After a spectacular crash-landing on an uncharted planet, brash astronaut Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) finds himself trapped in a savage world where talking apes dominate the human race. Desperate to find a way home, Leo m... more »ust evade the invincible gorilla army led by ruthless General Thade (Tim Roth) and his most trusted warrior, Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan). Now the pulse-pounding race is on to reach a sacred temple that may hold the shocking secrets of mankind's past - and the last hope for it's salvation!« less
"Boy, I've read some of the reviews on this page and I'm stunned. What did the people who liked this movie see in it? I'm a science-fiction fan and a fan of the original movie and I have to say that this remake is a complete failure. I didn't go in expecting to see the original movie nor did I want to. What I got instead was a horrible mish-mash of a story, zero character development, very poor action scenes, and an ending that defied all logic. I was looking forward to Tim Roth playing the villian in this movie, but instead he's given no character. I wasn't frightened by him, I didn't hate him, in fact I felt nothing for him. He walks around for most of the movie grunting and growling out his lines while the rest of the apes talked normally. The same goes for the rest of the cast: I didn't care if they lived or died because the filmmakers gave me no reason too. The special effects, production design, cinematography, and Danny Elfman's score are all good, but this was hardly enough to save a movie that suffered from a nonexistant screenplay. And that ending...man. This one will definitely go down in my book as one of the worst remakes ever made."
See it for the Apes
Geoffrey Kleinman | Portland, OR USA | 07/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I really enjoyed The Planet of The Apes, if for nothing more than the dark and brilliant world created by Tim Burton. Every frame is packed with so much detail and so much action you won't want to blink. What Burton paints with images, Danny Elfman matches with sound with yet another excellent score. But it's clear from the get-go that the real stars here are the apes who look and move so wonderfully realistically, you'll forget that they're not. The makeup is so good in The Planet of The Apes it's hard to see the actor behind the mask. But this seems more an asset than a liability for the ape actors who all put in very strong performances. Unfortunately the 'human' actors are another story: Mark Wahlberg is clearly out of his league and depth here and really struggles to carry the lead. There's a scene where Wahlberg tries to rally the troops and he was so bad, it's funny. Estella Warren looks great but does very little in a role that is really not much more than window dressing.As with many visually stunning films, more care and attention was paid to the look of The Planet of The Apes than the script, so we're asked to make some pretty big leaps of faith. The Planet of The Apes it's definitely NOT a movie to think a lot about when you leave the theater, as many plot points don't hold up well on re-examination. That said, I recommend The Planet of The Apes; it's a very enjoyable movie with a look you won't soon forget!..."
The best DVD I've seen in ages
Scott | Brooklyn, NY | 11/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Allright I saw the DVD, and that's what this review is about. The DVD. Not the movie by itself. Granted, I think the movie deserves a lot more credit than many of you are giving it, but hey, to each his own. Here's why I think the DVD is worthy of 5 stars:
1. the menus. on both disks they are fantastic, animated and 3-dimensional
2. the commentaries. one by Burton and one by Elfman. Great background on the movie and their creative processes
3. Enhanced Viewing mode. this is great for DVD geeks. full navigation bar, picture-in-picture and access to lots of extra info
4. the documentaries. on disk two. ape academy, ape couture, face of the ape. you can really see the painstaking process of making the movie from artistic renderings all the way to filming
5. art gallery. this was probably my favorite part, but others might not think so. there are tons of concept illustrations for the movie. Everything from the dashboard on the space shuttle to a dozen chair renderings for the ape houses. there were some incredible artists working on the film.So there you go. 5 stars. Planet of the Apes is an incedible DVD set. I don't have a DVD-Rom so I unfortunately cannot comment on those features, but there was a section on each disk for DVD-Rom extras."
