Worst to First: Ranking the Planet of the Apes movies
5. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
RT Score: 41%
Box Office: $18,999,718 (#5)
BO (Adjusted for Inflation): $108,359,700 (#5)
McDowall or Serkis: McDowall
Summary: The first Apes sequel gets off to a slow start. Because Charleston Heston limited his involvement to a cameo, Beneath the Planet of the Apes needed to introduce a new human protagonist. Brent, played by James Franciscus, spends the first half of the movie looking for Heston’s character and basically reliving the events of the first movie. The result is an uninspired first act with a leading man who lacks Heston’s hammy charisma. But the movie’s third act makes up for this with over-the-top craziness.
Brent, accompanied by Heston’s girl Nova, discovers an underground society of mutated humans with telepathic powers. These mutants worship a nuclear bomb. All of the insanity builds to one of the most nihilistic endings of all times. *spoilers* Heston, who has been held prisoner by the bomb-loving mutants, is critically injured. With his dying breath, he reaches over and detonates the nuclear warhead blowing the planet of the apes straight to hell. On some level, I think you’ve got to respect a ballsy move like this. It’s the second movie in the series and they blow everything up.
Beneath is a huge step down in quality from the first move. And yet, it’s still an awful lot of fun.
Posted on July 14, 2017, in Movies, Worst to First and tagged Andy Serkis, charlton heston, james franco, Kim Hunter, Mark Wahlberg, planet of the apes, roddy mcdowall. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.