I caught the new version of this film last night.
The spoiler free review is below.


An astronaut finds himself on a world in which all
primates are
intelligent and sentient, and humans have the lowest
social status of
them all.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

This version stars Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth,
Estella Warren, Michael
Clarke Duncan, and Helena Bonham Carter. Charlton
Heston has the
requisite cameo.

This one was directed by Tim Burton, scored by
Danny Elfman, and
contained make-up supervised by Rick Baker.

Complete cast and crew information can be found in
this IMDB

It was released in North America on Friday July
27, 2001.

High Point

One of Charlton Heston’s lines. You’ll know which

Low Point

It’s hard to describe this one without spoilers,
but one of the
actions the captain of the space station performed
made no sense with
his character.

Comparisons to the 1968 version

The original version is famous, primarily for its
ending. This
film is not a remake or sequel to that movie, but
rather a second film
based on the same book. This year’s version is less
preachy and
touches different issues that didn’t apply in the
1960’s. It has a
faster pace as well.

The ending to this film is not the same ending as
the original. (I
won’t discuss spoilers here. If you want to know
about the ending,
I’m sure you can drudge the information up
somewhere.) At first, this
ending doesn’t seem to make as much sense as the
original did, but I
think I’ve finally got it sorted out. I’d like to
discuss it, but I’m
not putting spoilers in the review. Feel free to
e-mail me if you
want to talk about it. (Please include your own
first. I won’t give spoilers unless I’m sure you’ve
seen the film.)

The Scores

It’s hard to be truly original when someone
else made a movie
based on the same source material you used. Still,
this departs from
the previous film in several respects, including the
origin of the apes. (Once again, the trailers were
too revealing.) I
give the originality 3 out of 6.

The make-up effects were great, although the faces
weren’t as
articulated as Baker managed for How The Grinch
. (I won’t compare it to the make-up
for the original;
it’s not fair to the incredible make-up job they
managed then to set
it against work done by Hollywood’s best prosthetic
artist 30 years
later.) The other special effects consisted of CGI
and wire work.
The both were competent; they seemed to mesh well
with the
environment, but that’s not a difficult achievement
anymore. The only
effects that got to me were some of the modifications
made to the
mouths of the gorillas and apes when they screamed.
It seemed almost
like their mouths were stretched farther than the
human mouth can go,
but that’s not the part that got to me. There are a
few close up
shots of an open, screaming mouth, with nothing
inside it but teeth.
There’s no palette, there’s not dangly thing in the
(mandible?), there’s not throat. There’s just
blackness, which I
found jarring enough to remind me I was watching a
movie. I
understand they were rushed to finish the effects,
but I’d rather see
the studios delay the release of the film to get it
right than rush
out substandard product. I give the effects
4 out of 6.

The story was well plotted this time. At
first the ending
seemed tacked on, but I think I’ve managed to
reconcile myself to that
one. There were a few corny sounding lines of
dialogue, but those
were all slightly altered quotes from the first film,
so I won’t
penalize them for it this time around. Overall, it
was more
action-oriented than the original, but it’s hard to
get the necessary
budget to do this film properly without selling it to
the studio as a
summer blockbuster. That’s a flaw with the Hollywood
system, not with
the film itself. I give the story 3 out of 6.

I enjoyed the acting from all the cast, with the
exception of Mark
Wahlberg. He seemed too accepting of the situation
to me. His
emotional range seemed to be calm and determined,
mildly confused, or
slightly guilty. I found Tim Roth, on the other
hand, to be entirely
convincing and wholly unrecognizable. He did a great
job. I give the
acting 4 out of 6. (It would have been a 5 had
Wahlberg, the star,
been on par with the rest of the cast.)

In terms of emotional response, the best I
could muster was
some anger and confusion at the ending. (The anger
was not at the
nature of the ending, but rather because they used
the Sam Hamm ending
without crediting him. This can be alleviated if I
read the book and
find this ending there.) It was too predictable to
maintain any
level of suspense for me. I give it 2 out of 6.

The production values here are the only
aspects I feel can go
free of debate. Danny Elfman’s score was fantastic,
despite the last
minute changes the studio asked from him. (They
wanted it to be more
heroic. Keep in mind that Danny Elfman has scored
Batman and
Men In Black, the short lived The
TV series,
and is working on Spider Man. I think he
knows what heroic
sounds like.) The direction was distinctly Tim
Burton. I give the
production 5 out of 6.

Overall, this was an entertaining 2
hours, but I feel no
pressing need to see it again. I give it 3 out of 6

In total, Planet of the Apes (2001) has a
score of 24 out
of 42. It’s a renter.