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3.4 out of 5 stars123
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 September 2012
There was such a hype about this film coming out but overall it's a stereotypical Tim Burton film; great looking but that's about it!

There are many great things about this film; the actors that play the apes are superb, most notably Tim Roth, Helena Bonham-Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti and Charlton Heston who all give superb and memorable performances, while the ape make-up is outstanding. Burton should be very proud of those little scenes showing ape life.

Unfortunately the film fails because of an average story and the utter miscasting of the human characters.

It starts well enough; a space station, a lost chimp in space and it's failed rescue by Mark Wahlberg leading to his capture on an ape planet. It all goes boringly wrong from there and ends purely with an escape, chase and battle with a couple of twists at the end which fail to save the film.

Much worse is the miscasting of the human characters. Mark Wahlberg is wholly unsuitable for such a lead role; he is now a selfish astronaut from da Chicago hood! You have no sympathy for him or the indigenous humans on the planet lead by Kris Kristofferson and Estella Warren who give no screen presence whatsoever.

The storyline should have had more turns, while Burton should have developed the human characters more and took more time to cast them!
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on 27 May 2012
I think I prefer the idea of apes taking over, than having American imperialists charging around the universe blasting their weapons at anything that moves.

The ape costumes have been praised, but they were too boutique chic for my liking. Also no creative thought at all seems to have gone into costuming the humans.

All the emotion of Pierre Boulle's novel, is absent in this film. All that is left is pointless violence.

The film ends by showing that the apes have recreated the ultimate symbol of American hypocrisy. The sillyness of it is emphasised even more by the ape in the statue wearing human clothes.

Just in case you think that the action scenes might be worth a look, they are not. They are not visually spectacular, nor is there any real drama in them.

The director Tim Burton disliked the film so much he said he would rather throw himself out of a window than make a sequel, but I think that Charlton Heston's character best summed up what I think of the production.

"Damn them, damn them all"
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 June 2011
I have decided to re-watch this for the first time since its cinema release in 2001 (where did those years go?)and the superb trailer for The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes got me re-watching all the old Apes films (which I still love).
Time has not been kind on this awful film.
Planet Of The Apes is one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time, I'm sure when there was word of a remake many scripts were written,read,considered and rejected, is this seriously the best script they could come up with?! There is barely a plot to this film, and what plot there is would fit in OK as maybe an episode of a Planet Of The Apes series but it isnt big enough or strong enough of a plot for a movie.
Mark Wahlberg is sleeping through this film out-acted by everything else on screen(and thats saying alot because the acting and cast are awful apart from Tim Roth as Thade) hollywood action hero he ain't.
This film really needs a few more good strong characters like Charlton Heston( who cameos in this film) or even more so Roddy McDowell, Cornelious and Zira are badly missed. Not even mentioned. Neither is Caesar.
The make up in the film is excellent throughout and its nice to see the use of CGI kept to a minimum.
Overall, I hate this film. The worst thing in the 'Apes' franchise, even Burton himself said he would rather 'throw himself out a window' than make a sequel to this.
Listen to his commentary over the ending of this film, he pretty much admits it doesn't make sense and no-one really know what's going on.
Personally I think this film is so bad Burton still hasn't fully recovered from this and my respect for him has never been the same since. Its THAT bad.
Stick with the original 5 movies. Even the cheap and dul 4th and 5th films are 100 times more entertaining than this.
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I am a bit of a Planet of the Apes fan and looked forward to seeing this film. I always knew that it was a re-imagining of the original film/Pierre Buelle novel.

This had a lot to live up to - the original film has the famous 'statue of liberty scene' - a twist that impressed Buelle so much that he wished he'd thought of it for his book. The Original film itself deviated from the novel quite a bit, so it would be unfair to knock this new film for doing the same thing, but....

...Some aspects of the film stand out as pretty poor. The make-up for the Apes is amazing - truly excellent - but Bonham Carter looks more like a foxy human than a God damn dirty ape! This was obviously done so that we sense the cross-species sexual tension between her and Leo.

The wild savage humans all have gleaming pearly white teeth and look as thought they've walked straight from the catwalk. Actually, this film is acted by teeth - those who have beyond perfect ultra-white dentalwork are the 'goodies' (this applies for both apes and humans)- and the jagged half rotten mouths belong to the baddies.

And they all speak perfect English - so if they are so articulate, then why haven't they managed to set up their own uprising?

My main gripe with this film however is that it contains too many modern cultural references. In order to show how the Apes have replaced the 'top dog' role of man, they are shown to be living in a society which mirrors ours - one even comes out with an Oscar Wilde quote. They refer to human rights protesters in the same way that they are referred to in our press.

