Movie Review: Beneath the Planet of the Apes

We start Beneath the Planet of the Apes with a fairly clipped last 5 minutes of the last movie. Just like the Rocky series. Charlton Heston gets off the horse, punches  the ground, damns us all to hell, then get back on the horse and keeps riding. He rides thought the desert on a horse with no name. Lets keep in mind that he’s only got a week of rations on the horse- if the monkeys didn’t poison or pee in the water bottles.

Hey! Another Rocket! There is another Charlton Heston clone out there getting a medical kit, and a man is laying on the ground. Turns out they went through a storm looking for Charlton Heston.

The Captain of the ship dies, and Heston 2.0 buries him. See they were smart and landed near shrubbery. Nova comes over the ridge and Heston 2.0, oh, his names Brent. Brent sees dog tags around Nova’s neck and sees that they are Taylor’s (Charlton Heston) . Brent wants to know where Heston is, and we get a flashback of the pair’s riding up to a flame-wall, a lightning strike and an earthquake. Heston goes through a hologram of a wall, and Nova is supposed to go get Zira. Brent jumps on the horse and demands that Nova take him to Charlton Heston. Nova instead takes him to the Ape-Village.

beneath-the-planet-of-the-apes-apesThere is a debate going on about wiping the humans out and planting where the humans live. So now the Humans have been changed from Apes for medical experiments to either Indians or Animals on the good fields? The “Forbidden Zone” has been closed off for centuries, was there an Ape population boom? Brent and Nova hear all this- and Brent says he’s getting out of here. They walk BY THE HORSE and trek out on foot. Brent is shot in the arm by an Ape shooting blindly into some bushes.

In a Roman Bathhouse, the head Gorilla and Dr Zaius talk about either starving or planting. The head Gorilla is a bit upset about losing 11 of 12 scouts. The last one came back talking about a flame wall.
Nova takes Brent to Zira and Cornelius, she’s all excited to see them. Cornelius shows where Heston went on the map, while Zira bandages his wound, she’s a trained vet you know. Dr Zaius shows up, pissed about Zira’s actions at the big speech. Apparently they have gotten married since the last movie. Zira covers for the blood saying Cornelius hit her for bad attitude. Dr Zaius: “I don’t blame him” gotta love the 70s.

Zira gives him clothes and supplies and tells him to go save Charlton Heston. Telling him no matter what, do not speak. On the way out, they are captured by Apes and penned.
Next day they pass by some military training. Considering the humans have zero backbone, kind of wonder why. They are taken back to the pens, and Zira unlocked the cage on the way to “target practice”. I do kind of wonder why all the Apes carry little footlong baseball bats. You would think the Apes would have used more than 2 humans for target practice, but only Brent and Nova are in the cage. Brent breaks out and beats the Ape, taking over the carriage. They take off the horses and away they go, seen by an Ape, who gives chase with thier group. Trapped against a mountain, the humans ditch the horses and go climbing. Finding a cave, they go exploring. Thankfully, there is a lot of light in underground caves, and Brent finds something called the Queensboro Plaza.
Oh Hell no.

Subway tracks are still there. Tiles are still stuck on the wall. There is even a metal sign still intact on the ground. THERE IS WOOD holding the subway tracks. They must have some serious galvanizing paint out there, to hold rust for two thousand years.

beneath-the-planet-of-the-apes-subwayNow those rails that look like they were used last month, we jump completely off of. I mean we jump those rails like Fonzie on skis. As soon as we hit the actual Beneath the planet, this thing stinks. Up until then, I’m with the movie. It tries to continue the story, and Brent does try to be Charlton Heston, and when they meet up, Brent is much smaller than Heston- both literally and physically.

I have read that Heston didn’t want to do the sequel. I understand he had two conditions on doing the sequel. He dies and his salary goes to charity. So no, he’s not doing his best, and Brent is not close to being the presence that Heston is. I do think he tries, but Heston could have done the whole movie, and it would have been better.
Until the end. No one can save the end.

I’ll give a spoiler tag for this old movie, but let me just say I’m going a 3 here. This movie was heading for a solid 5-6 pretty easily, until the end. It kills what we have set up so well in the original. We have an Ape Planet with mute humans. Go. This movie? Oh hell no. We need a human village within walking distance of the Ape Village, we need Super Powers, and we need to make everything more dangerous. They can’t even get the year right (It’s now 3955) Boom. Now why does this suck?


Spoilers Shead

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