Movie Review: Planet of the Apes 2001

Marky Mark takes over for Charlton Heston. Tim Burton at the helm. Tim Roth and Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti being awesome plus Helena Bonham Carter is the HOT CHICK love interest! Not to mention a hundred million bucks, back when that meant something.

How could this go wrong?

Well, first we need to take one of the hottest women around and coat her with makeup, and put all the good actors in heavy makeup as well, and lean on the talented acting of Marky Mark and a Victoria’s Secret model to carry the film.

Marky Mark is an astronaut, who is training chimps to pilot shuttecrafts. In a scene right out of Star Trek, a storm comes out of nowhere in space. A chimp named Pericles is sent into the storm, and loses communication. Mark Wahlberg is distraught over the loss of the chimp, so he jumps into another shuttlecraft and goes after him. planet-of-the-apes-2001-helena

The craft crashes into a planet, and literally minutes later is captured by slavers, and is sold with our fashion model to a Senators’ daughter, who is naturally a supporter of human rights. Whoa this thing is THICK already with the symbolism. At least in the previous film there a layer of story on here. Here it’s just a thinly-veiled information dump about how humans deserve rights. Soon Marky Mark and the Hairy Bunch escape to prove that he’s from outer space and chase down a craft that just happened to land in the forbidden zone.

So does the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes deserve all the hate? Well, yeah, kinda. The ending stinks and the twist tries to hard. The sad thing is Burton has a great vision. The costumes are amazing, and the actors just make the movie. Michael Clarke Duncan and Paul Giamatti standout, but Tim Roth just owns his role and this movie. The problem is when Mark is on the screen. He’s not a bad actor, but you know what you are getting from him. He’s not going to turn into Charlton Heston or even Bruce Willis much less Will Smith. The lack of Helena Bonham Carter giving out the askew hotness is not exactly balanced by the wooden fashion model we do get.

planet-of-the-apes-2001-humansThe main problem is I just don’t care about the humans, the main fight due to the LONG fight at the table is between Helena Bonham Carter and everyone else, it’s preachifying and gets the point of beating a dead horse. It slows the movie to a crawl and takes some time to get back on track. The fight at the climax is also a problem. We get the return of the other ship, and a General that cannot handle a pistol- and the issue of gun control is a big deal to Tim Roth behind the scenes. That’s a big part of the problem with this movie. Too much of an agenda, and even though the original series had it too, we cared about the people. Mark Wahlberg we don’t care about, the fashion model we don’t care about, and Helena Bonham Carter is a stuck-up society ape. So who are we rooting for? The monkey? He wins! I’ll go a 4 here, just because this is a gorgeous movie to watch, and Tim Roth just so owns the room. Having the movie show up in the clearance rack means I can skip the boring preachy parts.

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