So - in a nutshell: This is a remake which has managed to outdo all the production values of the previous 'Apes' films, but ended up with a film which feels like it was made for a straight-to-TV release. It's just too obvious, contains to many coincidences (the seemingly only thing to remain from the old days of man is Leo's lab which is fully operational thousands of years later), it captures nothing. We all make mistakes, and this one was was Tim Burton's. There was no reason to remake what was (and is) a classic film. This film can be summed up in one word - "Why?".
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on 5 June 2011
This is so bad and it should have been so good of course. A genius film based on a no doubt genius novel remade by a genius director. What could go wrong? Everything it seems in the case of this film bar the spectacular makeup.

I have just recently watched the original film after a long time and I am astounded by the massive difference in quality between these movies. It just goes to show that chucking money at a film does not do the business and that true artistic achievement does not need wads of cash. I recall at the time of release Burton said this was not a remake but a re-imagining. Too right it isn't. But then you have to ask if the original concepts apart from talking apes have been ditched what is the point if the re-imagined film has nothing profound or new to say?

Casting wise it seems that some poor choices were made. Walhberg barely looks like he cares about anything that happens in the film. Also I cannot understand why Tim Burton has to have Helena Bonham Carter in everything he makes nowadays? Okay they are married but it that an excuse when she doesn't fit the role? As for the actors who play the humans who have been reduced to slaves and things of sport by the apes, their collective performance is very poor. Saying that they are not exactly given much to work with. Spunky Tim Roth gives Planet of the Apes a bit of much needed credibility as there are no signs of Burton's flair for extravagance and dark comedy. Well sort of. He's a great actor and has a lot of presence which comes through strongly in this. Due to the fact that the plot is weak, and the script being a bit shoddy, his acting ability is totally wasted. The inclusion of Heston adds a bit of spice to the movie but he is only in a few minutes and is made to deliver what comes across as cringe worthy dialogue, "Damn them. Damn them all to hell."

The film starts off well enough with a tender moment between a chimp and Walhberg but there is none of the philosophical musings that the original film offers. Things deteriorate soon after Mark Walhberg's character crashes from space onto a planet. The effects are not good nor are the costumes. It all looks a bit cheap really, far too fake. That does not apply to the makeup which stands out immediately as the viewer is rewarded with the sight of apes during the hunt scene lifted from the original classic film. The artists involved in turning much of the cast into another species certainly earned their wages - it's a remarkable effort.

The problem with the film is that it has none of the subtlety of the original, it fails to make you care about the characters whether heroes or not and it doesn't work as a piece against animal cruelty or the havoc humans always wreak. Walhberg's character doesn't appear to have any respect or understanding of what his new environment is trying to teach him about human nature, he merely wants to leave and get back to his own reality which is depicted as what I think is meant to be a typical American barbeque complete with squealing blonds and loud mouth jokers. The relationships between the characters also feels forced. There is zero chemistry between Walhberg and Bonham Carter or between Daena (Warren) and Leo Davidson (Walhberg). The original film makes it very clear that Zira is very much into "Bright Eyes" whereas this version doesn't develop these ideas and makes the tie between Ari and Leo more romantic than anything else.

I cannot comment on the soundtrack as it is such an ordeal to sit through this movie without dropping off that I didn't really notice the score used.

This is basically a below average action film completely divorced from the intelligence and depth of the 1968 version. Gone are the questions on what it means to be human and all that is left is a few punch ups, a bit of running around as well as a silly ending. Kudos to Rick Baker for creating the stunning looking apes but that's about the only positive there is.

Planet Of The Apes - Definitive Edition [DVD]
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on 13 April 2009
i'm a fan of the origonal film, the follow up films back in the 70's and also the tv show from the 70's

this however is simply embarassing to watch, it may have excellent cg effects and good makeup but the overacting apes and weak lead character and other ape characters that constantly look amature dramatic overacting look brow down into each other...and tim roth...his performance is just awful.

i blame the director for most of the nonsense we see on screen, it's very hard to watch without thinking of the fast forward button or eject botton most of the time.

the costumes are lack lustre with reference to the romans rather than any unique look like the origional film had..we see poor wire work with apes bounding around for no good reason like they were some outcasts of a cheap martial arts film "flying bananas"

