The world is shocked by the appearance of three talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society; but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.
In a futuristic world that has embraced ape slavery, Caesar, the son of the late simians Cornelius and Zira, surfaces after almost twenty years of hiding out from the authorities, and prepares for a slave revolt against humanity.
J. Lee Thompson
Ten years after conquering the Earth, ape leader Caesar wants the ruling apes and enslaved humans to live in peace. But warring factions of apes led by a militant gorilla general as well as various human groups threaten the stability.
J. Lee Thompson
Brent is an American astronaut, part of a team sent to locate missing fellow American astronaut, George Taylor. Following Taylor's known flight trajectory, the search and rescue team crash lands on an unknown planet much like Earth in the year 3955, with Brent being the only survivor of the team. What Brent initially does not know, much like Taylor didn't initially know when he landed here before Brent, is that he has landed back on Earth in the future, in the vicinity of what was New York City. Brent finds evidence that Taylor has been on the planet. In Brent's search for Taylor, he finds that the planet is run by a barbaric race of English speaking apes, whose mission is in part to annihilate the human race. Brent eventually locates some of those humans, who communicate telepathically and who live underground to prevent detection by the apes. These humans, who are in their own way as barbaric as the apes, want in turn to protect their species. Brent has to figure out a way to save ... Written by
An early draft of the script, called "Planet of the Men", and written by Pierre Boulle in his native French, featured a messianic Taylor 14 years after the events of Planet of the Apes (1968). It involved an uprising against the apes, following which they revert back to their primal states. See more »
(at around 6 mins) When Taylor looks back at the ship's clock for Earth in the first film, it reads 3973. But Brent tells his dying commander that the year is 3955. This is repeated in "Escape". See more »
This first sequel to the '68 science fiction hit has all the markings of something rushed into production. There was no time to craft a story which explores the truly interesting possibilities of astronaut Taylor's continuing odyssey on a future world turned upside down. The story could have and should have concentrated on the evolving struggle between the ruling class of apes and the backward humans. Instead, the filmmakers created a new threat for this film, a secret society of human mutants living underground. They show up in the 2nd half of this feature and, in prolonged scenes, show off their telepathic powers in torturing the heroes. The heroes, in this case, are another astronaut (Franciscus) who followed Taylor's trajectory to this other planet and Taylor himself (Heston, reprising his role briefly). Wow, what an original concept - another astronaut, who, in an accelerated version of the first film's events, also finds Ape City, encounters two sympathetic chimps, gets captured and escapes. Are we watching some kind of a repeat?
The quick pace of this picture is probably its best aspect; this stresses action. However, the pace is so fast that some crucial points in geography are sacrificed: getting to the Forbidden Zone from Ape City is just a short walk in a tunnel for some, while others have to trudge for days overhead. In a slight nod to the satirical aspects of the original film, we do get to see religion being mocked (the original satirized the social & political anchors of a community). But, it's not a very subtle jab. The mutants profess to be more intelligent than either the heroes or the apes, which they seem to prove with their advanced mind powers, but they spend most of their time worshiping a nuclear bomb, chanting silly songs - they really picked a strange form of idolatry, but maybe they're simply crazed. This movie throws together a lot of science fiction concepts but the resulting brew is rather bland. It's a decent action piece, not much more.
Franciscus shows he is no Heston; he overacts in most of his scenes, as if he had no clue on how to depict a man realizing where he's actually landed, but then again, he wasn't the skipper on this 2nd ship (the lead officer dies soon after they crash-land); we're not watching a leader but a follower try to carry the picture. I was struck by how Heston towered over him in their brutal fight scene. McDowall is also missing; his role of Cornelius is played by actor Watson. Evans & Gregory are pretty good as the ape leaders but whoever stuck them in ape suits for the sauna scene should have thought about it a few more minutes. This movie ends everything on a grotesquely conclusive note, but they managed to find a way to continue the story in "Escape From the Planet of the Apes."
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