Writer: Paul Dehn, Mort Abrahams (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Characters)
Starring: James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison, Paul Richards, Victor Buono, Charlton Heston
Plot: The sole survivor of an interplanetary rescue mission searches for the only survivor of the previous expedition. He discovers a planet ruled by apes and an underground city run by telepathic humans.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Continues Nicely
Story: Beneath the Planet of the Apes starts as we continue to see where Taylor (Heston) and Nova (Harrison) travels went after the shocking conclusion of the first movie, but something has split them up and Nova stumbles across the latest visitor Brent (Franciscus) the sole survivor of the rescue mission.
Nova takes Brent to the ape city where Zira (Hunter) continues her mission to show the humans are important, but Dr Zaius (Evans) must join the leader Ursus (Gregory) in a mission into the forbidden zone for answers. Brent learning answers from Zira and Cornelius risks his and Nova’s lives to find the answers that could be peace or safety for the planet of the apes and humans, but what he finds beneath the planet is even more shocking than he could imagine with humans that communicate through telepathic powers.
Thoughts on Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Characters/Performance – Brent is one of the rescue team sent to rescue George but finds himself going through the same troubles but also dealing with what is hidden beneath the planet. He isn’t as strong as George though. Zira does have a smaller part but is still trying to create an equality on the planet. Dr Zaius does want the right thing now but doesn’t get enough time to build up this character change. Nova is there clearly for the eye candy with the new humans being a lot more interesting twist in the story.
Performance wise, James Franciscus does reach the levels we got from Heston in the leading role, Hunter and Evans suffer from less screen time but do well enough when they are on screen. The rest of the cast are all fine building the bigger picture within the film.
Story – The story continues on where the last one finished, which is good, learning more about the planet brings the interest up within the story as we now know we could be heading into a bigger battle on a planet the apes don’t actually control completely. This is a good building part of the franchise.
Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi – The action is all good without being anything ground breaking, the world we are thrown into does help the sci-fi angle because we continue learning about the planet in the future.
Settings – We continue to get the desert settings showing us how the world has changed in the future with the destruction that has happened in the past.
Final Thoughts – This is a good addition to the franchise, sure it isn’t as good of a film as the original but it continues the story nicely to make us want to learn more about the planet.
Overall: Good franchise addition.