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Customer Review

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Planet of sour grapes, May 17, 2004
This review is from: Planet of the Apes [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Planet of the Apes is the remake of the 1968 blockbuster and sci-fi classic. I read all the criticisms that this movie absorbed prior to seeing it, so I was pre-warned you could say. But I like Burton, I think he's put together some original and well thought out films. However, the critics were right this time: this film sucks. As much as I compliment the exteriors of this film (costuming, Special effects, and visual pleasures) it's one hollow movie that lacks character development and interest.
Let's see, what should I rip first? Let's begin with Wahlburg, a poor excuse of an actor. He has no personality, none. No emotion, no believability, no interesting monologues, nothing. He's just there and we're forced to follow him. Heston's character Taylor is the ultimate model of character development. Here was a man who wanted to journey through space because he believed there was something out there better than man. By the end of the movie, he shows some human pride. Nothing like this is attempted through Wahlburg, other than some anti-zoo message.
How about the other characters? Tim Roth is fine as an evil general Thade who hates man, but no true explanation is given as to why. Unlike Dr. Zaius in the first one, who had plenty of reasons why he hated man, Thade just hates just to hate. Thade is also a bit over the top with his hatred, making him a mad ape irrational half the time.
Estella who? Talk about a pointless character. She served no purpose, talked like a typical Californian beach babe with air between the ears, and was primarily used to show skin and rub Wahlburg's shoulders. Nova, in the original, served as Heston's talk outlet, even though she never said a word back; sort of like a living "Wilson" in "Cast Away." Warren wasn't even this, just eye candy.
Let's talk about the sequences of the film. Like in the original, the main character is captured. He is made a slave in Ape society. But while he's a slave we learn very little of Ape society, unlike the original, which did a masterful job portraying this "upside down" society from every corner. In this version, it doesn't take the time, we get the feeling that the society is just ran by military powers such as Thade and that's all there is to it.
In the first one humans were dominated by apes because humans couldn't speak and they lacked intelligence. In this one the humans are quite intelligent, so why are they so inferior to Apes? Why are the humans so far behind if they have verbal communications and tend to display plenty of intelligence? No explanation is given in the film. Again, Burton did not take the time to explain this world and its society which leaves holes unfilled and thereby creates dis-satisfaction.
Also unlike the original, where Heston attempted to survive by being confined within ape society, Wahlburg's character is trying to survive by running from ape society. So we don't learn first hand about this society, we can't grow with the character because through most of the film he's running away from Attar and Thade. This is a disaster of a film.
And then, the worst, is the ending. It makes no sense by the way, no explanation, just ends abruptly with no irony.
What made Planet of the Apes, the original, so successful was not its make-up or costuming or what have you. What made it successful was its storyline and ironic sequences that made us sympathize with the main character and learn of an entirely different, yet not so different society. This film did not of that. It was an average sci-fi film that lacks an original story, original characters, development of plot and characters, and memorable events within the movie. Tim Burton failed at all these points. This film is a shambles and those of you who think this film is something grand, haven't got a clue what hard work combined with good story telling is until you've appreciated the effort and pay off of the original.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 18, 2012 6:55:25 AM PST
I thoroughly agree with your thorough analysis of this movie.

Posted on Jun 20, 2013 10:56:34 PM PDT
So, you were expecting Shakespeare?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2013 10:10:49 AM PDT
Alas, poor Tim Burton, thou sucked directing this piece of doo-doo.
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