Battle For The Planet Of The Apes 1973: Are These Movie Reviews Justified?

From the onset, it is evident that the last chapter in the original POTA sci-fi series was chalked up to be a subpar finale, a conclusion in some places seemingly a last-ditch effort for a profit.  However, through a low budget cost compared to its predecessors, do these reviews add up? Even though it follows Conquest of the Planets of the Apes 1972, a film with a controversial ending change, some elite fans of the POTA series believe that the final film’s ending provides a uniqueness in its seemingly positive conclusion compared to the prequels.  Here’s everything you need to know about Battle for the Planet of the Apes 1973.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Warning: if you haven’t seen the Planet of the Apes films, there will be spoilers ahead.

A Flash Into The Past And Inspiration For The Future

The film primarily revolves around flashbacks to the 21st century, a post-apocalyptic setting. It continues the story of Caesar as he leads a peaceful tribal community now with both apes and humans living together.  In contrast with the first film where humans were seen as less in the society created by the apes.  This peace is threatened by a group of militaristic apes led by General Aldo who wants to destroy this built-up community, in need of power and prejudice against the humans.  A plot that coincides with the introduction of a so-called “mutant army”: human survivors sickened by radiation led by Governor Kolp.  Caesar must call his fellow apes to arms to protect this peaceful life threatened by both Aldo and the mutant army alike, a peaceful life to which the previous 4 movies have led up.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

With a budget of $1.7 million, 4 million less than what was given in the first movie, the director J Lee Thompson was facing some serious challenges.  This limited budget coincided with a short filming window and a lack of extras for both the apes and the human populous.  These factors are the main leaders in why this film may have been received poorly compared to the sister films in the series.

However, in between the cracks, small but meaningful ideas were sprouting, maybe not for the time period it was released, but instead to inspire the new generation films like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014 and War for the planet of the apes.  The inspiration is tightly based on how the film provides vivacious action, stemming from the hint of battle in its title.  Although initially all over the place and ambitious at times, these action scenes at the root are a must-watch even if some fans are just there to reminisce.  Pulling back from other points, with a substantially higher budget, these action scenes could easily keep Battle for the Planets of the Apes equal with its other movies in the series (at a minimum).

While most political and social commentary in the final film run dry, some aspects still bleed through from the previous movies.  For example, General Aldo and the issue of gun control is an evident issue which contributes to the overarching subjects of militarism and warring sides.  Even though there is peace in Caeser’s tribe, characters like Aldo are still there to counteract this stability, a clear comparison to the never-ending issue of gun violence in places like modern America.  However, when it comes to Battle for the Planet of the Apes, these serious subjects are more of an afterthought compared to the film being a fun, nostalgic watch.  If you want to see a film in the series that delves into these more serious subjects then an earlier original film may be more suited.

The Reviews In Question

Rotten Tomatoes: 36% critic score and 30% audience score.  The consensus is that with ambitious ideas comes a lack of budgetary spending resulting in a quality that cannot back those ideas up.

Meta Critic: Critic Metascore 40 and 5.1 User score.  A very mixed review collection from both the critics and the audience with both positive and negative remarks about the movie.

Ultimately, Battle for the Planet of the Apes didn’t have either the budget or time constraints to make it equal to some of the other films in the series.  With great ideas but low cost, the action scenes shine through even if the quality was below par.  Most responses to the film see this as a nostalgic window into the series rather than a serious outlook on real-world issues, something that was brought up more densely in the other movies.  In conclusion, even though the reviews were mediocre at best, it seems that as movies come, Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a fun movie to reminisce on.

How about you?  Did you like Battle for the Planet of the Apes? Let us know.  We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know about…

What year does Battle for the Planet of the Apes take place?

Even though the introduction of the film takes place in the year 2670, the majority of scenes in Battle for the Planet of the Apes are flashbacks to the 21st Century where both Caeser, General Aldo and the mutant army are clashing.  The introduction is a taste of how the film will go and how the actions of Caeser either positively or negatively affected the future of the apes and humans alike.

What happened after Battle for the Planet of the Apes?

Of all the endings, the final movie ends on a higher note.  With the death of General Aldo and the victory of Caeser and his tribe, Caesar was finally able to create a society in which humans and apes could live in peace with no hierarchy or prejudice.  A “good” ending at face value spurred on a whole new generation of POTA.

In order, this started with a new television show called “Planet of the Apes” in 1974 and an animated series called “Return to the Planet of the Apes” running between 1975 and 1976.  A remake of the first original film “Planet of the Apes” was made in 2001 which then resulted in a whole new reboot of the original series.  

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2011
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014
  • War for the Planet of the Apes 2017
  • The new film in the works for 2024

Will there be another Planet of the Apes movie 2022?

5 years after “War for the Planet of the Apes”, the new film in the reboot series will be aired on the big screen in spring 2024.  Titled “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes”, the classic trope of the apes taking over from the humans is still in full effect, however, lacking the ROFPOTA Caeser.  Plot points beyond that are still up for grabs.

When it comes to the actors playing in the film, the cast will include; Kevin Durand, Freya Allen, Neil Sandilands, and Lydia Peckham with even more on the lineup.  Actors like Freya Allen have already struck well in series like “The Witcher”, so her role in this new film should be undeniable.

If you are interested Disney has announced a release date of May 24, 2024.