A Missed Opportunity
Darrell Heath | Little Rock, AR USA | 10/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I believe the original 1968 version of "The Planet of the Apes" was the first time I realized that a film might actually be something more than an escapist entertainment. In fact, it might have something important and relevant to say to its audience. Indeed, that first film seemed to have something to say on a wide variety of topics: race relations, bigotry, vivisection, free thinking within an oppressive society as well as humanity's place in the universe. It made these points by using ironic twists, gentle humor and downright scathing satire; all wrapped within the context of an exciting sci-fi adventure story. The result was a classic piece of film making. An almost instant icon of 20th century pop culture that eventually spawned four sequels and even a short lived TV series. So, when I heard that 20th Century Fox wanted to do a "re-imagining" of POTA my first thought was "Why?". Hadn't the first film gotten everything right the first time around? Why monkey (no pun intended) with something that was pretty much perfect already? Then I heard that Tim Burton had been assingned to direct and I thought that here was an ideal choice if you were going to re-imagine something as iconic as POTA. After all, he had done a marvelous job of revamping the image of Batman from that of the ridiculously campy to that of the more respectible avenging Dark Knight (only to have Joel Schumaker undermine all of that with "Batman and Robin"). While a re-imaging of POTA wasn't needed, I thought, it still might be interesting to see the results of such an undertaking from the capable hands of a director like Burton. Unfortunately the final product failed to meet my expectations. The biggest dissapointment here is the script, no real plot and flat, one dimensional characters ... The social commentary, so important to the original, is almost completely lacking here. Early on in the story there are some token nods to racism and human vs animal rights but then the writers never develop them. ... The characters, especially the human ones, are hardly worth caring about. Leo, the lost astronaut (Mark Wahlberg), seems to just wander around through the film in a catatonic trance; never even aware of the romantic interest of the human female (Estella Warren) or that of the chimp female Ari (Helena Bonham Carter). The film makes it obvious the two are interested in Leo but, again, fail to develop it into anything. This movie wants to get up and go but is eventually left spinning its wheels aimlessly for two hours. However, its not all bad. There are some things that make this film worth viewing. One, is Burton's visuals. Burton is first and foremost a visual director. In other words, the look of the film seems to take precedence over everything else. Unfortunately that's the case here. The script [is poor] but the film itself looks gorgeous. I particularly loved the shots of Ape City built into the huge and forbidding rocky crag, also the views of the long marching columns of the ape army at night. Also, the forest that surrounds the city is one of those typically beautiful but scary Burtonesque fairy tale type affairs. My favorite aspect to this film is Rick Baker's incredible ape make-up. These are simply incredible designs that obviously had a lot of work put into them. If Baker doesn't win an Oscar for his efforts there is simply no justice in the world. Another good thing going for this film is the quality of the performances which for the most part are quite good. In particular Tim Roth as the violently tempered chimp General Thade and Helena Bonham Carter as the female chimp Ari who sympathizes with the plight of the humans. There is also good comic relief in the form of the Orangutan vender of humans played by Paul Giamatti. And Michael Duncan Clarke is an imposing Colonel Attar. I also have to make mention of Charlton Heston's brief cameo as Thade's dying father. In one of the films few good ironic moments Heston's character introduces the concept of guns into the story. Thade's Daddy has been hiding the fact that humans at one time had such dangerous weapons (apparently apes have never developed firearms) and reveals the secret to his son before he kicks the bucket. Finally, mention must be made of Danny Elfman's wonderful score; a nice blending of Jerry Goldsmith's atonal, primitive sounds that worked so well for the original film with that of a full orchestra. I may or may not get the DVD but I will certainly add the soundtrack to my collection. Ultimately I found this "re-imagining" of POTA a disappointment. There are occaisional moments where this film shows that it has the potential to achieve so much but then turns around and squanders it. When will Hollywood learn that cool visuals and great looking make-up are not enough to make an excellent or even a good movie?"
DO NOT watch this awful movie!!
