Just what I expected
Story: It's very simple but honestly that is fine.
Let me be very fair here, this is not the best movie in my opinion. But, this movie is fun, it has purpose and is very enjoyable to watch.
You know how you lose track of time and then become astonished to learn how long ago something actually occurred. I reviewed "Planet of the Apes" on this board a full ten years ago! and haven't seen any of it's sequels since, until this one the other day. With a fairly clear memory of how the original ended, this one pretty much picks up from that point when search team astronaut Brent (James Franciscus) discovers the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, and journeys his way through the land of the Apes Forbidden Zone attempting to find Charlton Heston's character from the earlier movie.Perhaps it was evident in the original "Planet of the Apes" and I didn't notice it, but the various ape tribes are organized by their vocation on the planet. The orangutans are scientists, the gorillas rule militarily and the chimpanzees portray ordinary citizens for the most part. Some cross over occurs, as with the characters of Zira (Kim Hunter) and Cornelius (David Watson), but for the most part the simians don't cross boundaries. I thought that was kind of interesting, as humans on the planet are considered inferior by all - "The only good human is a dead human".What I really got a kick out of was the way Brent discovered his old neighborhood by way of the Queensboro Plaza Station and advertising for the New York Summer Festival. Shortly after, a casual stroll with Nova (Linda Harrison) brings them to the remains of the New York Public Library, the New York Stock Exchange and Radio City Music Hall. Not being a city resident, I wouldn't know otherwise, but I wouldn't bet that all those places were within walking distance of each other, but then again, it's a sci-fi story.Things get interesting in the second half of the picture when the humans make their appearance in the underground caverns, with their perverted views of religious fealty to an atomic bomb strategically placed in the remains of St. Patrick's Cathedral. With their ability to project telepathic illusions however, I couldn't quite figure out why they would have needed the rubber masks to hide their real features. Just a thought wave could have taken care of all that, wouldn't it? The way this one ends seems to indicate a doomsday scenario after Taylor (Heston) shows up once more, and it would seem there would be no justification for another three sequels, but I'm not up enough on my 'Planet' lore just yet to know how it all transpires. Still, I thought this was a fairly entertaining entry in the series of films, so I'll be on the lookout for the others as time goes by.
Outstanding sequel to Planet Of The Apes, in this film another human crash lands his ship on the apes world.Chuck Heston gets too little screen time, but everything else about this movie is outstanding.One of the mutants down below is played by Paul Richards who did wonderful work on TV's The Fugitive and I Spy.Leonard Rosenman had done the score to Fox's Fantastic Voyage (1966) and I think the studio was attempting to get the Fantastic Voyage- feeling going again. His score here is perfectly matched to the film.Apes is a Fox production as were the Irwin Allen sci-fi TV shows of this period. In the early part of the film, where you see the crashed wreck of the spaceship, look hard and you can see the landing legs of spaceship Jupiter 2 (from Lost In Space) in the wreckage of the ship.Later in the film, part of the underground city is in fact "The Secret City Of Limbo" seen in Land Of The Giants.Beneath The Planet Of The Apes is great film with enough retro sci- fi connections to make it super-fun as well
While the first movie in the series, the adaptation of Pierre Boulle's excellent novel, was a somewhat mixed bag and ultimately a disappointment compared to the original material, the second one, Beneath the Planet of the Apes is simply an all-round disaster with a mind-numbingly stupid plot, horrible acting, incompetent directing and editing, and the lousiest special effects ever put on the screen.Mutant humans with telepathic powers worshipping a nuclear bomb in a temple set up amidst the ruins of a subway station? Did the filmmakers deliberately pick the dumbest idea they could find? And what was the message? It is better to blow up the whole planet than to cede our power to apes or mutants?But in the end, it's not the witlessness of the plot that counts but the execution. Make it exciting and at least semi-believable, and all will be forgiven. Unfortunately, Beneath the Planet of the Apes fails in every single department. It is both extremely boring and ridiculously cheap-looking, even for its time. By far the worst instalment in the series, a horrendous movie in itself, and quite possibly THE worst sequel of all time. (Although looking strictly at the extent of drop in quality, there are many serious contenders from Futureworld and Exorcist II or Speed 2 to The Force Awakens.)
After briefly recapping the ending of the landmark previous film, "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" shows how the apes are motivated towards aggression by the gorillas, led by Ursus (James Gregory). They embark on a mission to a mystery region known as The Forbidden Zone, with Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans) going along to prove or dispel the idea of other forms of life on Earth. Meanwhile, another astronaut named Brent (James Franciscus) arrives in search of Charlton Hestons' character Taylor. He meets up with Taylors' companion Nova (super sexy Linda Harrison), and as they escape from captivity, they eventually find an underground civilization populated by human mutants who pray to an atomic bomb.This sequel, not unexpectedly, is definitely not in the same league as its predecessor. It's actually kind of goofy, albeit somewhat interesting, and works as a fair action-oriented narrative. The real marvel is the art direction by William J. Creber and Jack Martin Smith. John Chambers' ape masks are still as impressive as ever. What's most striking about the script by Paul Dehn (based on a story by Dehn and Mort Abrahams) is that these mutants are supposedly peaceable individuals, and their whole angle is getting their enemies to destroy each other.Franciscus is good in the starring role, and Gregory stands out among the strong supporting cast. Kim Hunter briefly returns as Zira, but you miss the presence of Roddy McDowall. He was directing the film "The Ballad of Tam Lin" at the time, and is replaced by an actor named David Watson. Paul Richards, Victor Buono, Jeff Corey, Natalie Trundy, and Don Pedro Colley play assorted mutants; this was Trundys' first appearance in an "Apes" film, and she went on to do all the other theatrical sequels as well. Hestons' contribution basically amounts to a special guest appearance, but he gets to administer the final coup de grace at the end.Directed by Ted Post ("Hang Em High", "Magnum Force", "The Baby", "Go Tell the Spartans"), this is all filmed in a workmanlike but entertaining enough fashion.Seven out of 10.