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
"Beneath" is a film that epitomizes the best and worst that a sequel to a masterpiece, as "Planet Of The Apes" was, could be. For me, it is the most watchable of the sequels only because it's the only one that stays in the familiar territory established by the first film. But oh that ending....
I really can not understand why the heck Richard Zanuck allowed Charlton Heston to talk him into going with that downer ending that has already been referred to by others. The only reason why Heston pushed it wasn't because it made for good cinema but because he wanted to singlehandedly see to it that he never have to do another Apes sequel again. It's a pity that Heston never realized that the best sequel story one could have explored was what happened to Taylor and Nova afterwards, and could have made for some equally compelling drama as the first film did. To me, the main appeal of the first film wasn't the Ape society, it was the character of Taylor and his fascinating odyssey from misanthrope to defender of the species, only to see his earlier feelings borne out in the shock ending. The question that should have been addressed next in a sequel was, what would Taylor do now that he realized he was on Earth? What other things were there to discover on the planet? (Heck, you could have easily made a sequel movie without the apes returning, as far as I'm concerned!) Alas, because of the plot device imposed by this film (and Heston's inability to realize what a good thing he might have had going for himself), the rest of the series had to veer off into what was for me, a more uninteresting story line focusing on the Apes and their inevitable rise to power.
Plot holes and depressing ending notwithstanding, "Beneath" is still worth watching to see the traces of what could have been a great film that are there. The mutant storyline and their dwellings underneath the remains of New York still has an irresistible viewing quality to it. I do not recommend watching it in tandem with its magnificent predecessor though, because that's only going to make you more angry about the ending of this film.
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