Benaeath the Planet of the Apes: A question.

Discussion in 'Classic' started by Criswell, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Criswell

    Criswell New Member

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    I am sure this has been brought up before, but:

    So there i am watching this (lesser) sequal on cable the other night, the dammed sexy Nova is dead, the mutants are dead, Franciosa is dead and just as Chuck Heston is dying he blows up the world is the heroic? finale.

    But then i wondered............WHY???? What gave him the right to do that?

    Why stop and deny the Apes who were not total assholes and certainly no more than man, the right to determine their own history? Why after admonishing man at the end of the first film for "blowing it all to hell" does he do the same?


    40 odd years down the track it does not sit quite as right as it did when i first saw it.
     
  2. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    have you seen the searchers? where john wayne is willing to kill his niece who's been raised as an indian, rather than let her happily live the rest of her life? it kind of reminds me of that. heston's character is basically deciding that his own view of the world's worth trumps any worth the world may see in itself. its a pretty twisted mindset, and one that, unfortunately, a lot of fundamentalist-type people seem to share in reality. I doubt the ending was meant to be analyzed quite that much, though. I think it was meant to just be cool. And I think it is.
     
  3. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    Heston's character,"Taylor'' was an unusual choice as the hero of the original film.He was cynical,a man who looked at the world through crap colored glasses and was a bit of a bastard.Heston played a lot of roles in this vein,heroes who were not always likeable.It's to his credit that he liked to play complicated men,not cardboard good guys.In PLANET he needled his crewmate "Dodge'' about his reasons for going on the mission and proclaimed that he himself hoped to find a civilization that was better than man's.Oddly he ends up becoming the lone champion of mankind ,liberating himself and talking of raising his fellow humans out of ignorance and into true understanding.He is crushed at the finale by his discovery,mankind WAS it's own worst enemy and this new world seems to be paying penance for the sins of men.The sequel expands on this.The advanced human mutants he encounters,for all their intellectual musings are ulimately as ruthless as the gorilla army sent to destroy them.They represent the worst traints from Taylor's own time.Seeing the Ape's merciless militarism and the mutant's virtual religious fanatisism and souless devotion to cruel technology,he snaps.With his dying breath he puts an end to all of the worlds sins,wiping it away like a Biblical retribution.He cleans the slate,hoping perhaps that one day the creatures who are "better than man" as he always hoped to find,might yet evolve out of the destruction he creates,like a great tree growing out of the ashes of a fire.
     
  4. Damage

    Damage Mirror Mirror

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    Take off to the Great White North, eh?
    Some excellent theories there, Erick and Dave, I'll be certain to ponder these ideas when I next view the film at my annual ApeFest next month. I've always seen Taylor's final action as a big F-U to the apes when all was lost. Admittedly, it's an overly simplistic theory but it does somewhat relate to Taylor's cynicism as illustrated in the first APES movie.
     
  5. Criswell

    Criswell New Member

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    The only problem is that Wayne's Ethan character is never portrayed as a hero in the film but merely a tool (almost shameful tool) thats unwrapped when needed then put away when his job is complete - hence the opening of the family door to him them being shut out at the end when he is no longer needed.

    Aside from that i agree that heston is world weary and has had enough. But his final apocalyptic actions are portrayed in the film as heroic and the natural conclusion to the story. Its this i am confused about.
     
  6. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    You think the president of the NRA would pass up the chance to detonate a nuclear warhead? At any cost?
     
  7. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    i guess he didn't want them take it out of his hands. you know, once he was cold and dead...
     
  8. JGrendel

    JGrendel New Member

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    But it's a good theory & does go along with his character arch. I think Taylor was jaded with the human race & hoped to find a intelligent race of beings but I think Taylor hoped that that race of beings would still be human just more civilized & would think first & destroy second. I believe he was looking for a world not depended on weapons but on trust & in the end found a society that did the opposite & worshiped the very thing that brought about their destuction. So in the end Taylor saw that human nature wins out & couldn't live with that result. I think he figured that destruction of a society was worth the cost & whatever survived or thrive from the fallout was a far better thing. Thus in his eyes making it a heroic action & a worthy sacrifice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  9. Criswell

    Criswell New Member

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    Well thats fine, except by the time he blew up the bomb all the mutants were dead, and he knew it.

    Also he knew it was a doomsday bomb so blowing it up would destroy the earth itself.

    This is what i dont get.
     
  10. JGrendel

    JGrendel New Member

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    Maybe that was his intention. he did say Damn you all to hell.
     

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