This one was… different. It’s very clear this wasn’t a plan they had back when they made the first film and it doesn’t even seem like one that they put much thought into.
It has some decent moments but isn’t a good movie. Most of the strengths of the film come from the sets and the returning ape makeup. Unfortunately for a Planet of the Apes film the apes don’t really do that much.
The humans aren’t that much better either. Since Charlton Heston didn’t want to do the sequel he’s only in a handful of scenes and his replacement is boring. While Heston’s character Taylor was never likable he had plenty of great lines, James Franciscus’ character Brent on the other hand is bland and blatantly only exists because of Heston’s refusal to star in the film.
The mutants here have some interesting potential such as their religious worship of a bomb but I found the psychic powers out of place. Once they’re introduced they also take all the attention away from the apes and do not have enough to them to serve as a suitable replacement.
I’m not sure what to expect next but they’d better not have yet another astronaut land, not realized they’re on Earth and be the main character… oh who am I kidding that’s exactly what they’re going to do isn’t it?