STARRING: Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Severn Darden, Paul Williams, Claude Akins, John Huston

1973, 92 Minutes, Directed by: J. Lee Thompson

Description: This 1973 film ended the Planet of the Apes film cycle with McDowall again playing the chimpanzee leader Caesar, defeating gorillas and human mutants to establish the hierarchy introduced in the original film.

The law on diminishing returns, when it comes to sequels states that each film shall generate less income than the one before. After all, contrary to what cynics may believe, people DO grow sick and tired of watching the same movie over and over again at some time.

To compensate for this progressive decline in revenue, the budgets of sequels become lower and lower with each passing entry in a particular franchise. So it would go without saying that, for instance, with the fifth film in a particular series the quality of said series would have degenerated exponentially by then.

While there are (obviously) exceptions to this rule, this is nowhere more apparent than in Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the fifth and last entry in the Planet of the Apes series.

"The film's short running time attests to the fact that the film-makers had very little to say anymore . . ."

The film is ill-served by an extremely low budget at a time when it needs money the most.

What is supposed to look like huge armies battling it out looks like a handful of stragglers from a cheesy World War II movie, the battle scenes include the same footage of a tree house being blown up just shown from different angles.

The ape makeup that looked so believable in the previous films looks like plain old rubber masks here. And so forth.

None of this is helped by the trite screenplay and below standard acting. Along with the previous entry in the series (namely Conquest of the Planet of the Apes), it is also largely redundant because it merely fills in the details of events we know are going to happen in any case since they were all foretold in Escape from the Planet of Apes.

But Battle tries to end this pattern with an ending in which apes and humans happen to co-exist in harmony - an ending that negates the entire series!

The film's (mercifully) short running time of a mere 92 minutes attests to the fact that the film-makers had very little to say on the topic anymore.

Ultimately Battle is for Apes completists only and definitely counts as the worst in the entire series.


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