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Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) This final Apes movie takes place ten- to twelve years after CONQUEST, with the Apes clearly in control. It appears as if mankind has gone through a massive world war, as the Ape City is built out in the country, far away from the nearby melted city in the "Forbidden Zone". Humans do live in the Ape village, though are treated as the Apes were treated in the previous movie. Caesar has married Lisa (Natalie Trundy) and has a son. When MacDonald, the brother of the man in the previous movie, mentions to Caesar that he can view recordings of his mother and father that are kept in the blasted city, he agrees to go there and explore. Also in this group is Virgil (Paul Williams), a young Orangutan. But there are people-hideously scarred by radiation-who still dwell there and they aren't happy to see the Apes. This starts the battle, as the mutants venture forth with weapons in old vehicles to the Ape City. But Caesar must also deal with conflict within his own community, as General Aldo (Claude Adkins) is rousing up the war-like gorillas to take control of the town. In fact, the movie culminates in a fight between Caesar and Aldo, an ape who has broken the first law, that ape may not kill another ape.

I think the problem with BATTLE is that you expect more to happen, that the confrontation between the apes and the mutant human survivors isn't big enough-and that you want to see more of this future world. The movie is book-ended by an old Orangutan (John Huston), The Lawgiver, telling Caesar's story to a group of young humans and apes, which suggest that there is a peace between the species 600 years in the future. This would actually be more of an interesting story...

Recently (Summer 2006) this story is actually continued, in comics-book form, as REVOLUTION ON THE PLANET OF THE APES by a company called Mr. Comics-and it explains how much of an influence Caesar has over his future, why apes can suddenly talk and think like humans-and how this first uprising led to man's downfall. It successfully and entertainingly bridges the gap between CONQUEST and BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, complete with flashbacks from some of the other APES movies. For you continuity freaks this is a must.

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