Friday, February 17, 2012

At the Cinema:
Beneath the Planet of the Apes

I had no idea what to expect when we came to the second Planet of the Apes, though I figured we would be watching Taylor and Nova as Nova learned to speak, and maybe learned how the apes gained power over the humans.  However, that is definitely not how the movie went.

The movie began with another shuttle crash, which we learn followed the trajectory of the one that brought Taylor to the planet.  Two men survive initially, though one is badly hurt, and dies soon after their arrival.  The survivor, Brent, stays by the ship, likely trying to figure out what his next move will be. That is when a woman on horseback comes riding over a hill.

The woman is Nova, whom we know from the first movie, but she is alone.  It is already at this point that things get a little weird.  Through a flashback, we learn that while she and Taylor were exploring their new home in the Forbidden Lands, they see odd phenomenon, such as random fires, electric storms, and the ground even splits apart around them.  Taylor decides to explore the area more, and simply vanishes right before Nova's eyes.

She and Brent then pair up, and after making a stop to see Zira so Brent could learn a bit more about the strange planet he's landed upon, head back to the Forbidden Lands.  This is when Brent realizes which planet they're really on, and that's when the movie takes on a more Star Trek-like theme.

Beneath the Forbidden Lands is a race of humans more intellectually developed than those we'd seen in the first movie - surpassing even Taylor and Brent.  They communicate telepathically, wear flowing robes, worship a golden bomb, are completely bald and have veins showing all over their head and face - it's all very odd, and it was this race of people that ruined the movie for me.

This is, however, where we are reunited with Taylor shortly before an army of gorillas invades the intellectual realm, killing many of the advanced humans and even Nova, who was my favorite character in the two movies.  In the end, they set of the golden bomb which was being worshiped as a god earlier in the film, killing everyone on the planet.

I'm sure you've already realized that I did not care for this movie.  I thought it was just too confusing, and did not stay with the same genre as the first Planet of the Apes.  Yes, they are both science fiction, but they did not have the same feel at all, which I think is important in a series.  I am still excited for the next film, though, which has a much better rating than this one did.

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