Roddy McDowall and Claude Akins star in the fifth and last chapter of the legendary Apes saga. Set in 2670 A.D., an idyllic society of man and ape is threatened by both a militant gorilla (Akins) and a tribe of still-inte... more »lligent mutant humans. Finally, simmering tensions dividing the primates erupt in an apocalyptic climax. When the smoke clears, the carnage is everywhere, but there is hope for a new beginning for man and ape. Co-starring John Huston, Paul Williams, and Lew Ayres.« less
Mark D. from N DARTMOUTH, MA Reviewed on 7/28/2018...
this is not the way I would have liked to see this great series end because the story line totally contradicts the set-up of the first 4 movies. Ape and man have learned to co-exist and the plot involves potential war with crazed mutants who have an atom bomb and sub plot involving Caesars ape son. IMO this is a real snoozer.
Skip it and watch the first one again if you want to see a true sci-fi classic.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Grab The Planet Of The Apes Evolution Soon!
Mr. | USA | 08/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set is wonderful! All 5 films plus a bonus documentary hosted by the late great Roddy McDowall, Behind The Planet Of The Apes is a 126 minute making of which shows the origins and the ideas that lead to the filming of the saga which began in 1967, thru the rest of the films 'til 1973 as well as the two television series (live action and animated) and the rereleasing of the films and marketing. But you have to buy this set soon because after the first 100,000 are sold, the next sets will not, I repeat, will not include the Behind The Planet Of The Apes documentary, which, to me, is the best special feature you get with these movies. The lowdown on the films is this: Planet Of The Apes is a classic. Trust me, if you don't like this one you won't like the rest. The ending is historic. Beneath The Planet Of The Apes is a good second effort. I just wish Charlton Heston would've starred in the entire picture instead of the beginning and ending. (note: the trailer for this film is different from the one given on the VHS version (you can still see parts of that one on the documentary)). Escape From The Planet Of The Apes is a very original installment which takes place in the past circa 1973. This one is lighter and more fun up until the end. Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes is the most underated of all the Apes films. This is the only ape film that recieved a PG rating for violence and deservedly so, but what makes this one unique is Roddy McDowell's understated performance as Ceaser, the ape who would lead his brothers and sisters to victory over the humans who have enslaved them. This is the darkest of the set and, to me, deserves better recognition. Battle For The Planet Of The Apes is a decent 5th installment. This film was made primarily for the kiddies, so, bearing that in mind you should know what to expect and even so, this film is still quite entertaining. None of these films were a boxoffice failure. They all made money. So go ape and grab this set, which includes the trailers for all 5 films, a photo gallery for the first 2 films and of course, the documentary, Behind The Planet Of The Apes. Don't dawdle, grab this set soon. You don't want to give up the documentary. It's a perfect companion to the rest of the films that gives you some great insight and will be highly collectable in the near future."
One of the most popular series of all time
PatrickO | New York, NY United States | 08/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A brilliant commentary on society, racism and even the Theory of Relativity. While none of the films are as fast-paced and fascinating as the original, all provide pleasure. Who would have thought Maurice Evans, Samantha's father on "Bewitched" would make such a perfect Dr. Zaius. And take note of Charleton Heston, a magnificent actor-turned shill for the NRA, showing his bare butt in the court scene. :) Part 2, Beneath, seems like the end, but it's really the beginning. Get it? You will. Overall, it's a bit schlocky, but fun.Part 3, Escape, comes close to the best story. Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter are fun to watch as they return to the early 70s in Heston's original ship.Part 4, Conquest , is a gritty and brutal episode mirroring the race and anti-war protests of the 1960s. Don Murray overacts to the gills. There was a much different ending that was cut from the film before it was released.Only part 5, Battle, is somewhat of a turkey with poor production values and cheesy acting. Director John Huston plays "The Lawgiver." Roddy is good. So is veteran Lew Ayres.The winner in the box set is the AMC documentary on the making of these films. Otherwise, the lack of exras would be a problem. The transfers are sadly not anamorphic, but they still rate about a 3 out of 5.Tim Burton will make a terrific-looking version of Planet, but no way will it have the multiple layers of the original. Most of his films don't seem too coherent. Like Dune and Lord of the Rings, this series is nearly a pop culture masterpiece."
Missing scenes in 'Battle' are unforgivable...
