Conquest of the Planet of the Apes ★★★

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Intriguing but flawed. Caesar (renamed from Milo?) goes from sheltered youth to violent revolutionary a little too fast to be believable. How he's able to organize the other, less intelligent apes, isn't shown. The themes are a little too on-the-nose, personified by having the black dude be the only sympathetic human and talk about slavery a lot. And the film is hampered by obvious budget limitations; ESCAPE benefited from a small scale, but this film clearly wants to be larger, but can't. As a result, the revolution of the apes feels far too contained, and the generic "future city" set lacks the verisimilitude the previous installments in the series boasted.

Still, the action is satisfying, and Roddy McDowell gives a good performance as Caesar, even though he's not allowed to do much for a lot of the film. Some spectacular visuals, but ultimately handicapped by its limited scale.