November 22, 2014
Movie Night: Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
Review #662: Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
James Franciscus (Brent), Kim Hunter (Zira), Maurice Evans (Dr. Zaius), Linda Harrison (Nova), Charlton Heston (Taylor), David Watson (Cornelius), Paul Richards (Mendez), and James Gregory (General Ursus) Directed by Ted Post.
The original Planet of the Apes (#347) was a great look into what could bring man's downfall and our level of power that could be used against us, while providing a great twist ending. The sequel is not quite as good. Charlton Heston is not our main star this time, it's James Franciscus who takes over, and sadly he isn't really that exciting as a lead. Heston in his brief scenes is better only because I'm reminded of how Heston had a certain charm to him, a undefinable way of making you care about him immediately. The movie slogs around at points, such as in the beginning, when you realize you're stuck with Brent and Nova (a mute) as your main characters, with brief moments of Heston to spruce things up. The effects are alright, though that nuclear bomb being gold really makes it so off putting. The random blazes of fire that springs up comes it at a close second for weirdest thing in the movie, though. At this point, the plot has reached heights of near absurdity, and combined with everything in this movie, it makes for a strange and uneven experience. At least the ending tries to be a big surprise, but instead of being a good ending, it just makes you hit your head that it ended so abruptly. Especially given the fact there were three sequels to this, which just makes the ending even more moot. Take this film with a grain of salt and...judge for yourself.
Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.