CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Reviewed October 2nd, 2000 by Chuck Arrington
In the events immediately following Escape from the Planet of the Apes, we find Caesar, the son of Zira and Cornelius being raised by Armando (Ricardo Montalban) and taught that if there is to be a change in the way that Apes are treated by man, then Caesar is the ape to make such a change. The images now are of a sterile, militaristic America governed by despots and demagogues. The apes are broken up into core groups by color. The Gorillas in Orange and the Chimpanzees in Green. There were no Orangutans in this particular feature. Anyway, Apes have been domesticated and are little more than glorified pets. A disease of some kind wiped out all of the houselhold pets and mankind was left with only the ape to domesticate. Before an ape can be sold via auction, the ape must go through a rigorously abusive period of adjustment where negative reinforcement is the order of the day. If an ape does not comply with the training or is too hard to break, the ape is killed. In reviewing data from their predecessors, these nazi-like policemen are aware of a talking ape child but are unaware of it’s whereabouts. In an attempt to learn of Caesar, they bring Armando in for questioning and treat him as nothing more than an enemy of the state.
Unwilling to reveal anything about Caesar, Armando, jumps from a window to his death. When Caesar hears of this, his rage is kindled. The story of the Trojan horse comes to mind in that; Caesar knows he can affect more from within than without. On a particular day, Caesar is offered at auction and purchased by the local governor. Once inside, his plan is to marshal his ape forces and overthrow, the training center. Once again, ape is pitted against man in a struggle to the death. To the victor will go the Conquest of the Planet of the Apes!
The audio as presented is a subtle 5.1 surround track. The dialogue is clear and clean with only a hint of tinniness. The sub is put to Spartan use but its use nonetheless is appreciated! The fronts/rears are also limited in their use but provide an active soundstage when engaged. In all, a fairly decent audio platform.
In the darker scenes, the images are not well delineated which ends in a fair amount of obscuring and shadowing of the characters. The film is presented in a beautiful widescreen transfer that suffers from not only a few flecks in both the start and ending title sequences but, also the lack of rich tones in the coloring of the print. Not a transfer error, just the time itself didn’t lend itself to very vibrant colors. As such, the resultant colors are a bit washed out. Other than that the print was fine.
As with all of these discs the trailers for all 5 films are included as well as a fox interactive game promo.
Next to the first film, this is my absolute favorite. To see the apes revolt and hearing Caesar’s speech at the close of the film, does it all for me. Not nearly as dark as the last entry (Escape from the Planet of the Apes), Conquest of the planet of the apes has the apes turning the tables on their human captors and preparing for the eventual day when they will rule the planet! This is just a kicking movie to be sure! Dated yes, but no less enjoyable. Definitely a keeper!
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