Saturday, February 4, 2012

Planet of the Apes (2001)

After returning the flicks from last week to Family Video, I let my daughter Jillian pick out a few flicks for the week (fortunately, Jillian is a huge horror fan). Not to my surprise she decided to grab a variety of interesting stuff. The first film we watched is the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes.

Plot/ An Air Force astronaut crash-lands on a mysterious planet where the evolutionary process is reversed. Evolved apes are the dominate species and humans are primitive. He may discover secrets that would change the planet.

While there was no reason to ever remake the classic Planet of the Apes, Hollywood decided otherwise, and this entry is the result. Yes, there are some similarities between the films (even a cameo from Charlton Heston) , unfortunately, there was no way for Tim Burton’s vision to ever live up to the complex and visually stunning original (especially the ending). The idea behind this flick lacks the social commentary that set the 1968 version apart. Sure, there is the underlying fight for freedom, but the action scenes definitely overrun the storyline. Honestly, I did like the decision to bring more ape-like characteristics to the planet showing them running on all fours with a definite mean streak, to me, that is how I would imagine the species is one existed. On one side, the acting was OK, the tension so-so and there was little characterization (not to mention the ending was a bit unspectacular). However, the make-up effects and the action sequences did add a little something that the original lacked. In the end, I found this revision less appealing than the original, but then I grew up with the Planet of the Apes saga, something that would definitely influence my feelings (I am sure many like me would feel the same). That being said, my daughters actually enjoyed this version much more than the original with the overriding action / adventure feel; proving that people who have never watch the original will definitely enjoy it.

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