Conquest of The Planet of The Apes Review

It’s time for the Apes to return and you can tell that there will be a lot of action in this one based off of the title. That is usually a good thing, but not necessarily for this series. After the last film where the series managed to briefly rise up, this one definitely shot it right back down. Why did this film not succeed when it had so much potential? That’s what we’re about to find out!

The world has changed since the last film and around 10+ years have passed. Dogs and Cats were eliminated from the Earth by a plague and humans decided to take in Apes as pets. (Obviously, they ignored the warnings that this is how the Ape dominion would start) Unfortunately, America then decides to use them as slaves and Milo finds out about this. He switches his name to Caesar and decides to overthrow the humans, but can such a bold conquest really work? That’s the plot for this film. I’ll get into all of the negatives in a moment, but let’s look at the character roster first since it’s so small.

Caesar is the main character of the film and his main goal is to save the Apes. It’s a noble goal, but accomplishing it will be difficult. He starts off by helping the Apes make a mockery of the humans by messing up in their tasks, but it’s not enough. He needs to completely stop their tyrannical rule. Unfortunately, he basically cracks by the end as he decides to destroy all of the humans before enslaving them. It doesn’t look like things will be changing anytime soon and one race will end up enslaved no matter who wins. I also can’t say that I liked Caesar’s plans, but more on that in a minute. Nontheless, Caesar is still better than most of the other apes.

MacDonald is one of the only guys who’s on the heroes side of things. He doesn’t believe in slavery, but there’s not much that he can do about it while in the system. He tries to help out whenever possible, which is good. Unfortunately, it can also be a little sad seeing him since you know that he has no chance of stopping this through peace. War is the only thing that General Breck and his men will understand at this point.

Governor Breck is the main villain of the film. He really believes that the Apes pose a threat to the human race and he really wants to see them enslaved. He’s basically against all Apes and he takes great satisfaction in their imprisonment. He’s a rather petty villain who is definitely not very enjoyable. He needs some more charisma and character development in order to be a good villain. His final speech is also pretty nonsensical as he turns into a philosopher and explains that people only dislike the Apes because they see their dark side in them. I don’t think anyone will really buy that. If only the President was still around to save the day.

Armando is the circus owner from the last film and he’s a good guy. He probably shouldn’t have gone back to meet with the police, but he was basically doomed either way. It’s really Caesar’s fault that things got dicey for Armando, but something had to happen I suppose. Armando was definitely one of the more likable characters in the film and at least he put up a fight against the police. He does have his human rights to think of after all and nobody was going to stop him! The film could have been better if he had lasted a little longer.

The soundtrack definitely isn’t that good. The opening scene is mostly lolz worthy as we get a fairly comedic tune as we see Apes performing all kinds of tasks. A tragic piece of music would have been more appropriate. What’s worse is that the scene takes a very long time to end. It keeps on going and going until you wonder how long this song can actually be. The film finally starts, but it wasn’t a big improvement. Time to see why the film wasn’t that good for me…or rather, why it was pretty bad.

The slavery aspect would definitely be the first part. There’s no way that America would fall so low. Of course, that’s optimistic, but it’s hard to picture America allowing slavery in any form. We just finished getting rid of it so bringing it back for the Apes would not make sense. That was part of the main plot and it was pretty bad. That was definitely a bad sign for the film since the slavery wasn’t going to disappear as the film went on. Maybe a few people would believe that Apes would destroy us all, but certainly not the majority. Only conspirators could possible believe this and it is still taken so seriously.

Another part would be how cruel the people are to the Apes. It doesn’t make economic sense to train them all to do these tasks when they just end up doing it sloppily and are forced to go back for more training. What’s the point of using these Apes for the task? The film explains that they are really useful in some areas, but it never shows us any of them. All we see is the fact that the Apes aren’t really good at any of the tasks because the humans won’t bother tho show them anything. If anything, it takes longer to do everything when you have to worry about apes making a mistake or doing something incorrectly.

Building off of this, the scenes also drag on for too long. We get that the humans are really mean to the Apes so we don’t need to keep on seeing it. At one point, the humans lead Caesar through a lab where we see how the Apes are conditioned. They get practice on how to get beaten up without fighting back, how to get burned to stop being frightened of the fire, and how to get zapped for no real reason except to make them fear humans. These scenes are pretty terrible and they guaranteed that the film was going to get a low rating. The sheer amount of animal violence in the film is off the charts. The Apes don’t typically count as the same kind of animal violence as an average dog or a cat would, but things change in this film. Most of the apes are normal apes now so they are back to totally being animals so all of the scenes are pretty relentless. If you’ve been reading my reviews long enough then you’ll know that animal violence is an instant no no. Viewers shouldn’t have to put up with that and it’s bad enough that Lassie is a fan favorite..

