The Apes saga staggers to a limp and unsatisfying conclusion that asks us to believe that, in less than one generation, the largely inarticulate apes of the last film have not only acquired the power of speech, but also a level of philosophy. There I go, applying logic to fantasy again, but there’s only so much absurdity a man can take.
The film starts some years after a nuclear war has devastated the major cities but somehow left the countryside untouched. A bucolic society of apes and humans is ruled by Caesar (Roddy McDowall). His rival for power is the volatile Aldo (Claude Akins), a gorilla whose thinks the only use for humans is target practice. Even under Caesar’s more enlightened rule, humans are second-class citizens, subject to a form of species-level apartheid.
In the nearby ruined city lives another group of humans, who wear funny black hats so we get the point that these guys are the ancestors of the mutant bomb cultists from the second movie. After Caesar leads a party into the city to learn whatever information the city archives has about his parents, the two groups come into conflict, go to war and some stuff blows up.
That’s about it and you’re detecting a lack of enthusiasm for this film, you go straight to the head of the class. Battle is a simple and simple-minded tale that even lacks the substance of the tepid first sequel.