This review is part of a series of reviews Journey to the Planet of the Apes to prepare for the newest installment.
You can find all the reviews here.
Bart Simpson: And every night the monkey
butlers will regale us with jungle stories.
Nelson: How many monkey butlers will there be?
Bart Simpson: One at first, but he’ll train others.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes has finally realized Bart Simpson’s dream of an army of ape-butlers. And it teaches the valuable lesson that ape-butlers will eventually overthrow society.
Starting similarly bizarre to Escape Conquest opens with a mass of apes in what looks like prison suits getting commanded around by humans, but let’s start things slowly right?
The reason for the Conquest
Whatever will happen in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it can only be more plausible than Conquest. Like the other sequels the movie continues the story set up by previous movies and this is the movie when the advantages of having a continuing story starts destroying and muting the ideas that are more interesting.
How could the Apes have overthrown society? What was the reason?
Well Conquest explains that a plague killed cats and dogs… everything still logical right?
After needing pets humans decided to take apes and train them as butlers… logic is still working?
So thousands of apes are now doing groceries and all the stuff for humans… allriiiight…
And the child from two timetraveling monkeys is leading the revolution… I can feel the authenticity.
Just reading those paragraphs should make clear that the screenwriters sacrificed interesting storylines to continue the old one, thereby the interesting premise of part I “Humans destroyed earth and apes rose” is replaced by a very boring and foreseeable script with almost no surprises.
Khan from part III is still around, protecting Caesar (the child from the timetraveling apes) and when Caesar shouts at the mistreatment of another ape Khan gets interrogated about his ape and Caesar has to escape.
What happens now is a series of “Do!” and “No!” as the apes are trained and it is more annoying than most things you have heard on screen. Thankfully “No!” is a forbidden word in part V because I have heard enough of it for an entire franchise. After Caesar has had enough “do”s and “no”s the revolution finally starts.
After an uninspired sequence of fights the apes have destroyed the government buildings and are preparing to execute the most evil human of the movie. Shortly before killing him the only afro-american in the movie pleads for compassion because he understands the monkey seeing as he is also a descendant of slaves – in case you haven’t gotten the message of slavery until this point.
Caesar decides to act compassionate and tells the audience “Tonight, we have seen the Conquest of the Planet of the Apes!” sounding like a guy on the fair.
Apparently there was a bloodier ending where Caesar just kills the human and therefore seals the grim fate whereas this version is ending dark but Caesar still acts as if he wants to be compassionate to humans
One has to point out that no matter how low the original series sinks it at least always tries to bring in a message. The problem being that this time neither the message nor the storyline is particularly well handed. The characters are so-so and even Caesar is not really interesting, he is just the typical “angry because they are enslaved”-guy. And when your main characters who have to get your sympathies are apes then it is pretty hard to relate to them when the actor can only move his mouth and make the “monkey-twitching” that the ape actors make since part I whenever they don’t speak.
I don’t know what I will get tomorrow, although I am fairly sure that Rise will be interesting, but I am damn sure that it can’t be as boring and contrived as Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
But we still have one more of the original Ape series to go, because the Battle for the Planet of the Apes is still upon us!
[…] 1968 Beneath the Planet of the Apes – 1970 Escape from the Planet of the Apes – 1971 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes – 1972 Battle for the Planet of the Apes – 1973 Planet of the Apes (Remake) – 2001 Rise of the […]