Planet of the Apes (2001)

pota2001By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Goddamn it, I can’t be bothered to write a synopsis on this bullshit.  Mark Wahlberg crash-lands on a planet controlled by Apes, where humans are the slaves… There, that’s all you’re getting.

A Toast 

This is a film with very few pleasures, outside of Rick Baker’s makeup effects, which are first class, feeling like the logical step up in innovation from the effects of the original Apes films.  I also have to give credit to Tim Roth, who clearly knew the kind of film he was in, so he hams it up as best as he can, earning his paycheck as the evil General Thade; a snidely, sniveling prick of a villain.  And nothing bad can ever be said about Paul Giamatti, seen in this film as “Limbo”, a slave-trader ape whose career is just on the verge of (but not yet) breaking, so he’s still stuck jumping around like a monkey for money.

Pictured above: A career in "Limbo"
Pictured above: A career in “Limbo”

Beer Two

Helena Bonham Carter plays “Ari”, an ape who sympathizes with the humans. From the moment her eyes lay on Mark Wahlberg, she is entranced by him.  The film suggests interspecies romance between the two; the sexual tension is one of the few legitimate emotions in this movie, and it is disturbing.

POTA1
I’m just going to say it… Helena Bonham Carter gives me the creeps.

Mark Wahlberg is also given a 2nd love interest in Estella Warren.  Warren’s permanently pouty lips play the role of human window-dressing, in what could only have been some 20th Century Fox producer’s attempt to belay accusations of bestiality.

POTA2
“Hi, my name is… oh wait, you don’t care? ok… I’ll just stand in the background of every scene… and… yeah…”

Beer Three

Much like the more recent reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, both films shoe-horn in some of the original POTA catch-phrases.  I don’t care how good of an actor you are, you simply cannot recapture the awesomeness of Charlton Heston’s performance from the 1968 film.  It is a piece of theatrical madness/genius.  Even sadder this time around is that Burton brought an aging and decrepit Heston in for a cameo, essentially to deliver one of his key lines…  Desperation.

heston
Let me die in peace, you damn, dirty film producers!

Beer Four

What exactly is it with the conceit of Apes being afraid of water?  After all these years, and with their superior intelligence, Apes still haven’t figured how to swim?  How has humanity managed to allow themselves to be overtaken by the Apes in a world where rivers, lakes, and oceans cover 72% of the surface?  Why is blood coming out of my ears? why is it coming out of my eeeeeeyes!…..

Beer Five

Marky Mark has come a long way as an actor since 2001, if Planet of the Apes is any indication.  He seems generally disinterested in showing even the slightest bit of emotion.  And perhaps it wasn’t his fault, as in any given scene his head moves confusedly about.  Possibly he was desperate for some kind of stage direction.  That doesn’t excuse what could be the single least engaging “motivational speech” in the history of cinema.

Beer Six

The twist ending that this film contains was a noble attempt to deviate from the original’s twist, in the name of providing the same shocking thrill.  It also makes no goddamn sense.  Since I can’t recommend watching this movie, I’ll be more than happy to explain:  At the end, Wahlberg travels back to Earth, only to find the Lincoln Memorial has been replaced with a Memorial to General Thade, who is credited as a great hero.

So, lets examine this a moment.  That means that Wahlberg was on Earth after all, like in the 1968 film, but its past, instead of its future, right?  And in this past General Thade was defeated, and found to be a fraud. Also, the Apes and humans have now determined to work together.  So… how is he worshiped as a hero? Also, the idea that the history of Earth with Intelligent Apes would lead to the same (similar?) historical and scientific achievements is kind of… well, dumb.  Could it be that this twist was made up on the fly?

MNight

Verdict

Six Pack

Amazing practical special effects… and that’s about it.  What the fuck Tim Burton? What the actual fuck?…

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for forced references to the original 1968 film

Take a Drink: each time Mark Wahlberg’s facial expressions tells you that he doesn’t want to be here.

Drink a Shot: for the “twist” ending

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they’re confused about something) at least a few times a week. I’ve gotten way off track here… The point is, Oberst is one of the website’s founders, so… yeah

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