Sgs | 04/28/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A brilliant series that is captured perfectly on DVD.However, there is one flaw: there are two scenes that appeared in the original 'director's cut' of Battle for the Planet of the Apes that were left off the DVD:1. before the mutants leave to attack ape city, Governor Kolp shows Mendez and Alma the doomsday bomb, and instructs them to launch it at Ape City if he should not return.2. at the end of the film, Mendez and Alma decide to not launch the bomb. instead, they worship it - with Mendez as the leader.These two scenes nicely round out the entire series, but were only shown in the TV version. Why Fox didn't include them in the film, or at least as special features, is beyond me.It's unforgivable. That's why the series is only getting 3 stars."
Apocalypse Apes Redux
Dave Cordes | Denver, CO | 05/23/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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."
These monkeys are out of the barrel!
Joel R. Bryan | Athens, Georgia United States | 07/31/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I was a kid, "Planet of the Apes" merchandise flooded the stores. Action figures, puzzles, guns, masks; we had it all. Unfortunately, we had to rely on the scheduling whims of network executives in order to watch the actual films that spawned this kitschy bonanza. The Age of Cable, VHS and DVD has dawned, and now we have the movies to enjoy whenever we want to time travel to a world where apes dominate. It's a decidedly downbeat and pessimistic world, but one that continues to fascinate. And this DVD set contains the entire 5-film series, so you can watch the devolution from highly-original concept into low-budget mediocrity. Fortunately, though, the "Planet of the Apes" franchise was almost always entertaining, even as inspiration ran low. Let's look at the films in order, shall we? Set controls for the year 3978... or 3955, depending on the movie. Planet of the Apes: The original, which over the years, has picked up some only marginally justified camp baggage. Charlton Heston plays a misanthropic astronaut who, ironically, becomes humanity's sole defender. Maurice Evans persecutes him as orangutan Dr. Zaius (who knows more about ape history than he lets on), and Roddy McDowall (soon to become synonymous with playing chimps on-screen) and Kim Hunter (and Oscar winner for "A Streetcar Named Desire"!) portray Cornelius and Zira, his chimpanzee defenders. With the lovely, fur-bikinied Linda Harrison as Nova, Heston's mute main squeeze. A genuinely thought-provoking and thrilling classic, despite a few heavy-handed attempts at humor. Worthy of special note is Jerry Goldsmith's dynamic, percussive score. Beneath the Planet of the Apes: The bizarre, somewhat inferior, sequel, which suffers from a lower budget (witness the really poor ape masks on the extras, and a few gorilla soldiers in flimsy outfits). James Franciscus crashes to earth to find Heston, and instead finds Ms. Harrison and the apes. Everyone's back from the first except McDowall (this is the only ape film he missed). As a special bonus, James Gregory ("The Manchurian Candidate") plays a war-hungry gorilla general with gusto. Features some interesting vistas of a bombed-out New York, and a memorable mutant unmasking scene. A veritable camp-fest, and a lot of psychedelic fun. Escape from the Planet of the Apes: An inversion of the original concept, and quite a bit closer to Pierre Boulle's original novel. McDowall returns, and with Kim Hunter and Sal Mineo ("Rebel Without a Cause"), journeys back to the present day United States, only to run afoul of a sinister government scientist. Vivacious performances by McDowall and Hunter salvage it somewhat. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes: A more violent entry in the series, but tame by today's standards. McDowall plays his own character's son, a chimp named Caesar who is destined to overthrow humanity. And that's pretty much what he does. Ricardo Montalban performs admirably, but the series was beginning to fray with lower and lower budgets. The final visuals will chill you, though. Battle for the Planet of the Apes: The final film. McDowall attempts to divine the future, but invites the wrath of disenfranchised humans. A miniscule budget (evidenced mainly in the final, underwhelming battle scenes) devastates this one, although the script's not too bad. Claude Akins makes a fine villainous gorilla, diminutive singer/songwriter Paul Williams has some memorable lines as a wise orangutan, and director John Huston portrays the legendary Lawgiver in the framing sequences. Award yourself a banana if you can spot "Animal House" director John Landis as one of the humans. The complete DVD set includes a 2-hour documentary, hosted by Roddy McDowall himself. It's fun for the serious "Apes" fan. It features a lot of trivia, and talking head interviews with the major players, including Heston, make up artist John Chambers, and producer Richard Zanuck."