of the Apes"
|By Mira Harber
Watch out -
here comes another film with so little imagination that the new Planet
of the Apes doesnít deserve the title of re-make, rather it is a ďre-imagingĒ,
of the classic,original 1968 film. Tim Burton directed it, so the special
effects are terrific - the apes look fabulous, particularly in close-up.
But, and youíve heard it here before, special effects arenít enough of
a reason on their own to watch a movie.
plot is about a ship that crashes, and a society where apes are the rulers.
Humans are the slaves & pets, considered too undeveloped to even have
plays Leo, the macho spaceman. I hope he was trying to play an angry,
wooden and unemotional character, because thatís how he came off. The problem
with Marky Mark is that he canít act. He posed his way (through those Calvin
Klein underwear ads) into an acting career, but please, heís gone beyond
his reach. The rest of the humans on the planet can talk but are reduced
to mostly silly caricatures - the female human Daena (Estella Warren, another
model turned actor?) trails Leo and looks dumb as a doorknob - or should
I say thatís winsome, thoughtful and hopeful? The rest arenít even
really are the stars of the show and Tim Roth as General Thade is positively
frightening. That man/I mean ape, scares the bejesus out of me - he is
a really good villain. Charlton Heston has a cameo role as his dearly departing
dad (nice little twist).
The best thing
about Planet of the Apes is Ari (Helena Bonham-Carter). Sheís a
very beautiful woman, and not half bad as a chimpanzee - too bad Tim Burton
wasnít brave enough to allow the attraction between Leo and Ari to develop.
Now that would have been something - the first inter-species romance on
film. Oh well......
familiar with the 1968 original film youíll note other little take-offs
from the original - in the 2001 version it is an ape who says ďGet your
stinking hands off me, you damn humanĒ - an inversion of Charlton
Hestonís most famous line in the original.
In this latest
version the opportunity to make some meaningful social commentary was totally
lost - itís as if the director decided to make a cartoon thereís enough
material here for a good half-hour - but used Ďrealí characters, and fleshed
them out instead.
the Apes is like eating a loaf of white bread - at first youíre filled
up, but it ultimately leaves you hungry and empty. It is a real time-waster.
If youíre just looking for some air-conditioning outside the home on a
hot summer day, and not too much plot or acting, this movie is for you.
My recommendation is - donít bother - if you want an exciting film
full of surprises, and yet has some real depth to it - youíre much
better off renting the original.