i think this mess just about sealed the fate of any follow up films or spin off tv shows in future, yeah it's that bad.
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on 17 August 2002
with two artistic masterpieces as potential inspiration; pierre boulles superior original story 'monkey planet', and the first movie adaption of that work starring charlton heston. this film captures the best elements of neither
gone are the cool surprise ending of the book. and the silence and sparsity of the seemingly barren 'alien' planet in the original movie
we get left with this claustrophic, noisy, mess where all the humans are unfortunately able to talk. plus we get treated to various star apes vying with each other to see who can do the best impression of a fried egg, sorry... ape. in this ape oscars, we have tim roth performing a silly shoulder roll. helen bonham carter plays... helen bonham carter dressed as a monkey. and then we have the thoroughly uncharismatic markie mark, and his lovable chimp who effortlessly acts him out of the room
on top of that we have a dubious love tug of war going on between helena bonham and some blonde eye candy... whereby every time one of them talks to markie mark, the other one will pout and walk away in a wounded huff.
oh and the blonde isn't a patch on the gorgeous linda harrison, also known as the scantily clad brunette from the original, named nova. plus the makeup is inferior to work created over thirty years ago
(for dvd owners.. on the extra cd, you get treated to the most contrived menu system i've seen. whereby an ape points to a number between 1-6. once you get to 6, you have to go back through all the #s again to get back to 1. very chic)
around half way through the movie, markie mark says something along the lines of 'my crew are coming to rendezvous with me in 48 minutes, at which stage i can get out of this nightmare'. never was a truer word spoken. and never have i so fully connected to the feelings of an actor, whilst watching a movie.
this film is similar to a very bad stage adaption of the original. if you don't have the 1968 version, buy that instead. if you do have the 1968 version, buy gorillas in the mist or similar..
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 October 2013
Okay, if you don't know... the original Planet of the Apes movie was hailed as a classic. Despite being basically a B-movie with a load of men in rubber masks, it had a unique ending which will be remembered throughout cinema history (if you don't know what it is, then I won't spoil it by telling you). Therefore, now we have the remake (or `re-envisioning' as the film-makers like to call it), it had two choices: either copy the original ending and leave everyone saying they ripped off the first, or try to match it for shock value.

I don't think they would have won doing either. They tried `shock value' and failed.

However, if you ignore that, Planet of the Apes (the remake) isn't actually a bad movie. If you like sci-fi (and can forgive the blasphemy of remaking such a classic) you should at least enjoy the make-up - which is awesome for creating new and varied races of apes.

Not counting the ending, there are other negatives, too. There are more human characters, most of which don't get the screen time they deserve to be fully developed (and any fans of Kris Kristophen will feel short-changes as his addition is basically an extended cameo). Plus the action isn't that action-packed (but then Tim Burton is hardly an `action director').

However, despite the negatives, it's still not a bad movie. It'll never be the classic that the original was and it was a disappointment at the box office (meaning the ending will never get the explanation it deserved). Don't expect too much and enjoy the grisly performance of Tim Roth as the evil ape leader and not being able to recognise Helena Bonham Carter in her make-up.
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on 8 July 2002
This has all the traits of a Burton film, (atmospheric & colouful, the anti-hero and quirky love story) but this movie has no real emotional engagement and that is ultimately it's downfall.
The outstanding make-up and wardrobe aside this film lack real plot appearing rushed and rather thin.
It is very apparent that Burton loves the interaction between the apes & these scenes work well, unfortunately the human characters are underdeveloped which causes difficulty in empathising with their plight. The Wahlberg, Warren, Bonham-Carter love triangle particularly suffers, you don't really care who he picks or who is rejected.
Bonham-Carter obviously has fun with her character delivering a tender performance. This cannot be said for Wahlberg however who is upstaged in every scene although he is not helped by poor dialogue for a lead actor.
Roth plays a genuinely psychotic Thade, while comic relief is served well by Giamatti's Limbo.
The battle sequences are spectacular & the CGI does not overwhelm any scene, sadly it all goes very flat as the big climax fails to materialise and the plot twist although impressive is not a patch on the original.
Burton touches on social issues, animal welfare etc... but skirts around them as he mostly plays for laughs.
It appears that he isnodding to "The 10 Commandments" throughout the film with the Humans (Hebrew slaves) escaping Thade (Death) crossing the River (Red sea) to the promised land.
Remember Moses (Semos) Charlton Heston does makes an appearance.
Overall a good actioner but you won't be gripped.
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on 13 August 2014
I've read a lot of the reviews for this film and I'm surprised at the lack of positive comments. This is a fun film, and in my opinion much better than the more recent takes on the film. Yes it's true that this is nothing like the originals, but that is no bad thing. The story is actually quite engaging, the scenery, effects and makeup are totally abzorbing. It has an interesting plot twist. The mor erecent versions have focussed on how apes developed intelligence on earth, but this one is far more interesting in that it puts the humans at the mercy of the apes in a world governed by apes, so you get some amazing scenery, props and costumes. True it doesn't particularly develop the human characters or the emotive aspects, but the ape characters are developed well. The plot, as with a lot of modern films, is a bit limited but is at least engaging enough to keep you on your toes. I personally love the mixture of sci-fi / space elements and the ape world. The actors so a great job of acting 'ape-like', although the human characters do suffer a little, but let's face it the focus of the film isn't particularly on the humans. Tons of DVD extras! Not a masterpiece, but certainly not a flop
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