BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
Reviewed October 2nd, 2000 by Chuck Arrington
In the final chapter of the apes saga, we find Caesar, ruling over a band of Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orangutans and humans in a field of lush greenery. In dire need of learning his parent’s wishes regarding how he should rule and proceed, Caesar, Virgil (Paul Williams) and a human, travel to the irradiated “forbidden city” in hopes of finding a videotape of his parent’s interrogation, before the presidential hearings of that time.
Unbeknownst to them, the city is inhabited by radiated humans who are eeking out an existence in the moldy, filth of the bowels of the cities many buildings. None too pleased with their arrival; the humans attack Caesar and company forcing them out of the city and back to their encampment.
The Gorillas, upon learning of the humans, plan a preemptive strike without the leadership of Caesar and go out to pick a fight. Only to realize much too late that, they are outgunned and er um…out simianed.
As they fall back to the ape compound they are admonished to “fight like apes” by Caesar and to protect their home at all costs. A battle ensues and heavy casualties abound in this final Battle for the Planet of the Apes.
Not very aggressive 5.1 platform that kicks in every now and then. It’s mostly dialogue with some stingers. When the fighting begins, the resulting sounds are more ringing and tinny than rich and full. Essentially, all of the discs suffer from this lack of fullness in the audio department. The dialogue/center however is clean and the sub/rears/fronts when given something to do perform quite adequately.
As you know, with each film, the amount available to make sequels for this particular franchise dwindled and dwindled until, there was nothing left to produce a film with. Looking at the sets and really, from the opening shot of the film, you are under whelmed by the utter lack of set and the abysmal set design (what little of it there was) and very poor wardrobe design decisions. The transfer however does show more than its share of flecking. It’s a nice widescreen image but it’s nowhere near as sharp and attractive as the first entry in the saga. There was also a fair amount of pixellation in the darker scenes of the film as well. Overall, this is the worst rendered of the batch but, it’s still not that bad!
Same goes for this disc. All the extras are contained on the bonus disc however, there were trailers for all the films as well as the Fox interactive planet of the apes video game.
This is easily the worst entry in the whole of the series. You could say that they ended the saga on a thud instead of a bang. The lack of funding for the feature really hurt this production. It’s almost too bad to watch. No money meant 90% of the film was shot outdoors on really rickety looking sets. The “forbidden city” was obviously a matte painting in the distance and as they got closer, the makeshift nuclear-damaged locale looked surprisingly less like a city destroyed and more like melted Styrofoam and rubber. I don’t like this movie primarily because, it’s kind of like ending Star Trek with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. What kind of way is that to proclaim the swan song for a successful series? In any event, the storyline was bad, the execution was bad and the cinematography, set design, wardrobe & prop departments must have been closed when they decided to put this mistake to film. One of the most annoying segments is toward the end when an obviously looped audio track of “ape has never killed ape” is drone out for a good 5 minutes. It’s almost enough to make you advance the disc to the next chapter, it’s so bad! Anyway, this was a mistake made with an estimated budget of $75; Battle for the Planet of the Apes was just not a fair fight. Rental property.
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