Planet of the Apes Review
It was critically blasted when it was released in the summer, but the chance to give Tim Burton's 're-imagining' of the 60s classic a second viewing on DVD reveals a definite cult classic in the making. Leo Davidson (Wahlberg), is an astronaut who's involved in a project to train simians how to fly space craft. His main monkey, Pericles, becomes lost down a space anomaly, so he goes to get him. The space swirly thing is actually a gateway to a planet run by apes where humans are kept in cages. Can Marky Mark free the slaves and escape from the planet? And can he resist the temptation to get down to some serious monkey love with chimp do-gooder Ari (Bonham Carter)?
If you can get beyond the often didactic script, as well as the fact that - with its alternative realities, time shifts and so on - the film makes no logical sense at all, then Planet of the Apes is a mightily entertaining experience. Burton (Batman, Sleepy Hollow etc) has always been renowned for his sets and cinematography, and true to form, the film boasts a distinctive, impressive look. The rather arch sense of humour that has typified other films of his is also on display here, despite the limits imposed on him by the Hollywood blockbuster format. The sight, for instance, of an aging ape removing its toupee and taking a set of false teeth out is one you won't forget in a hurry. The best thing about the movie, is the monkey characters themselves. They are realistic and can be scary - especially Tim Roth's unremittingly nasty, human-hating General Thade.