Planet of the Apes
The week before last whilst in Las Vegas I had the opportunity to see Planet of the Monkeys Apes on opening night. Well this being the Eye Candy section I thought I’d best do a bitch review of the thing, besides our UK readers won’t have seen the film yet - I promise not to spoil the rather obvious story :)
Well our story starts with some wizzy title graphics and then plunges us straight into deep space, err somewhere. Our hero (Wahlburg) works here with monkeys. Then in true Star Trek Voyager style a spatial anomaly pops up on the horizon, Wahlburg wants to rush off into the pretty swirling colours, but instead they send a monkey. Sure enough Wahlburg unable to let a monkey be the star of this movie hops in a ship to follow him. Que the crash on the “Planet of the Apes!”…
Okay so Wahlburg wanders around looking lost for most of the movie, which is probably what most of us would do if we ended up on a planet ruled by monkeys who bear a striking resemblance to Helena Bonham Carter. Needless to say Wahlburg leads the escape of the Human slaves and they end up at the place where it all started for a big battle, a bit of ape love and a quick bit of science come religion. Like I said I’ll try not to spoil the story, but I will say that right at the end the chaps in the row behind us in the flicks (that’s the theatre/cinema if you don’t speak ChilliBear ) said “I bet it’s a horse” which cracked us up - okay I know you had to be there, but if you think “I bet it’s a horse” right at the end when Wahlburg is doing his wandering up the steps you might get the joke.
So what is the movie like from a technical point of view… Well the props and costumes/makeup are great (loved the Ape army tents), the movie does have a good realistic feel to it, however Ape city does just seem to be slapped down in the middle of nowhere. The different Apes are great, each has their own character and you can actually see the emotions on their faces (one up on Wahlburg then g). The orang-utan slave master is absolutely great - true comic genius. The Apes are a lot more monkey like than in the original they’re hanging off walls, running on all fours and bouncing of just about everything in the case of Thade (Tim Roth).
Charlton Heston has his little cameo playing a damn dirty ape - general Thade’s father. A nice touch and the film in general has lots of little references to the earlier movies, looking for them passes the time :)
Okay so did I like it? I would have to say yes. I enjoyed the film - no I didn’t think it was a great film, its a good action movie not a great deal more. The story is good, but the execution of that story leaves it a bit flat - it looks rather like they had all the right ingredients, but the cake just didn’t rise. Will I see it a second time (normally my test of a good film) - well I’m not going to go out of my way to see it again, but I wont object if I go again with other friends. Is the movie another Tim Burton classic - no. Actually I don’t think you would know it was a Tim Burton movie (apart from the very end of the film), it has hardly a touch of his normal comic book style fantasy gothic flavour to it - something I had hoped would make this film sufficiently different from the originals to make it stand completely on it’s own.
Anyway I’ve probably had enough of a bitch now, so I’ll leave things there. A final note for those of you who want to read the original novel, it was La Planete des Singes, a novel by Pierre Boulle.