film is for a purpose, even if it brushes through everything quickly due to it's very low budget. The budget has been noticeable in this entire series, and that has always been a downfall, but I rather enjoy how everything looks at times. Every one of these films had their one moment to shine, and this film delivers more of that once again. Sure it's dumb and lazy at times, but it's a satisfying conclusion to a very up and down series. This saga was very enjoyable.
Super Reviewer
December 6, 2011
Battle For The Planet of The Apes is I think the worst film of the series. I didn't enjoy it as much as the other films and I felt it was a waste. The film could have been so much better than this, but instead this film is a mediocre conclusion to a great Sci-Fi series. The story was poorly crafted, and really not as interesting, engaging and thrilling as the previous entries in the franchise. The actors looked bored in this film, and personally I think the previous film would've made a fine conclusion to the series. However they needed to make a bit more money and they created this disappointing final entry in the series. This film could have been great, and the series could have ended on a high note, but with films like this you realize that the filmmakers are just making a film for the sake of making a film no matter how bad the story is. The film had an interesting idea, but suffered from poor development and it's as if the screenwriters weren't that interested in creating a terrific final chapter in the Apes franchise. This final entry leaves you wanting more, leaves you wanting a better crafted film. This film is a real disappointment and it doesn't satisfy like the previous entries before it. This is a sloppy final to a great series and fans of the series had to wait till Rise of the Planet of the Apes released in 2011 to get yet another phenomenally excellent Apes film. This one isn't great; it's mediocre at best and doesn't entertain like the previous entries in the series.
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2011
The Lawgiver tells the children of the future a tale of the planet earth and the influence of two apes who went back in time and had a son Caesar. Caesar liberated the apes on earth and brought mankind and apekind together after the war. However an exploration into the ruined cities brings the apes into conflict with the mutants and the humans get trapped in the middle.

The final of the films is the real low point of the series but its hard to blame the film makers, the budget was at a all time low here and the studio wanted a more lite family film here. The plot lacks the dark undertones and fatalism of the other films and an attempt to `get deep' at the end doesn't do it alone. The basic plot is a war between the mutants and the gorillas with the peaceful chimps and loving humans in-between. The action is average at best and the dialogue leaves no room for subtexts.

Worse still is the makeup which has declined far away from the standard set in the original. Here the actors clearly wear rubbery masks - General Aldo being the worst by miles! The mouths barely move and certainly don't move in time with the words. It's a shame but it does show how the standards of the first two films had fallen so far by this stage.

The cast are OK but the majority are trapped behind unhelpful masks. Even John Huston looks trapped behind a mask that almost totally renders him unrecognisable and unemotive. McDowall continues his monkey madness with yet another role and he's actually quite good. The human roles are the best as they are free to talk and the mutant leader (Eastham) even manages to get a few funny lines out before all the fighting kicks off.

