The Planet of the Apes trilogy has been vastly underappreciated by modern movie fans. This is a trilogy with three legitimately great movies that doesn’t get mentioned in the same breath as other well-known trilogies. Every great trilogy has a weakest link. But in this case, the weak link is an underrated great movie.
I don’t know if it was because James Franco starred in the first one, or if it was some other reason, but the films seem to have been disregarded since they originally came out. Both Dawn and War were welcomed by positive critical and audience acclaim. But that was about it.
Here and there, I have seen videos or articles talking about how great this trilogy is, but it has never been consistent praise, the way they deserve. This could be because they aren’t really the exciting blockbusters audiences have come to expect. Rise is the closest to that, but Dawn and War are much more slow-burning and are more concerned with making social commentaries and focusing on character instead of wowing audiences with action sequence after action sequence.
This is all quite unfortunate. Because, like I said, all of these movies are great. They don’t become tonally stale from one to the next – they each have their own unique feel. Also, they each have great acting, direction, and scores.
I think if these were looked at through a lens that wasn’t expecting Planet of the Apes or an awesome action movie, they could be more adored in the public eye. The Dark Knight, The Godfather, Toy Story, Back to the Future, The Matrix, the original Star Wars, and, to some, even The Lord of the Rings trilogies each have at least one film that makes them not quite as great as they could be.
But again, Planet of the Apes has three great films. For that reason, I think it needs to be considered one of the top three movie trilogies of all time.