The Planet Of The Apes Films – Part 5 of 8: Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)
It’s been a decade since the ape uprising.
The planet has been ravaged by a nuclear war. Caesar and his apes have human slaves – but for the most part treat them well. He wants everyone to have a peaceful existence.
The tranquillity is not going to last. A journey into the Forbidden Zone to find answers has drawn the attention of some vile mutants who want to wipe the apes out and take back the planet.
Back at Ape City – the gorilla General Aldo wants to overthrow Caesar. An action that would start civil war among the apes. During planning for this takeover – he murders Caesar’s son.
The Battle For The Planet Of The Apes has begun.
Opening and closing with an ominous narration from John Huston (!) as The Lawgiver – this is a fine conclusion to the original franchise.
J. Lee Thompson returns to direct and Roddy McDowell is back as Caesar.
Here we see the beginning of the class divide between ape sub species. Gorillas are considered less intelligent and less sophisticated than the wiser Chimpanzees. The Orangutans play peacemaker to a degree.
It’s also interesting how this further fleshes out the circular narrative flow of the five film cycle. You could easily watch the parts in order 3,4,5,1 and 2 of and it would make just as much sense as watching it in production order. It’s very clever.
It’s not a bad movie at all – the best thing about it is the way it ends. It makes it’s statement one more time in the most definitive way possible.
All through this film it’s stated that “Ape doesn’t kill Ape”. A rule that mustn’t be broken. The one rule that separates them from the savage humans.
When it’s discovered that Aldo has killed Caesar’s son – all the apes turn on him. Caesar kills him in revenge.
When the human onlookers ask what’s happening one of them replies “They’ve just joined the human race”.
The film ends with “Apekind” being just as worthless as mankind. Even though Caesar continues to stress that he wishes for Simians and Humans to live together in peace – we know from the first film that it isn’t going to last.
So the five film series ends on a poignant note.
Watching these again has certainly given me a lot to think about.
The Man Who Saved Movies. In the beginning God created beast and man so that both might live in friendship and share dominion over a world of peace. But in the fullness of time evil men betrayed God’s trust and in disobedience to His holy word waged bloody wars, not only against their own kind, but against the apes, whom they reduced to slavery. Then God in his wrath sent the world a saviour, miraculously born of two apes who descended on Earth from Earth’s own future and man was afraid for both parent apes possessed the power of speech