Overall the quality of the makeup reflects the effort put into the film. The makeup is shoddy and the plot and subtexts are back of matchbox stuff. There are a few nice touches and it tries to add insight in the last 10 minutes but by then it's all a bit late......mind you it's still better than the remake of the original.
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2006
Virgil: Teacher only reverted to type under provocation. He... he spoke like a slavemaster in the old days of our servitude when we were conditioned to mechanical obedience. He, uh, he uttered a negative, uh, imperative.
Caesar: Could you put that into words which even Caesar could understand?
Virgil: Uh, he said, "No, Aldo, no!"
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2011
This is the worst of the "Apes" movies. No wonder it would be nearly 30 years before another theatrical movie. This is the story of Caesar battling another ape Aldo, and an incoming threat of humans. The movie is boring, the action is laughable, and story is incoherent. It's a shame to, because the one before it, "Conquer" was in my opinion the best of the sequels. You think they would build off of that and pick up where it left off. This jumps quite a few years and really drops the ball for a solid film franchise. Just forget this installment exists, as it really isn't needed at all.
Super Reviewer
September 12, 2010
So many people make this out to be a disaster while in actuality it's really good. You have to have a love for the series to see this, otherwise you'll be lost. It goes into the mythology of the characters and history like with Conquest. While these last three installments are often considered prequels, it's completely untrue. The whole point of the last movies was to change the future and prevent the destruction of ape/mankind.This delivers on a good conclusion to that ray of hope, finally bringing peace between ape and man. I like that the series starts off dark and then changes pace and becomes about preservation and equality. This features a lot of great sets, characters and crazy 70s action scenes. It's not for everyone, but I feel that it delivers.
Super Reviewer
½ November 23, 2006
Battle For the Planet of the Apes was a lot better than I was expecting as any other installment in the series aside from the original was just tired and for the most part pointless. Paul Williams was pretty entertaining here and Caesar's son Cornelius was just creepy. I liked how the movie had a clean break for the end for the series almost guaranteeing there wouldn't be any more of these forced installments with sloppy battle scenes at the end.
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2007
The future of Humans and Apes is here... very small scale primal struggle. It's slow and contemplative.
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2006
The seminal sci-fi classic spawned a series of increasingly duff sequels, and this is the last and worst. The script could've been written by a 14 year old boy; all ham-fisted analogies and running around with guns. Stupid and pointless.
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2012
The series come full circle in Battle For the Planet of the Apes. In the wake of nuclear annihilation Caesar sets up a new ape society, but it's soon threatened by war when human survivors from the fallout discover his ape city. Several Ape series veteran actors return, including Roddy McDowall, and John Huston makes a featured appearance. Once again the series returns to themes of predestination, human nature, and prejudice. The film finds a nice balance of drama and action in which to tell this tale, and still maintains some ambiguity and mystery. Battle For the Planet of the Apes is a challenging science-fiction drama that has a lot of solid action.
Super Reviewer
December 10, 2007
J. Lee Thompson returns to direct. This final sequel was taken back to a G rating and the budget was actually increased slightly (by $100,000). John Huston makes a cameo as The Lawgiver ape sometime between the time of this movie and the 1968 original. A major theme of this series, as always, is whether enough has been done to affect the course of history toward more peaceful rather than destructive ends. The majority of the plot involves the apes who have followed Caesar since the previous movie. It is somewhat unclear as to how much time has past. Some sources say ten years, but it is not specified how long the war lasted that decimated so many human cities, or how long it took for the apes to establish their little village, then, of course, Caesar (Roddy McDowall again) and the chimp Lisa (Natalie Trundy again) have a son who is about ten. So, it seems probable that more than ten years would have past, but with new writers (husband and wife team John and Joyce Corrington) developing an initial story by Paul Dehn, the filmmakers were probably not concerned with these details. Without the genetic manipulation of the reboot, the apes somehow have learned to speak and some are learning to write in this short time. Claude Akins is impressive as the gorilla, General Aldo, who doesn't do well in school, craves power and weapons, and rebels against Caesar's leadership. Caesar has named his son Cornelius. Bobby Porter as Cornelius does some great stunts in some trees. Cornelius overhears Aldo's plans to seize power and ends up dying after a fall. It is a bit like an Ape Cain and Abel story. Veteran actor Lew Ayres is an orangutang who guards the ape armory. Pop music composer Paul Williams is another wise orangutang named Virgil. There are also a few humans that are living relatively peacefully with Caesar and his people. Austin Stoker, in his first movie role, was one of the humans. He is MacDonald, the brother of the character from the previous movie and, therefore, trusted by Caesar. Caesar takes MacDonald and Virgil with him to the archives of the forbidden city, despite the radiation poisoning, to see if film recordings of his parents survived. Cheaply, the filmmakers only show still frames with audio recordings, rather than film clips from Escape. Severn Darden plays the same character from the previous film. Somehow he has survived and is now the governor of the people in the bombed out city. Again, radiation poisoning makes humans incredibly campy. The adventure aspects, the ape/human war, the gun-play, and all the explosions become dull after awhile. The internal struggle between Aldo and Caesar is the most interesting part.
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2014
This fifth and final entry in the original Planet of the Apes science fiction series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs is directed by J. Lee Thompson and it stars Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Natalie Trundy, Severn Darden, Lew Ayres, Paul Williams and John Huston. I can see division between the fans and non-fans on this one! First ones will enjoy the story telling and the positive tones of this sequel, others will be bored to death! If you rely on action and you are not familiar with the previous films, please, stay away from this one!

First two parts are worth watching, from a fan view of point, but the third part must be a disappointment for everyone! Battle scenes were terrible, and you could almost feel the budget cuts there. Beginning was promising, and started as a flashback in the early 21st century, with a wraparound sequence narrated by the orang-utan Lawgiver (John Huston) set in "North America - 2670 A.D." He was telling a story of the ape leader, Caesar (Roddy McDowall), at least twelve years after he led the revolution in the previous film, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. In this post-nuclear society, Caesar tries to cultivate peace between the apes and the surviving humans. A gorilla general named Aldo (Claude Akins), however, opposes this and plots Caesar's downfall. Caesar is married to Lisa (Natalie Trundy), the female ape of the previous film, and they have a son, named Cornelius (Bobby Porter) in honour of Caesar's father...

