For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Re-Made Movies, here’s a review of Planet of the Apes (2001) by Robb of Red Bezzle
Thanks again to Robb of Red Bezzle for choosing this month’s genre.
In case you missed any of this month’s reviews, here’s a recap:
- The Wages of Fear (1953) and Sorcerer (1977) – SG
- The Magnificent Seven (1960) – Rob
- IT (2017) – Darren
- The Departed (2006) – Rob
- Planet of the Apes (2001) – Robb
In addition, I watched and reviewed 5 movies for my companion series Genre Guesstimation. Unfortunately, none of them will now be considered among my favorites of the genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Kira of Film and TV 101 and it is Western Crossover Movies.
Literally any film from any genre with western elements to it; comedy/drama/musical or even thrillers or horror.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of October by sending them to email@example.com
Try to think out of the box! Great choice Kira!
Let’s see what Robb thought of this movie:
Planet of the Apes (2001)
When discussing remakes, it would be remiss not to touch on the film which took them to a whole new level: Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes (2001). With this film, Burton spawned the phrase “reimagining” which went on to grant carte blanche to anyone who wanted to take anothers’ ideas and alter it just enough to be able to claim it as their own. In many ways the remake became a back-handed compliment, a kind of “Yeah, your film’s ok. But let me tell you how I would have done it differently.”
Planet of the Apes (2001) took the premise of the 1968 original and mansplained it until it lost track of its own self-congratulatory concept. With Mark Wahlberg’s astronaut Capt. Davidson (I had to Google that) chasing a space chimp through a wormhole, sci-fi gubbins means that he lands on a world run by damn dirty apes. Except these are intelligent, vicious and in some cases, kinda sexy.
Okay, so that may seem a little out of leftfield or even a little perverse, but Helena Bonham Carter’s anti-human slavery protestor Ari is sexed-up more than a WOMD dossier and this is where Planet of the Apes true strength lies. No, not in HBC’s butterfly eyelashes, suggestive glances and husky tones, but in the apes themselves. Burton’s impetus to remake the Sci-Fi classic must have been influenced in part by the capabilities of CGI and make-up advances and the film, as a result looks stunning.
Gone are the Halloween monkey masks and instead, we see true expression and emotion in the simian characters: the late Michael Clarke Duncan is truly intimidating as Attar; Paul Giamatti’s slave trader Limbo, despite being clumsily named, is all scheming and saucer-eyed and did I mention that Helena Bonham Carter’s Ari is kinda sexy?
The film belongs to Tim Roth, though. General Thade is vicious, malicious and skilfully realised; on par with anything Andy Serkis has since created. As the big bad, he not only chews the scenery, but swings and climbs all over it. It’s just a shame that the human characters aren’t given as much thought.
Main man Marky Mark doesn’t show any indication of the range he’s capable of, whilst Estella Warren as Daena is unfortunately nothing more than a box-ticking exercise in the love interest department. That Wahlberg’s Davidson isn’t even allowed to be a Charlton Heston-esque asshole is a crying shame and strips the film of any heart, human investment or social commentary.
In a cringe-worthy bid to compete with the 68 original’s iconic twist ending, a nonsensical “Thade is Abraham Lincoln” angle plays out which would dumbfound Space-Time Continuum experts from Stephen Hawking to Doc Brown to Red Dwarf’s Kryten.
That the Rise, Dawn and War films have since, IMHO, become one of the finest modern trilogies has done Burton’s film no favours at all and simply serves as a reminder that 2001’s Planet of the Apes it’s a film that I’d love to fling monkey poo at.