Planet of the Apes

Movie Reviews | Jul 27th, 2001

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Starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Estella Warren, Kris Kristofferson, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Paul Giamatti
Written By: William Broyles, Jr., Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
Directed By: Tim Burton

I didn’t see the original POTA in full until last week and I thought it was pretty boring. I thought they walked around in the desert for a half hour and the makeup was a joke (but great for back then I suppose) From seeing this movie, I don’t know what I like better. Probably all you Planet Of The Apes fans are screaming at me right now for liking this one.

This isn’t a remake, or sequel but a “retelling.” Tim Burton doesn’t like to call it a “re-imagination” because it sounds like Disney did the picture. Leo Davidson is in the US Air Force (in space) in the year 2029, that trains genetically enhanced apes to pilot space pods. Their space station gets near an electromagnetic storm and they send out Marky Mark’s ape to explore it. It disappears and he storms off looking for the ape in the pod. He eventually lands on a planet filled with primitive humans and talking ape warriors. He gets captured and becomes a slave. That part is sort of the same as the original movie.

That’s all I’ll basically say for the plot. This movie was entertaining and a decent popcorn summer flick. Which what it was supposed to be. That’s how it differs from the original. The original movie was more philosophical and less entertaining, to me at least. It’s pretty sad that the best thing about the movie was the makeup. Which was extremely excellent by the way. Rick Baker was meant to do the make up for this type of movie. He definitely should get some Oscar nominations for his work on this film. General Thade’s (Tim Roth) makeup was unreal. From seeing it a second time, He kind of looks like Michael J. Fox in Teenwolf. hahahaha. And Helena Bonham Carter’s character, the human activist ape Ari, looked like Paula Abdul. I thought the female apes looked more like cats or something. It seems like it’s still hard to talk in those things, especially Michael Clarke Duncan’s character Attar. I thought Paul Giamatti’s character Limbo the slave trader was funny and added the comic relief to the film. The guy playing Senator Nado was the dude from Beetlejuice, Otho. I thought that was cool to see him, and you can’t even recognize him in the ape makeup. Charles Heston makes an appearance as Thade’s father and uses some of his famous lines from the original. Oh yeah, Mark Walberg.

He didn’t stand out in anyway in this film, and every time an ape came on screen, you’re attention went to them instead of him. General Thade, I thought was an awesome villain and I loved when he jumped and flew all over the place. What I like a lot about the movie was the apes jumping super high and throwing people in the air. That was great. Another aspect that I liked about the apes was the mannerisms. They walked like apes, beat the hell out of someone like one, and held things like an ape too. As for the direction goes, Tim Burton did a good job. This movie didn’t really feel like a Tim Burton movie though. Though the music helped out a little into making it a Tim Burton movie.

Danny Elfman again scores a Burton movie and does a great job with it. It definitely sounds like Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the original. Now, what did I think of the ending? No I won’t give it away. But I thought it was interesting. I kind of laughed when I saw the ending. It left many questions open and it added more problems but I don’t think we can ask all these type of questions because it’s a freakin’ ape movie! Like, the apes talk in it people. So I thought the ending was trying to give that twist like the original but fell short. Even though I didn’t really have a problem with it. I wished they could have explained some other plot holes first, then do that ending. But there will definitely be a sequel so maybe it will get explain next time. So my advice to you is if you expect too much from this movie, you’ll be very disappointed. Go in thinking it’s going to be a fun summer movie. There’s definitely flaws in this movie but I still enjoyed it. I know a lot of you will hate it.

Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 119 minutes
Overall Rating:


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