Initially writer Paul Dehn who had provided the script for every previous sequel was hired to provide a story treatment for the fifth film in the series, but he withdrew from the project without completing the screenplay due to health reasons. Screenwriters John William Corrington and Joyce Hooper Corrington were brought in after the success of their film The Omega Man - but there was a problem - neither one of them had written any science fiction films and they had never seen any of the Apes films prior to being hired to write the script for "Battle". Dehn was hired to come in and do a final polish on the script making minor changes to the script that the Corringtons had written. Dehn was given a story credit despite an appeal to the Writer's Guild of America for shared credit on the screenplay. Dehn claimed to have rewritten 90% of the dialogue and he altered the ending. The original script by the Corringtons ended on a playground with ape and human children fighting. Dehn chose to go with a close up of a statue of Caesar with a tear falling from its eye which Joyce Corrington characterized as "...stupid. It turned our stomachs when we saw it." At the end The Writer's Guild of America ruled in favour of the Corringtons for sole screenplay credit. The director J. Lee Thompson was both unhappy with the script as well as the scope of the production, which he felt could have used a bigger budget to assist in the portrayal of the "Battle". Thompson had agreed to direct without a script in place and regretted that Paul Dehn couldn't have been on the project throughout the writing process.

This was a movie with good music scores composed by Leonard Rosenman... I am glad he was back for this film.

Watchable, but I will suggest, go fast forward through the fighting scenes!
Christopher J.
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2011
Rating : ★★

I really wanted to like this final edition to the series, but ultimately it's poorly done with a poor plot structure with a heavy B-Movie feel and it just seems to leave many plot holes and inconsistencies with the series which only makes it worse considering this is canon to the original apes series.

A decade after the Ape revolution and the war which has destroyed much of the planet and a Nuclear fallout, Caesar leads a small community of Apes and humans. While he tries to maintain a delicate peace between the two species, a threat builds from the still vengeful humans who inhabit the wrecked city's contaminated underground. At the same time the Gorilla's decide to begin an uprising within the Ape community itself.

While the plot sounds all good it just isn't executed well and the film just doesn't seem to have much going on in it. I can honestly say that the battle in previous film felt bigger than the one in this one too. The one in this film is merely a skirmish which is a shame considering the title makes it out to be the biggest one to date.

Some of the films plots have high potential but are just handled all wrong such as the revolution of the Gorilla's in Ape City. In the end the entire idea is shunned to the side in order for the battle to commence with the humans but is then drawn back in towards the end only to be shot down almost instantaneously.

There all also many plot holes. First of all in the history it is stated that Aldo was the Ape that said No but there is no indication in this film of him ever doing so, only getting angry when the human tells him no. Secondly when do the humans become mute? We are aware that Nuclear fall out has happened but they still have speech and when we flash forward to the year 2670 the year to be believed that the laws were set down the humans still have speech so when did it happen or did the script writers forget? Third when did the humans become inferior (ties in with the previous point) and finally the main point, HOW in such a short space of time did all the Apes gain superior intelligence and learn full English speech. This point is almost hardly explained and quite annoying for that fact.

On the other hand some things work nicely for continuity such as the explanation for the worshipping of the Omega bomb seen in Beneath (this is about the only film that Battle seems connected with).

This film was not terrible. The action scenes towards the end were pretty good and some of the conversations between the apes were interesting. But ultimately it is a let down due to poor script that gives a painfully incomplete closure to the Apes series. The performances are well done but the script makes it feels like an unjustified cash cow that if more time was spent on editing the script could have gave a solid closure to the series to build on the previous two instalments in the franchise. Well at least the mutants were not psychic in this film.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ November 19, 2011
"Battle" for the Planet of the Apes? Man, there's no battle about it, because they're "super intellegent, humanized gorillas", and they can have whatever they want as far as I'm concerned. I might go up against King Kong when he's just a big dumb lovestruck ape, but around the time he's smart enough to start flying the planes himself, I give up. Yes, I know that the guy who played Kong in the 1976 version was a pilot in the 2005 version, but I credit the guy who did the voice, Peter Cullen, because - come on - what self-respecting geek does not think of that film as the golden moment where Optimus Prime played King Kong? That's almost as awesome as Gollum from "Lord of the Rings" playing King Kong-oh, wait. You know, maybe I'm not so much worried about super intellegent, humanized gorillas taking over, as much as I'm worried about robots in disguise taking over. Seriously, you put a cap and moustache on a laptop, and it turns into that withdrawal scene in "Trainspotting" with me, but before that dark day, I'm going to have to settle with what are obviously people in disguise, which is horrifying enough as it is without them going up against mutants... if you would call some radioactive burns that have somehow not worsened in over a decade a mutatation.