Meanwhile, the acting hasn’t gotten any better. The humans are all right of course, but the Apes still seem very fake. They’ll glare at each other and move really slowly at times for the drama. You almost feel like chuckling when Caesar glares at the Apes from the shadows. The suits definitely need a lot of work, but that kind of work takes time so I wouldn’t expect it to get much better in the sequel. We can hope of course….we can hope.

I also need to criticize Caesar’s military tactics. He’s never fought a war of course, but I expect better out of him. He uses some of the Apes as pawns as he gets many of them to mess up in their duties so they are sent to his base. After they launch the assault, Caesar definitely didn’t count on the villains having guns. The whole army walks right towards them and the complete slaughter of his troops is prevented by the humans hesitating before firing. Most of them still go down quickly and the others only manage to stay upright through plot convenience. The fire plan definitely didn’t do the Apes any wonders. Maybe it’s time for Caesar to step down as leader eh?

By the end, he basically admits that the Apes are doomed for a while and that they’ll have to wait until World War Three to strike again. I guess that means that the Apes involved in this rebellion are probably all doomed. Well, maybe they’ll be able to stay in hiding or something until the tensions die down, but it’ll be tough.

It almost goes without saying that the fight scenes were poorly done as well. We get a lot of Apes tackling humans and vice versa as they wrestle around for a while. The camera makes sure to keep on shifting from side to side and all around so that we get to see many fight scenes instead of focusing on any of them. It becomes rather chaotic and since we can’t root for either side, it’s rather boring. I still don’t buy the fact that any of the Apes lived when the humans had so many guns at the ready. Talk about getting one shotted….

Overall, This is definitely another bad installment in the Apes franchise. It may not have been quite as bad as the second film, but this is certainly open to debate. There was nothing good about this film once again and the characters were unlikable. I liked the circus owner and MacDonald was okay, but they weren’t strong enough to hold up a whole film. The massive amounts of animal violence mixed with the sheer dullness of the film ensured that this would not be an enjoyable experience. I definitely do not recommend checking this film out and you would be better watching a retro episode of the Andy Griffith show. I can only hope that the final installment in this series is better than this one. How can it be worse or even on the same level right? Well, that’s what I thought after the second film…

Overall 1/10

Escape from the Planet of the Apes Review

The Planet of the Apes is back with another film. Surely it can’t be any worse than the first one…right? I can safely say that the series is definitely showing some improvement with this installment. It falls into a few holes, but they would be incredibly hard to avoid. The plot is intriguing, even if it’s a little unnecessary. It’s time for the humans to strike back.

The plot involves three apes who managed to escape the planet before it…met an abrupt end. Sure, that could be a spoiler, but I expect my readers to have seen the last film in the series before reading my review of this one. It just wouldn’t make any sense otherwise right? Back to the plot, the three apes are greeted by the military and they act like normal apes to protect themselves. Unfortunately, the act can’t hold for long when Zira has one of her moments so the two scientists who learn of this (Lewis and Stephanie) decide to show the world. Will the Apes be regarded as friend or foe? They’re about to find out one way or another! (In case I need to clear this up. The Apes have arrived into the past before the Earth blew up and Apes began to rule.

Well, the film already showed signs of improvement from the first one since the setting was better. I’ll take a regular city over a barren wasteland any day. Civilization was finally back and the unfortunate subplots of crazy humans and slavery could be over and done with. Those reasons almost guaranteed that this film would be higher than the last one on principal.

Zira is back and she’s one of the main characters in this film. Unfortunately, I can’t say that she was a very good character. Most of the trouble and problems that arise are really her fault. She talks when the other Apes warned her not too so then the humans find out about it. It’s not like they were even trying to humiliate her or anything. The humans were just testing their intelligence. Then, Zira is tricked into revealing all of the secrets from the future. Her biggest mistake was when she decided to leave her suitcase outside of the hiding place so that the humans could find and destroy them. She’s supposed to be the smart one of the group, but she definitely didn’t look the part in this film.

Milo is the baby who appears in this film. He’s the next generation of Ape you could say and the entire government is after him. He’s still a baby so it’s not like he can do a whole lot. So, I can’t say that he’s an unlikable character, but his final scene isn’t that great. Still, we can’t really judge his character until the next film.

Cornelius is back along with Zira and he’s more of a fighter in this film. He’s definitely more confident and bold as he speaks up against Zira more. He talks to the humans and shows them that he is serious about his work. He definitely overreacted when the humans would use the term monkey though and the scene where he took out the guy holding a tray was intriguing. I don’t see how the guy died from such an attack, but I guess Cornelius is just that tough. He does mess up in the ending though as he goes too far away when looking around the hideout. Not a wise move.

