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Planet of the Apes  (11 ratings)

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Rating  (11 ratings)
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(5 best - 1 worst)
 
Movie Information
TitlePlanet of the Apes
DirectorTim Burton
Year2001
Production Company20th Century Fox
GenreScience Fiction
 
Movie Reviews
 
Submitted by Zane W. Olesen 
(Dec 12, 2002)

Planet of the Apes
4 out of 5 Bananas
Tim Burton’s remake of the sci-fi classic “The Planet of the Apes” had swung into theatres with enough hype and momentum to ensure some august summer box-office record would be broken somewhere.

Expectations ran high on my part. Having been a devoted Burton fan since “Batman”. And if not for Burton at the helm I would have been relatively indifferent to this remake. I knew Burton would add his flair, his style and breathe a fresh perspective into this classic.

I was not disappointed either. The look to this movie was original and classy. Exactly what I have come to expect of Burton.

But as we all know there’s much more to a movie then just the “look”. There has to be a story and some good acting as well.

The story begins with a chimpanzee in a flight simulator on a futuristic U.S.A.F. space station. Mark Whalberg’s character Leo Davidson, an astronaut, who helps oversee the chimps training simulation.

Shortly a space anomaly arrives in the form of a cosmic disturbance. So the Captain of the U.S.A.F. space station orders the chimpanzee to be launched to investigate. Leo is upset because he wants to be allowed to finally do a “real space flight”. So of course things got to go wrong for the chimp so Leo can violate orders. So Leo launches himself after the chimp only to get sucked into the cosmic disturbance.

Momentarily Leo emerges from the disturbance only to crash land on a planet. After barely escaping his ship he encounters humans running through the jungle. And they are running from? That’s right. Apes are after them.

To Leo’s consternation talking apes capture him. As one would surmise if you are captured by talking apes you need to get the hell out of there.

So Leo does just that, taking along his rather shy co-captives like Karubi. Karubi is played by Kris Kristofferson sporting long spiral permed gray hair who supplied very little to the story. But he did look wacky.

The strong points of the movie for sure are the costumes. Makeup maestro Rick Baker has out done himself with the quality of these apes. It’s enough to go ape over. I know that’s as funny as barrel full of monkeys.

I was sweating watching theses actors acting in all that latex and makeup. In my opinion it takes a certain chutzpah to breathe life into a character with so much garb on.

The massive star of “The Green Mile” Michael Duncan-Clarke, as the gorilla Attar was visually impressive. However he wasn’t able to act through his make up. Though physically menacing his persona seem to come through soft.

On the other hand Tim Roth a master at playing interesting villains as in “Rob Roy” and “Hoodlum”, was sheer brilliance as General Thade. As, with the other stars, Tim Roth was unrecognizable through the ape makeup. However Roth enlivened Thade with a convincing uncompromisingly savage soul. Though Roth is short in stature his performance made me fear him and gave me chills. That is in contrast to the huge Attar (Michael Duncan-Clarke) who, as a result of his size and costume, only looked impressive.

Burton throws in several tributes to the original movie. Also there is a cameo of Charlton Heston, as the dying father of Thade, who poetically introduces Thade to a gun.

Another great performance was by that of Paul Giamatti as Limbo the orangutan who trades humans as slaves. Giamatti not only acted through the costume successfully he also provided much of the comedy relief.

There has been much ado about Helen Bonham-Carter as Ari, the ape ally of humankind. Part of the fuss was due to some sort of inter-species amorous activity between Ari and Leo. Burton hinted at it ever so lightly in a platonic-all-creatures-are-equals-kind-a- way. I think that once the reality of dallying with this premise sunk in Burton realized that no one’s gonna believe this cause “guys don’t like their women that freaking hairy.”

Though there is a surprise ending, no one has captured the great surprise ending from the book. Why I don’t know. I guess you’ll have to read the book.

However as far as the movie goes there really aren’t any glaring flaws. It’s a nice tidy masterfully done sci-fi flick. My only misgiving is that the movie never really took off. It never quite attained that on the edge of your seat excitement I was hoping for.


Submitted by melcrow@popmail.com 
(Jan 19, 2002)

The costumes and ape special effects were the most impressive part of this movie. Done by multi-academy award winning make-up artist Rick Baker. The apes actually look real and convincing.
The story was pretty good too even though it was slightly unpredictable and with an ending that kind of left you with a confused look on your face.
An enjoyable movie with a satisfying amount of action and adventure. Some battle of the wits situations which I always like as well not to mention the character development of the apes.
Don't pass this one up, but don't wait in long lines to watch it either. It's interesting and has that Tim Burton (Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands) type of style to it just like his other films.


Submitted by Robert Ford 
(Dec 14, 2001)

The movie had a nice fantasy twist to it, but it was a little off the original Planet of the Apes. the movie had awesome costumes and effects. The best part I liked about the movie is that the cast of characters. are .The plot was OK, and the movie overall was good.


 

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