Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Beneath the Planet of the Apes Movie Review………………………………………

Beneath the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a 1970 science fiction film starring James Franciscus and Charlton Heston. It is such a good, extremely underrated sequel.

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Glory be to the Bomb, and to the Holy Fallout

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Beneath the Planet of the Apes Movie Review………………………………………

According to the mediocre reviews and lack of popularity for this flick, I honestly expected the worst and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is actually a good film. Of course it is much inferior to the original ‘Planet of the Apes’, but it isn’t a bad film and is even a four star movie to me personally. Needless to say, it is awfully underrated and needlessly trashed.

So another astronaut crashes on Earth in the post-apocalyptic future looking for Taylor who is missing and disappeared from the face of the planet. Now obviously it started off quite similarly to the first movie and I thought this was basically going to be a rehash and was quite annoyed.

However, it turned out to be just the opposite and vastly different from the original in the end that I really liked it. The film really begins when Brent escapes from the apes and stumbles upon the underground tunnels where he discovers humans with telekinetic powers. At first, I was taken aback by this and did not know what to think of this new development.

But eventually I really liked it. Of course it is too timely and dated by now with all this atomic bomb storyline, but I liked the twist with those humans that turn out to be mutants with severely burned skin. Apparently radiation has destroyed their skin, but also gave them telekinetic powers. I love those powers and they were really well executed. Those scenes were some of the best here.

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Beneath the Planet of the Apes Movie Review………………………………………

Beneath the Planet of the Apes is definitely a weird movie. It can be too weird at times, it starts off pretty weakly and I disliked that we had to see the ending to the first movie again. Some of the fights were also too campy and poorly executed and naturally, owing to a lesser budget, the effects are much weaker this time around. Some of the apes look pretty horrendous and the make-up is vastly inferior to the original.

But still I liked it quite a bit despite those obvious big issues. James Franciscus looks good, but is hardly another Charlton Heston. Speaking of whom, I liked what they did with his character and they handled well Heston’s unwillingness to appear in the sequel by reducing his role significantly, but still naturally. I would have liked to have seen more Zira, but those mutants were so interesting that I didn’t mind it that much.

The ending I found interesting and I liked that they went there as destroying the entire planet with a bomb was a pretty bold idea for the film’s ending. Following suddenly three groups and two groups of villains was very entertaining and to me this sequel succeeds wonderfully in expanding this already great world even more and visiting the underground tunnels was a lot of fun and quite fascinating. Those scenes with mutants were all my favourites, so well done.

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Beneath the Planet of the Apes Movie Review………………………………………

The action is weakly executed and the film is never as artistic or powerful as the first movie, but mainly because I lowered my expectations significantly, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. And don’t get me wrong – it is a good movie for sure, certainly a stupendous sequel that I wonder why it fared so poorly with the critics and fans.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes is such an unfortunately underappreciated sequel that is of course never comparable to the great original as its action and effects are too campy plus the acting is not the greatest, but they refreshingly took a different direction with this sequel and taking the action to the underground tunnels was intriguing and a lot of fun. I really enjoyed that new development, the mutants are memorable and the ending is bold. It is such a fun, ultimately successful sequel that expanded an already vast, wonderful world.

My Rating – 4

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Posted in 1970, 1970s, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , , .

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