Now, I know that the premise sounds cool and compelling, but I hate to break it to you that, unfortunately... the film is cool and compelling. Oh wait, you were hoping that it would be cool and exciting. Well, prepare to be satisfied, but only for so long, because for every bit of pure entertainment value, there is slowness to the point of disconnect that will follow, partially because director J. Lee Thompson will often drag out some scenes that really don't need to be dragged out, especially when there are so many elements in what development there is that needs to be dwelled upon more. Now, it's not totally out of the question to suspend disblief, but there are some holes in this film's science, from an entire society of apes already learning to speak fluent English, to - as I said earlier - surprisingly little radioactive effect on the humans after the nuke hit. Well, for all we know, it was the least nuclear nuke in the history of bombs, but we'll never really know, because they barely touch upon that significant piece of story development. Now, I'm not saying that I want to see them simulate a nuke impact with the filmmaking sensibilities of 1973, because there is no way to make that look good, even for the time, but please give us some sense of the situtation so that the film will feel more developed. The final stages of this classic saga raises more questions than answers, but there's no denying that this is a genuinely enjoyable and, to an extent, satisfying capper to the original series.

The satisfaction that can be found here is highly debatable, but there's no denying that this series goes out in a blaze of glory, because what J. Lee Thompson lacks in storytelling - in terms of engagement -, he makes up for in action, making every action sequence heavy and captivating. Granted, much of what makes the action engaging might be the overloud sound design all throughout it, but eitherway, the action is exciting and well done, especially in the final act of the film, where the film really delivers on making this grand war sequence really hit home. Still, this film isn't all big dumb action, for although you are faced with many questions that you shouldn't have to ask, the closer of the film leaves you wondering what - if anything - has changed, and ultimately questioning whether this is the road to a new future, or the other end of this eternal loop that will spin forever. It's a fascinating final message, but that's not to say that the film doesn't pick up until the end. True, there are many unengaging spots, but that's something to be said about any "Planet of the Apes" film, and like its predecessors, this film knows how to quickly put itself back together, partially thanks to the performances, especially that of our lead. Roddie McDowall (Yes, I finally remembered the "a" in his last name) has left his mark in this series as the absolute best performer, no matter what (because lord knows Heston wasn't going to claim that position), and this film is no different. Here, McDowall takes on the often challenging "struggling leader" role, and doing it pretty darn well, establishing a strong tone of authority, but still exposing some "humanity" in the Caesar character to really play on the layers and pains of our lead to once again carry the film and pull you right back in, should you fall out.

As war dies down, we arrive at the end of this saga after going through the recurring flaws of periodic lulls in engagement, as well as a lack of story development and far-fetched science, but our final destination is a satisfying, rather thought-provoking one, which isn't to say that the road wasn't still paved with excellent action and a typically strong performance by Roddy McDowall, thus leaving "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" to stand as a generally enjoyable closer to the classic series.

2.5/5 - Fair
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2008
Alright, the apes are good. Gorillas are warmongers. There are good humans who live with the apes, and bad humans who live in a ruined city and literally just decide to attack the apes. THERE'S A BIG BATTLE and it has lots of Shakespearean undertones. And thus the saga ends.
Super Reviewer
May 27, 2007
Brilliant if a little left wing.
February 4, 2010
Better than I remembered, or maybe the extended edition is a better cut, or maybe both. I think I had this one pretty well combined with Conquest in my memory. This one didn't have as much going on as I'd like either, but it was far less grim. I don't know that a crying statue is a satisfying end to the series, I'm pretty sure I agree with the original writers on that one. I don't hate it with as much passion as they did, but I also didn't write the thing and have my ending changed. Either way I feel like the movies started so strong that they deserved a stronger more profound ending. They were going for a circular story, and I feel like there's still a missing chunk between this and the first, though I dunno what I would want to be in it. I think I subscribe to the notion that if all of your movie's budget is eaten up by make-up and costuming and there's nothing left to tell the story you'd like to with it's probably past time to call it quits. But it's not painful to watch. Just doesn't add so much.
½ January 15, 2014
Not the best Planet of the Apes movie from the original series. It does try and give the series an ending.
½ January 24, 2012
This is the final chapter for the Planet of the Apes series and it brings the story more or less full circle. There are no big plot wrinkles or big surprises for the last installment, just the tying up loose of ends. More than ever there does not seem to be a clear voice of true reason to identify with either ape or human, but that is been the point of the series. It points out the hatred and flaws of humanity and challenges us to be better. While the series does not fall totally flat it does not end with a bang either. I wonder if this film was even necessary to make considering the previous movie was so good. Even though there is not much of fresh content it still will please fans of the series.
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