A glimmer of hope survived the calamity of the previous film. Zira and Cornelius and the Ape that needed to die to make a point. The point being that gorillas are violent.
The first film is mirrored in this. The apes are taken to a zoo where they can observe they’re primal counterparts where two psychologists experiment with them to discover intelligence. And Zira played by Kim Hunter is excellent here. She is sarcastic and charming it really helps you bond with her and Cornelius played once again by Roddy McDowall is a delight as the caring husband.
Both characters wrestle with whether or not they should share their knowledge of the future with the humans. This leads to creation of a villain whose motivations are similar to Dr. Zaius from the original but in reverse. Unlike Dr. Zaius however Dr. Dixon achieves his goal of slaughtering Zira and Cornelius. A tragedy whose weight is added to when he unloads bullets into a baby chimpanzee. But was it the right baby?
Humans at large seem to be happy with the talking apes but Dr. Dixon fears them. He naturally goes from impressed to fear, picking up on the subtlety of their lies.
Armando played Ricardo Montalban is as charming as ever and his character as the sympathethic circus master is both ironic and lovable. Giving the history of animals in the circus, but Armando is charming and genuinely cares for his animals.
This film is tragic but the hope of a continued series and surviving baby Caesar named Milo for the dead scientist in the beginning but he’s called Caesar in subsequent films. Definitely a film to watch for Apes fans, it being the origin of Caesar and the begining of the fall of man. 7/10