Worst to First: Ranking the Planet of the Apes movies

7. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

RT Score: 38%

Box Office: $8,844,595 (#8)

BO (Adjusted for Inflation): $44,173,000 (#8)

McDowall or Serkis: McDowall

Summary: The original series included five movies which mostly experienced diminishing returns.  As each movie grossed a little less than the one that preceded it, Fox insisted on cutting the budget of each follow-up.  One could make the argument that this resulted in a continually diminishing product which became a self-fulfilling prophesy as audiences became less and less enamored of cheap Apes movies.  But that’s not how studio guys think.

By the time they got around to the fifth movie, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, there wasn’t a lot of story left to tell.  Battle makes an effort to bring the series full circle, but everything about it feels cheap and half-hearted.

Arguably, this is actually the worst movie in the Apes series.  It certainly suffered from a lack of resources and probably franchise fatigue being the fifth movie in just six years.  But I’m giving Battle a few bonus points for its connection to the original films.  After sitting through all four of the superior movies that preceded it, I still have enough goodwill left for the movie that attempts to tie the series in a bow as opposed to the remake which never went anywhere.

Next: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes


Posted on July 14, 2017, in Movies, Worst to First and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Planet of the Apes – Sequels/ Reboots

    A speed review of all the Planet of the Apes sequels/reboots.

    We’re going ape about Planet of the Apes! The crew sit down to discuss the original Planet of the Apes series. We ran out of time, so we couldn’t discuss Tim Burton’s relaunch. We did a little mini review, but we had some technical issues, so we’ll need to re-tape it again in the near future.


    • Every Planet Of The Apes Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

      Which one is king of the apes?

      A triumphant Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy has just come to a close.

      Less than a decade ago, the notion of such a thing existing was utterly bananas, but they did it. They reinvented a dormant franchise and helped it reclaim its crown.

      Prior to the release of 2011’s surprisingly good Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the world hadn’t seen a competent new addition to the series in decades, so what Caesar and his CG simian army have achieved is remarkable.

      Despite the franchise’s woes over the years, the Charlton Heston original remains a classic, but with a stellar new trilogy to compete with, how does it stack up in 2017?

      And where does Tim Burton’s ill-advised attempt to remake it rank on a list of movies which has swelled to nine entries since the turn of the decade?

      Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)

      This was one battle too many for the Planet of the Apes and it left an ugly scar on the face of the series for years to come.

      A slashed budget was Battle For The Planet Of The Apes’ worst enemy and the results made its simian masks and costumes look like something from the bottom of the bargain bin at a backstreet fancy dress store.

      This is a shame, because Battle is one of the most ambitious installments, daring to take things a shade darker by having the apes face off against an army of post-apocalyptic humans (or the closest thing to them the FX resources would allow).

      The subtext about the value of freedom and equality is in place and series mainstay Roddy McDowall is as reliable as ever in the role of Ceasar, but he’s about the only thing in the movie that is convincing.

      The large-scale conflict the series was building towards goes off with a whimper, and the photography and editing reek of cut corners.

      Rounding off the original series, Battle paid out in chimp change.


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