223rd Movie Review: Planet of The Apes (2001)

I haven’t seen the original, but this “re-imagining” is surely intriguing

If it wasn’t for the ending, this film could’ve been a very satisfying piece of science fiction. Director Tim Burton says that this film isn’t a remake, but a re-imagining of the fictional story. But who cares? Whatever it is, it was still nice!

It is the year 2029: Astronaut Leo Davidson boards a pod cruiser on a Space Station for a “routine” reconnaissance mission. But an abrupt detour through a space time wormhole lands him on a strange planet where talking apes rule over the human race. With the help of a sympathetic chimpanzee activist named Ari and a small band of human rebels, Leo leads the effort to evade the advancing Gorilla Army led by General Thade and his most trusted warrior Attar. Now the race is on to reach a sacred temple within the planet’s Forbidden Zone to discover the shocking secrets of mankind’s past – and the key to its future. –Tim1370 at imdb.com

I have some kind of love/hate relationship with Mark Wahlberg, since he starred in the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life (The Happening, and yes, I watched it on my birthday). Still, you can’t diss him when he’s giving a good performance. Being the central character in the film, Wahlberg (as Captain Leo Davidson) stands tall and leads us into the planet of the apes, where the apes are the rulers and the humans are the slaves.

Now that I think about it, I believe Tim Burton just wants us to see how badly we are treating the animals in our world. And through our greed for more knowledge and better technology, there may be a possibility that all of the creatures will avenge us. The film makes you ponder and contemplate on what we’ve been doing, especially the wrong ones.

The story was OK. Well, there were some plot-holes here and there, like how did the battery of Captain Leo’s ship lasted a thousand years? But how can you argue when they’re talking about the space-time continuum? And what do we know about that?

The one thing that disappointed me the most was not the ending, but my late discovery of a blonde bombshell named Estella Warren, who played Daena in the film. Too bad she’s 10 years older now. She was real eye candy.

When the humans were about to start the battle against the apes, I thought Leo had an ingenious master plan, but instead he made a move that seemed to be a last resort. Good thing luck was on their side. Alas! the war is halted by a mysterious light from the sky, which turns out to be a pod from a ship that is manned by the Ape that Captain Leo followed from the start of the film. Leo uses the pod to attempt to return to Earth, but before that happens, he steals a kiss from the ape Ari (Helena Bonham Carter). I’ve been wondering whether a human will indeed kiss an ape in this movie, and after that scene I think inter-species romance won’t be a problem in the future.

He walks back to the pod but before he could even get inside, he sees Daena (Warren), the hot blonde who was by her side throughout the whole film. He then proceed to lock lips with her, which solidifies the fact that Captain Leo’s a douche and a two-timer.

Moments later, he successfully returns to earth and is back from the future. However, he discovers that the ones who inhabit it are still the apes, and it turns out he was the odd specie out once again. The apes are using the same technology as we are today, and Leo’s dumbfounded. I admit that the ending was bad and all, but good for him. That’s what you get for being a two-timer.

Everything made sense, up until the ending. I won’t bash the movie because of that though. I guess Tim Burton just wanted this movie to be open-ended, to be talked about by many after they’ve watched it.

You can’t argue about the make-up though. It truly deserves an award, that’s for sure. I watched this movie in preparation for the prequel coming this August 5, 2011. Judging by this movie, I’ll expect another crazy plot so I’ll just lower my expectations. Although since it’s not directed by Tim Burton, I think we’ll see something different.

GRADE: B-

I agreed with the minority.

External Ratings:

Rotten Tomatoes: 45% Fresh, 5.5/10 Rating

Internet Movie Database: 5.5/10 User Rating

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