Lewis is the main human of the film or at least as far as the protagonists go. He does his best to help out the Apes, but there’s not much for him to do. He can let the army take him down or he can help the apes in secret. It’s a tough call of course but he ultimately makes the right call. Well…that is pretty arguable since he could have stuck up for them more. He was doomed to lose against politics, but he could have kept on trying until the bitter end. He basically just accepts the end and moves on as the film closes.

Stephanie is certainly not the bravest character out there. She faints when the Apes first begin to speak. Sure, it may have been surprising, but fainting isn’t really the best reaction. She helps out against the cops after that, but that’s about it. She’s a good driver, but she would need more courage for me to be a fan of her.

Dr. Milo doesn’t appear for very long and there’s a good reason for that. He lacks the power needed to keep up with the others. An Ape gets him in a headlock and he can’t break free…so he doesn’t really make it. His role must have been painful for his fans because it’s a very sad way to go out. You’d expect much more of a fight from such a big character. The scene just came so suddenly. At least he gets some hype from the other characters after he is taken out, but it’s not really the same as actually appearing right?

The President was definitely my favorite character. He got to call the shots while drinking his coffee and he never let anything slide. This was a man who was comfortable with wielding large amounts of power and nobody could corrupt him. Unfortunately, underlings tend to get away with a lot when the leader is so far away. The President is always relaxing so he doesn’t really know what’s going on. He still gives it his all though.

Otto is the main villain of the film and he really makes sure that the apes know this. He’s worried that the apes are going to enslave the humans so they must be stopped. Well, I’ll talk more about this in a minute, but he’s definitely an exaggerated character. He should have been locked up right away, but nobody suspected just how dangerous he was until it was too late. He gets away with a whole lot of shooting before he’s finally hit. Then the army finishes the job for him. I can definitely say that Otto doesn’t make for a good villain.

The soundtrack for the film definitely isn’t very good. The tunes just don’t make a lot of sense and they can get repetitive very quickly. The music definitely isn’t as action packed as something like Final Wars, but I suppose that it’ll have to do. It didn’t exactly help the film, but it’s not like the themes could hurt it all that much.

The main offense that I have with this film is that it’s just boring. There aren’t really any moments where you’ll stand up and cheer or even crack a smile. You’re just watching the film in awkward silence as you glance at your watch from time to time. The film isn’t even that long, but it takes a while for anything to happen. In that sense, it definitely rivals the Lord of The Rings/Hobbit.

The climax is also contains less action than usual. It’s really a one on one gunfight, but it’s not official. By that, I mean that one guy shoots someone and then someone else shoots him from behind. I’ve seen more action in My Little Pony and Scooby Doo. The film definitely ends on a low note. The ending was definitely not very enjoyable. Let’s just say that you can probably guess what happens based on the ending of the last film. It’s pretty similar.

The final, final scene is still pretty sad as well. We have someone yelling out a name…over and over and over again. It keeps on going once the screen has gone dark as well. It’s an example of a scene that could have been interesting, but ended up getting dragged on for far too long. Although, the final 20 minutes or so was all pretty underwhelming.

I also think that one of the things that hurts the film is how unbelievable some of the parts are. There’s no way Apes would ever enslave humanity and this guy shouldn’t really believe it. It’s no better than a fortune teller telling them that something will happen in the future. Unfortunately, the Judge and Juries do agree with him to an extent and announce that the baby must be destroyed. That’s rather crude for the United States. So much for Freedom and Independence. Also, I like to think that the general populace would have been able to help them or to at least find out the truth about what the government did. It shouldn’t be too hard to piece the puzzles together.

One thing that I can’t forget to mention is how bad the acting is. Especially for the Apes as their facial expressions always seem fake. They’ll randomly glare at people or engage in eye contact for a very long time. It’s so bad that it can be funny at times. Special effects were limited at the time and I can understand that, but it still doesn’t look very good. This is something that the series likely won’t get much better at until the newer films, but I can hope.

Overall, This film was definitely a step up from the last one. It’s a world of difference in quality and this one definitely wasn’t unbearable to watch. It’s really just boring, which is still a pretty big crime for a film, but it could be worse. What the film really needed was a better ending and better characters. Zira proved that the apes couldn’t be trusted thanks to her sadistic experiments and the humans weren’t any better as they became paranoid very quickly. I can’t say that I’m a fan of the Apes franchise even after this film, but it was certainly an improvement. Hopefully the sequel can fix these issues and gives us a better soundtrack as well. This review wasn’t very long because the film itself was pretty uneventful. It didn’t make too many errors, but it didn’t really try. The first half was just about the Apes having fun and then the ending is where things go south for them. The court scenes were intriguing, although they could have been handled much better. I would recommend watching Godzilla vs King Kong instead of this film though since King Kong makes for a hardcore fighter and the action scenes can be pretty intense.

Overall 3/10