First off, let me just say all the spoilers in this one, obviously.
The Original Planet of the Apes series is one heckuva ride, and outside of the second one, a worthy series to run on. Sad to say, the budgets start to go downhill as does the quality, but the direction stays solidly in the 70s and you can tell. Planet of the Apes does cover a lot of ground, from man’s inhumanity to man, to nuclear fears to slavery. Sitting back and looking at it, it’s a pretty impressive shift in scope.
The Budget cannot be undersold here, the last 3 movies cost less combined than the first one did. Can you imagine that today? Of course, the last three made less combined than the first one did. But let’s look at what I gave the movies-
That’s 4 of 5 movies I could see picking up, and 2 that I think you should make an effort to see. The only one I really couldn’t stand was the second one, and that has to really hurt the series. Thankfully, you could actually skip this one, since the larger narrative is Cornelius and Zira going back in time and effecting the takeover of the planet. What happens next to Charlton Heston isn’t really important. This is one of the few movies you could watch 3,4,5 and then 1 and not miss a bit (and if you have the series, try it once. Planet of the Apes pulls it off better than the Star Wars Prequels does) . I do think that Battle does leave the door open for either a sequel for just quit, and they decided to do the latter.
So overall, the series is a bit over a 6 in scale. It does suffer from budget concerns, and normally I hate that excuse- but here you can see it. Where the series shines is at the beginning, they all do a very good job of setting the stage, and making you care about the characters, and then start to dip down. Where it sticks the landing, is where the movie hits. I’m not sad to see it go, but I’m glad it finished where it did.
Now we come to the remakes, starting with the Tim Burton one, then to the current Andy Serkis ones. Will they live up to the originals? Stay Tuned.
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