Planet of the Apes (2001)
October 18, 2022 6:47 AM - Subscribe

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 must evade the invincible gorilla army led by Ruthless General Thade (Tim Roth). Tim Burton directed this early-aughts attempt at a reboot.

Also starring Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kris Kristofferson, Estella Warren, Paul Giamatti, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Glenn Shadix, Charlton Heston, Deep Roy, Rick Baker.

Directed by Tim Burton. Screenplay by William Broyles Jr. and Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal. Based on the novel of the same name by Pierre Boulle.

44% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Hulu. Also available for digital rental on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (20 comments total)
 
I am not entirely clear on why Tim Burton even took this job. Maybe they pulled a giant truck of money up to his house. Maybe he loved the series as a kid, even though this is not really his sensibility. Maybe he just was fascinated by the makeup and production design opportunities.

What I am clear on is that this movie's grim tone absolutely does not ring true coming from Burton and this is damn near no fun at all. Possibly the single worst Tim Burton movie.

This wraps up today's Planet of the Apes posts. I would have included the making-of doc Behind the Planet of the Apes, but its'not streaming anywhere. You can only see it if you get the box set or if AMC airs the marathon with that as a chaser.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:49 AM on October 18, 2022 [2 favorites]


What I am clear on is that this movie's grim tone absolutely does not ring true coming from Burton and this is damn near no fun at all. Possibly the single worst Tim Burton movie.

Yes, yes, and yes. The development hell that the movie was in for over a decade is way more entertaining than the movie itself. ("The Statue of Liberty's once proud porcelain features have been crudely chiseled into the grotesque likeness of a great grinning ape". Who doesn't know that the Statue's exterior is copper?)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:06 AM on October 18, 2022 [2 favorites]


This movie was so dumb and pointless. They removed all of the political and social allegory from the original and didn't really replace it with anything and then "shocking twist" ending doesn't make any sense in any direction.

This film was really the end of my admiration for Tim Burton and there hasn't been a film since that restored it.
posted by octothorpe at 8:33 AM on October 18, 2022 [4 favorites]


It does have one redeeming value, and that's Rick Baker's makeup.

Other than that...meh. And what a hokey ending. I get that they were calling back to the book, but it made no sense.
posted by beowulf573 at 9:03 AM on October 18, 2022


It does have one redeeming value, and that's Rick Baker's makeup.

I recall being impressed with the performers in full makeup and costume running along on all fours.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:55 AM on October 18, 2022


This film was really the end of my admiration for Tim Burton and there hasn't been a film since that restored it.

Sleepy Hollow two years earlier was the point at which I moved Tim Burton from my “must see” list to my “eh, maybe” list, but Planet of the Apes was the point where I finally realized (or maybe just accepted that I had already realized) that the director whose films I had loved wasn’t coming back.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:07 AM on October 18, 2022 [2 favorites]


I guess Big Fish came out after this one and I rather liked that. Nothing afterwards though.
posted by octothorpe at 11:39 AM on October 18, 2022


Also starring Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kris Kristofferson...

Never saw this and never will but tell me please: Kris Kristofferson was an ape, right?

Man, you are beating this Planet of the Apes stuff with a stick today.
posted by y2karl at 11:54 AM on October 18, 2022


Nope. He was a human survivor/slave.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:57 AM on October 18, 2022


I will say that Helena Bonham-Carter channels Kim Hunter's legendary performance marvelously. Pity that fine work went into this film.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:58 AM on October 18, 2022


Nope. He was a human survivor/slave.

Oh, for Christ's sake! You mean, there's a movie with him in it that's worse than A Star is Born?
posted by y2karl at 12:03 PM on October 18, 2022


btw That should have been Man, you are beating this Planet of the Apes stuff to death with a stick today.
posted by y2karl at 12:06 PM on October 18, 2022 [1 favorite]




*slaps self on the back of sweaty neck and mutters Damn!*
posted by y2karl at 12:25 PM on October 18, 2022


I think this is still the only film I know of where the studio had to print a little leaflet explaining in some detail how the ending works for the DVD release. It had diagrams.
posted by bebrogued at 3:11 AM on October 19, 2022 [1 favorite]


It does have one redeeming value, and that's Rick Baker's makeup.

Come on, it also had Aperaham Lincoln.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:55 AM on October 19, 2022


I was so disappointed and...baffled?...by this. I expected much better. That ending...seriously, what the heck?
posted by davidmsc at 2:48 PM on October 19, 2022


the studio had to print a little leaflet explaining in some detail how the ending works for the DVD release. It had diagrams.

Wait, what? I would like to see that.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:13 PM on October 19, 2022


Possibly the single worst Tim Burton movie.

Dumbo says hi.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:01 PM on October 20, 2022


I watched this again with the audio commentary on.

Tim Burton says the character he identified with the most in this film is Mark Wahlberg's, because they're both miserable after being saddled with the responsibility for leading a huge group of people on a daunting task they would much rather not be doing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:59 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


« Older Movie: Rise of the Planet of t...   |  Movie: The English Patient... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments