PLANET OF THE APES RETROSPECTIVE: BEST TO WORST

Standard

What a great series to review this year. Brilliant characters, excellent commentary on real life events and news headlines. Amazing costumes and later special effects. Crazy plots and twists. Excellent set design and imagination. The Planet of the Apes series has endured decades and has had many highs and many lows. In 2014 with the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes I decided to look back at the series from the original 1968 classic Planet of the Apes all the way to 2014’s Dawn. It has been a great experience reviewing this film and below I’ll list the best to worst in the series.

planet-of-the-apes

1. Planet of the Apes (1968)

dawn_of_the_planet_of_the_apes_poster_a_p

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

rise-of-the-planet-of-the-apes

3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

???????????????????????????????

4. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

936full-beneath-the-planet-of-the-apes-poster

5. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

planet_of_the_apes_(2001)

6. Planet of the Apes (2001)

Escape_from_the_planet_of_the_apes

7. Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

battleplanetofapes

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

Although I love Dawn of the Planet of the Apes dearly I still find the original 1968 film to be the best of the series. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was an excellent reboot for the franchise and introduced us to Andy Serkis mo-capped Caesar. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was an excellent thriller and showed the beginning of the Planet of the Apes. Beneath the Planet of the Apes was a fun sequel to the original with a completely insane ending. However with a (mostly) absent Charlton Heston the film ultimately struggled. Tim Burton’s remake was disappointing but had some fun elements and excellent costume design. Escape and Battle were pretty forgettable entries in the franchise. All up a great series and I had a lot of fun watching them all.

REVIEW: ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES (1971)

Standard

wy7NWI4qdRghwCENzkKmcl0hjT6

“Wedded” – Angry priest after discovering future apes got married.

Director: Don Taylor

Cast: Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman

Synopsis: After crash landing on earth, Zira, Cornelius and Dr Milo discover a planet ruled by humans.

Review:

After the shocking finale of Beneath the Planet of the Apes, this film had nowhere to go but the time travel route. With shades of Lost Season 5 and Austin Powers this film mixes smart sci-fi with inane comedy.

escapeapeslanding

The film opens with a spacecraft drifting in the sea. Soon we discover that Cornelius, Zira and (new ape?) Dr Milo have crash-landed on earth in the past, prior to the rise of the planet of the apes. Their destination is in fact the 1970s, with the retro funky soundtrack and comedic tone this franchise has found itself in a new direction, one vastly different to the two films preceding it. It is not for the better, nor the worst, merely an interesting side trip with two characters we have learnt to love over the past installments. From the opening scenes we can see that the ape costume design and make-up effects don’t translate as well in a modern setting away from the post-apocalyptic ape future. Also the apes find themselves in a predicament that is a stark contrast of how the characters were treated in the previous films.

escape-from-the-planet-of-the-apes-w1280-1024x597

Zira and Cornelius discover that humans once ruled the earth and find themselves trapped in a zoo only to be tested on and researched. Although not as violently as Charlton Heston’s Taylor was in the original. Soon the two apes are welcomed into society and are the talk of the town as everyone wishes to get to know these two apes.

escape-from-the-planet-of-the-apes-chimp1

Their welcome is soon turned to darker terrain as Dr Hasslein (Eric Braeden), fears for his planets future as Zira confesses how the ape war ended.

escape1

This is smart sci-fi, only it’s mixed with silly humour and obnoxious characters that it can’t succeed as the previous films did. With its lack of action and twists, the film is enjoyable however after the last two entries it fails to rise above.

Rating: 2 Stars