This file was generated 2002-06-09 04:23 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2002-01-07.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> January 2002 >> Beneath the Planet of the Apes
When I watched Planet of the Apes, I was surprised by the quality of the writing. Even though Taylor was a frustrating ambassador to the ape world, at least his interactions with the apes were thought out and believable. As icing on the cake, the apes had reason for everything they did. The struggle between Zaius on the one side and Zira and Cornelius on the other even presented a bit of a moral dilemma, and it was intriguing to see how they went about answering it.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes offers none of the interesting elements of its predecessor, which is surprising because it works so hard at plundering it for the good parts. The reveal of the planet's identity to Brent is a huge letdown since the audience already knows precisely what he'll find. Taylor's attempt to convince the apes of his intelligence is replaced by Brent's interrogation at the hands of the mutants. The sequel's scene lacks much of the interest because their motivations are nowhere near as clear as those of Dr. Zaius. The mutants are also so arbitrary with their punishments that they bar any sort of rational exchange. The chase scene that was so exhilarating in the first movie is replaced by a fairly stock whose outcome felt rushed. All of this shows a terrible lapse in the quality of writing from the first one, probably because the producers didn't have a clear idea of where they wanted to go other than the bank.