Planet of the Apes

Billed as a "reimagining" of the original 1968 film, Tim Burton's extraordinary
i Planet of the Apes
i0 constantly borders on greatness, adhering to the spirit of Pierre Boulle's original novel while exploring fresh and inventive ideas and paying honorable tribute to the '68 sci-fi classic. Burton's gifts for eccentric inspiration and visual ingenuity make this a movie that's as entertaining as it is provocative, beginning with Rick Baker's best-ever ape makeup (hand that man an Oscar'ae!), and continuing through the surprisingly nuanced performances and breathtaking production design. Add to all this an intelligent screenplay that turns Boulle's speculative reversal--the dominance of apes over humans--into a provocative study of civil rights and civil war. The film finally goes too far with a woefully misguided ending that pays weak homage to the original, but everything preceding that misfire is astonishingly right.
While attempting the space-pod retrieval of a chimpanzee test pilot, Major Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) enters a magnetic storm that propels him into the distant future, where he crash-lands on the ape-ruled planet. Among the primitively civilized apes, treatment of enslaved humans is a divisive issue: senator's daughter Ari (Helena Bonham Carter) advocates equality while the ruthless General Thade (Tim Roth) promotes extermination. While Davidson ignites a human rebellion, this conflict is explored with admirable depth and emotion, and sharp dialogue allows Burton's exceptional cast to bring remarkable expressiveness to their embattled ape characters, most notably in the comic relief of orangutan slave trader Limbo (played to perfection by Paul Giamatti). Classic lines from the original film are cleverly reversed (including an unbilled cameo for Charlton Heston, in ape regalia as Thade's dying father), and while this tale of interspecies warfare leads to an ironic conclusion that's not altogether satisfying, it still bears the ripe fruit of a timeless what-if idea.
i --Jeff Shannon

uuid: D939C708-B531-4858-B1C1-F50A84FC5CC7
upc: 0024543028970
title: Planet of the Apes
theatricalDate: 27-07-2001
stars: Mark Wahlberg
Tim Roth
Helena Bonham Carter
Michael Clarke Duncan
Paul Giamatti
purchase date: 19-06-2007
publisher: 20th Century Fox
published: 11-02-2003
price: $9.98
net Rating: 3
MPAA Rating: PG-13
minutes: 124
number of media: 2
last lookup time: 204000736
genre: Sci-Fi Action
Planet of the Apes
Space Adventure
Science Fiction
Family Features
4-for-3 Science Fiction & Fantasy
Special Editions
fullTitle: Planet of the Apes (Special Edition)
features: Closed-captioned
DTS Surround Sound
edition: Special
director: Tim Burton
currentValue: $1.00
created: 204000688
country: us
aspect: DVD
asin: B000062XGX