Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 2001. Twentieth Century Fox, The Zanuck Company. Screenplay by William Broyles Jr. Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, based on the novel La Planete des Singes by Pierre Boulle. Cinematography by Philippe Rousselot. Produced by Richard D. Zanuck. Music by Danny Elfman. Production Design by Rick Heinrichs. Costume Design by Colleen Atwood. Film Editing by Chris Lebenzon.
Terrifying and terrific facelift is given to Franklin J. Schaffner’s brilliant 1968 original starring Charlton Heston (who has a great cameo in this one). Mark Wahlberg is the reluctant astronaut who crash lands on a mysterious alien planet that turns out to be ruled by genetically advanced apes who talk, reason and viciously rule the humans around them. Helena Bonham Carter is brilliant as the aristocratic ape who feels the humans deserve equal rights, and Tim Roth couldn’t be more effective as the power hungry general who rules Ape City with an iron fist, determined to keep humans under his control forever. Wahlberg, however, changes all that, boiling the film down to a battle climax and a shock ending that, while shamelessly leaving miles of room for a sequel, is spine-tingling all the same. Perhaps not as politically poignant as the original version, this one dumbs down the story but does not ruin the entertainment factor; it does a good job of addressing different issues (zeal for power) than the ones that were controversial subjects upon its original’s release (civil rights). The makeup effects are outstanding and the characters are very rich.