Noble Brown | Spokane, WA | 04/30/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I'm sure that many of us have seen the original Planet of the Apes. You know, the one with Charlton Heston? It was a pretty good movie. The new version has almost nothing in common with it, which also happens to be it's biggest saving graceThis truly horrendous excuse for a movie starts out about fifty years in the future. A space station is training monkeys to fly spacecraft. A chimp flies into a magnetic storm and the "hero", Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlburg) goes after him. Leo finds himself transported to another planet, upon which he crash-lands. It's a planet ruled by apes with humans as slaves. Leo teams up with Ari, a "human rights" female ape and eventually leads them all to freedom.Sound like a good movie? It might have been, but the screenwriter was a preachy, imbecilic nimrod. This movie will pummel you mercilessly with its politics. That in and of itself isn't so bad, but do we really want a self-righteous lesson on why religious people are stupid when we go to a movie like this? Do we really want to know about why Republicans are so evil and Democrats are so wise and noble in a movie like this? This movie is a prime example of why Hollywood should leave the politics for movies about politics. It's just another example among many that Hollywood is full of self-satisfied yuppies.The acting is so-so. Mark Wahlburg gives a slightly better-than-mediocre performance, but it's certainly not memorable. Tim Roth plays the evil General Thade, but his character consists of a fascist cardboard cutout and little more. He spends the movie growling all of his lines. I can't really blame him, it seemed to be about the only thing to do with such a worthless role. Estella Warren (the "romantic interest") may be very easy on the eyes, but her acting (when the screenplay decides that she needs to) is flatter than a pancake in a garbage compactor. The other assorted actors seem lost as well.The dialogue is clunkier than my poorly maintained VW bug, the plot is thinner than Kate Moss, and the character development is as non-existent as Jimmy Hoffa. The ending (which was probably where the writer's acid trip climaxed) has to be the absolute worst I have ever seen. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever, I kid you not. In the original, the apes thought humans were inferior because humans were mute and stupid. Humans speak and are intelligent in this version, so why do the apes think that humans are inferior? We sure don't know, and I'm sure the screenwriter doesn't either. The biggest problem is that the whole movie thinks it's such a great piece of art, when really it's just a reeking wad of stringy mucous shot from a projector onto the screen.The fact that Tim Burton agreed to work on this project makes me wonder if he (and everyone else involved in this train wreck) is illiterate. Surely any sane person who can read wouldn't have come anywhere near the script for fear that touching it would corrupt their immortal soul. Burton does an okay job of directing, but while it's obvious that this is a Tim Burton movie, much of his style is missing. Danny Elfman does the score (as he does for almost all Tim Burton movies), but it's not his typical fare either. It's like everyone working on the movie didn't care too much about it. All they wanted out of it was a paycheck.The action scenes are pretty clichéd, uninspired and predictable. You'd think that with apes fighting each other, they could get some really sweet fight scenes into the movie. Nope. All they do is jump around and pound on things. This is about the only natural ape behavior they bothered to add, and it's also the most unwelcome. Come on, they had chimps mating with orangutans! With that kind of factual vacuousness, you'd think they could have given us some better fights.About the only scene this movie has in common with the original is where the hero kisses the female monkey. That's the one scene we could have done without! I guess they figured that the rest of the movie [was]so bad that a little more couldn't hurt. It did.
The ONLY good thing about the movie is the cosmetics. It seems like the make-up guy was the only one that really cared about the movie. Even so, some of the apes come off looking like Whos from Whoville in The Grinch. The slave-driving, petty excuse for comic relief orangutan bore a disturbing resemblance to the Grinch himself.The one thing that really ticked me off was that the critics gave it rave reviews. If we didn't already know it, this is proof that the critics don't give two farts in a windstorm about good writing, acting, and directing. As long as the movie has what they consider to be a "good message", then it's a good movie. The critics should step out of their ivory tower and actually watch the movie instead of going into a state of euphoria whenever the characters on screen say something about a major political issue.Don't ever see this movie. If you want to watch The Planet of the Apes, watch the original. At least it had a lot of what this movie lacks, like character development, plot, etc. I would rather be eaten alive by cannibals than watch this awful movie again. It's not the kind of movie you can make fun of, either. Oh no, it's too self-righteous and wrapped up in it's "message" to care about anything else, much less make-fun-of value. Just avoid this movie like you'd avoid a leper."