Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes Review

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes
Twenty years after the murder of Zira and Cornelius, their child Caesar (Roddy McDowall), rejoins the world from hiding in a circus. He finds a society where apes are kept as pets performing menial tasks, and often mistreated. When his guardian Armando (Ricardo Montalban) is killed, Caesar organises a revolution.

by Sam Toy |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jul 1972

Running Time:

88 minutes



Original Title:

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes

Acceptance of this fourth Apes film will rely greatly on your swallowing the presentation of its world in microcosm – a solution often employed in sci-fi to circumvent the hassle of the 'big ideas vs tiny budget' conundrum. If you don't, you'll sit incredulous as to how a pack of simians rioting on what looks like a Thamesmead housing estate equates to world domination.

But even for more forgiving fans of the story so far, Conquest feels a bit like going through the motions. As we follow Caesar on his journey from secretly intelligent but peaceful young ape to angry revolutionary, slavery and fascism analogies are drawn, and a few key moments hitherto alluded to in Ape law are checked off.

It's also the end of the series' strongest drawcard – the downbeat endings. When the chance for another memorable catastrophe is presented and not taken, it's a cue for all concerned to hang up the simian suits. Sadly, this went unheeded.

Wringing the last drops out of the idea, it strains to stay on-side, but it remains true enough to the spirit of the series to get it over the line.
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