Planet of the Apes (Franchise)

9 – Battle for the Planet of the Apes; Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a rather strange and disjointed member of the series. It is lighter in its tone compared to its predecessors and feels like a far cry from other entries. While certain scenes are rather atmospheric, the departure from sunny edenic environments is rather disappointing. The supposed “battle” that occurs is a small-scale skirmish with no closure provided for this series. Pacing issues and a lack of a strong script push this below the rest of the franchise, especially when tense situations are ruined by an out-of-place action or comment. Battle for the Planet of the Apes did have a small budget working against it, but the special effects are rather good, except for certain apes. Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a tepid disappointing film when compared to its original films. Cinemaster Score: 4.6/10

8 – Beneath the Planet of the Apes; As the sequel to such and iconic franchise’s very first film, Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a letdown. The first issue noticeable is that our hero from the previous film is absent for a majority of it and replaced with a very similar character. Expanding further than that though, the entire film feels shaky. The story is quite odd and continuously gets weirder. While this could always be good or bad, it is pretty difficult to see a positive side to it during this movie. Beneath the Planet of the Apes has many unnecessary, dumb moments with a bad script. All of which make it an inferior film by far compared to most of what else the franchise has to offer. Cinemaster Score: 5.3/10

7 – Planet of the Apes (2001); This remake is a good representation of how any remake stereotypically tends to be. It stays mostly true to the original formula but somewhat changes it for modernization. But this take on Planet of the Apes feels off with the story it tells. Unlike the quality of Tim Burton’s remake on Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryPlanet of the Apes (2001) seems almost rushed. The characters are okay but they aren’t anything new or special, falling short of the original. But Planet of the Apes’ remake does have some great practical effects visually along with a breathtaking twist ending reminiscent of its predecessor. Unfortunately – like most remakes – Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes will always be caught up in the shadow of the original. Cinemaster Score: 5.7/10

6 – Conquest for the Planet of the Apes; Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is quite possibly the darkest of the franchise – with a bleak tone and even bleaker message. The futuristic setting depicts the events that have transpired following Escape from the Planet of the Apes. With the apes working in menial labor for low wage income. Every human in the film is dressed in black, save for the apes who wear brightly colored jumpsuits. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes also shows the cruel enslavement of the apes, as they are kept in check with flamethrowers and torture. This amount of brutality may be off-putting to many, but Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is undoubtedly unique in its execution. The movie has a strong political and societal message, but it’s wrapped in a muted, colorless environment with a hopeless story. Cinemaster Score: 7.1/10

5 – Escape from the Planet of the Apes; In consideration of the tragedy that was Beneath the Planet of the Apes; the 3rd installment to this franchise would be crucial. Fortunately, Escape from the Planet of the Apes is a successful film most of the way around. The acting is as good as in the original, especially from our main apes. The story is great, standing out from the rest of the original 5 films. Escape from the Planet of the Apes puts together a solid backstory for the rest of the films while simultaneously forming its own unique tale. The major conflict with humanity also catches the audience’s attention by adding more interesting perspectives and a mix of dark reality. As well as those key points, Escape from the Planet of the Apes also had a great ending that left the option of a new movie which would expand the mythos. Cinemaster Score: 8.2/10

4 – Rise of the Planet of the Apes; After over a decade without any films, nobody had really expected a new addition to the age-old franchise. Rise of the Planet of the Apes took a much different approach than many expected as it kicked off the reboot trilogy. Rather than start out well into the evolved world like it’s predecessors, Rise of the Planet of the Apes begins at the beginning. It shows exactly how the revolt begins, step-by-step, in a very satisfying manner. There’s a strong cast that perform well and plenty of references to the originals, too. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is much different from most others before it due to all of its heartfelt warmth. It is a great and promising start to the reboot that had yet to come. Cinemaster Score: 8.6/10

3 – Planet of the Apes (1968); Alas, the film that started it all! Planet of the Apes (1968) is a great film in each aspect. For its time, the visual effects are pretty good. The characters are intriguing and likable. As well as each character being acted well, too. But what Planet of the Apes is remembered for is the unique concept. The reversed roles between primate and human are displayed in an interesting fashion. The only downside might be the amount of corny, direct references to the real world. The ending has a good twist though, whether the audience saw it coming or not. Planet of the Apes is an amazing start to an amazing franchise.                             Cinemaster Score: 8.7/10

2 – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is what really made most people fully interested in the rebooted trilogy. Between its perfect mix of action, drama, and world building, it more than holds its own against the more nostalgic films in the series. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes provided a noticeable step up in motion capture technology from its predecessor and made the apes feel like living characters. Caesar (Played excellently by Andy Serkis), is particularly life-like, with his mannerisms displayed to the smallest detail. The story tells of the aftermath of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Placing humans at the back-end of the story to focus on the apes themselves. In doing so, we see from their perspective and sympathize with them. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gave viewers an emotional connection to its characters as well as a deeply enthralling story. Cinemaster Score: 8.9/10

1 – War for the Planet of the Apes; When thinking about finales, we often think of one big fireworks show, with the biggest and best of everything since then. War for the Planet of the Apes is the ultimate fireworks show.  It is a benchmark in CGI and motion capture, with the apes being almost indistinguishable from humans at certain times. The action is beautiful and grand, with some truly jaw dropping effects and choreography. The story is finely tuned and perfectly paced, to not only finish a trilogy, but tell its own unique story as well. New characters such as Colonel McCullough (Woody Harrelson) and Bad Ape (Steve Zhan), are some of the best in the whole franchise. War for the Planet of the Apes takes the top spot because of its astonishingly beautiful special effects, its multilayered plot and characters, and some of the most unique action scenes and battles in the series. War for the Planet of the Apes is the ultimate finale to one of the best trilogies of all time. Cinemaster                     Score: 9.1/10

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