Movie Review: Battle for the Planet of the Apes

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Holy Cripe! That’s Gandalf The Grey! No Not, Sir Ian, the cartoon one!  How did they get him?

Gandalf is our first Orangutan in this timeline, by the way. Huston gives a voiceover that catches us up, interesting since this was a series that dang near came out every year. If Marvel was this quick we’d be well past Thanos by now. We even get to see Zira and Cornelius die again. Clips from the Battle Movie are shown. Nothing from the first two movies are shown, by the way.

Looks like we have a soldier named Aldo, sorry, General Aldo- and he’s a bit of a prick to the humans, and doesn’t want to learn in a school that is set up for the Gorillas and Chimps. When Aldo’s writing sucks, he tears up another writing done by Ceaser’s son- Cornelius, and the Teacher says no to General Aldo, a word Mankind is forbidden to say to Apes. General Aldo and his Gorillas destroy the school.

battle-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-1Ok, so Ceaser is having problems keeping peace among the Gorillas, Chimps and Humans. This human buddy- McDonald- brother of the original traitor in the last movie, (apparently the previous dude had stuff to do), wants him to go look for the sealed tapes that are still in the city, flattened by a bomb. Apparently there is an orangutan, named Virgil, who knows everything, and he’s in charge of the armory. For some reason this feels like a lot of speachifying padding to the movie before the Apes set out.

So they walk to San Francisco – I guess the camp is in Oakland? They get downtown really quickly, I guess the bomb took out the suburbs. There are humans who are still living in the city, I guess some people can live in fallout? I wonder how magnetic tape lasts this long in fallout. The head of the humans is the new Governor. He recognizes Ceaser and McDonald instantly. Somehow the Cameras still work, by the way.

So the Underground Humans attack the group, but they have Stormtrooper-like aim, and the Apes have a natural ducking advantage in the way they walk.

So it’s a three-way dance. The Underground Humans- plus a minority who want peace vs General Aldo vs Ceaser. The Peacenik Humans mean nothing, and the Chimps and Gorillas come together pretty quickly to fight off an attack from the mutated Men of San Fransisco. battle-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-3

First off, let me say something, I know this is the last one, and we have to get the Humans becoming mute out of the way. There is a bit of Episode III in Star Wars feel here. I also have to say this is the cheapest of the films, and it shows. The Ape Masks are stiffer, even so there are times when you cannot hear what they are saying, since the director might have been too lazy to do ADR work.

Part of the problem we have here is the movie doesn’t know what it wants to do. Does it want to be a racial movie with Ceaser and McDonald trying to make humans and Apes co-exsist as equals? Do they want to show Chimps fighting for peace with the Gorillas? Do we want a final battle between Humans and Ape and we get the victory for the Apes giving them the dominance of the Planet? We got none of the above. We need another movie here to explain how we get back to the first movie.

I’m going to go for a 5 here. The quality is way down, but there was a bunch of opportunity. The previous 4 movies had a great build, and fell off to differing degrees. This one did not. This one never really got going, and it suffers greatly for no direction. Battle for the Planet of the Apes is just a rush job that is a fraction of the budget, and it shows.
I just feel like we didn’t get enough of a world building, and we got too much padding for such a short movie.

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