Saturday, June 24, 2017

Planet of the Apes

Movie Name: Planet of the Apes
Year of Release: 2001
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, Estella Warren, David Warner, Kris Kristofferson, Evan Parke, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Glenn Shadix
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
Watch it on Amazon

After the fantastic "Sleepy Hollow", director Tim Burton tackled the iconic book "Planet of the Apes" from writer Pierre Boulle, which had already been adapted with tremendous success in the 60s by Franklin J. Schaffner (with Charlton Heston). The story focuses on the story of astronaut Leo Davidson, who following some unexpected events at a space station, crashes in an unknown planet in the year 5021, and much to his surprise, the planet is ruled by humanoid apes who speak english, while humans are slaves. Leo ends up under the protection of an ape by the name of Ari, who is against the current treatment of humans, but he quickly escapes, freeing all human prisoners in the process. While retreating to Calima, the apes temple, Leo finds out that the area has the remnants of a space station, and starts discovering further details about the history of the planet.
Tim Burton is a talented film maker with a very unique aesthetic and universe. "Planet of the Apes" which could have been a fitting proposition, since it tackled the concept of another alienated and lost hero, suffered from a lot of studio pressure, and the resulting film feels rushed and without his particular stamp. The film is competently executed, from the visual effects, score (from the always fantastic Danny Elfman), to the phenomenal cast, particularly Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter and Paul Giamatti, but sadly lacks the distinct point of view that makes every Tim Burton so unique and particular. It's a film that showcases a lot of potential, but the epilogue lacks impact, and the casting of Mark Wahlberg is a poor one, since he feels lost and lacks the capacity to give both the vulnerability and intelligence the character needs. A missed opportunity from a talented director.