Now This Log

Monday, 26 November 2001 : "PotA"

So we finally saw Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes since it came to the cheap-theater-with-food, the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. I had heard mixed reviews, with everyone praising the costume design and people being forgiving to varying degrees of the plot.

My own quick review: This was not just an ordinary tedious, plothole-riddled, lacking-basic-internal-logic bad film; this was every bad film I've ever seen. The tipping point for me was (and I suppose this merits a minor spoiler warning; skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to know) when the stupid spunky human child got his foot caught in the stirrup, necessitating an unnecessary heroic rescue by the hero, just in case you weren't convinced he was the hero. It was Star Trek: Insurrection all over again, with Picard having to go back and endanger himself to save the stupid little boy-whose-presence-was-otherwise-pointless. Bah!

The relationships between characters were straight out of nowhere (why on Earth was cipher Estella Warren so taken with Wahlberg? My guess: because he brings a fresh set of genes to the Planet of Inbred Descendants of a Small Population).

The humans in the crowd scenes surely must have been psychic to understand what was going on since the main characters were speaking so quietly and only to each other yet no one out there in the hills had any questions, comments, or smart remarks. Or maybe the budget was too tight to spring for another speaking role.

Tim Roth's General Thade was unintelligible much of the time, overheated all of the time, and was the primary subject of the bizarre, stupid ending that Slate tried and failed to justify (more spoilers behind that link, obviously). No real breadcrumbs were left along the story's random walk to imply any of the events that clearly must have taken place for that ending to be possible.

Rating: 2 out of 10, and that's entirely for the costume design and the opening Danny Elfman music.

This was Beastmaster bad.

Agree, disagree? Comment already.

Replies: 2 comments so far

Add a comment of your own

Oh, _PotA_ wasn't, well, *unusually* bad. It didn't have high aspirations, and it didn't achieve any despite itself, but what's new with that?

It was a decent, forgettable, action flick with a sci-fi setting that did make some effort to pay symbolic (albeit not substantial) homage to the original. It was hardly a travesty; merely unfortunate.

As for Slate and its weak attempt to justify the ending, was Josh Daniel even trying? He really should have included two other details:


1. .dednal-hsarc pihsecaps )gnikrow llits yllaitnetop( s'nosdivaD oeL erehw wenk edahT lareneG

2. .emoh emoc ot hguone llew tsael ta pihsecaps a gnitolip ni deniart dna ,elbaliava saw selcireP

Breadcrumbs good enough for Hollywood work, I would say.

Posted by Randolph Penn @ 11/29/2001 11:46AM est

I really didn't expect much of this movie, and as such enjoyed it to a degree.

But I have a really difficult time with the idea that nobody who read the drafts of this script ever said before it went into production: "Correct me if I'm wrong here, but are we actually going to resolve the climax through Deus Ex Machina?!"

Posted by ScrapOfCat @ 11/29/2001 04:27PM est

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