Planet of the Apes

Dir: Tim Burton
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham-Carter, Tim Roth, Michael Clarke Duncan

There isn't much here to point to this being a Tim Burton film. Where is the tortured loner i.e. Burton himself, pining for love and acceptance? I guess Johnny Depp was busy, but this could have been directed by almost any mainstream hack from John Carpenter up. As a straightforward action romp it's okay; the apes are impressively realised and someone has put a bit of thought into monkey culture. Roth snarls effectively as the species-ist alpha primate, and if Bonham-Carter's activist is a little too obvious and gratingly PC to work, Wahlberg's no-nonsense approach keeps things from tilting into preachiness. The nods to the old version are laudable; it's the complete lack of depth that sinks this, with an ending that wants desperately to provoke discussion, but is actually just very badly thought-out and makes no sense. Unfortunately, it's about the only scene that sticks in the memory to any degree. Will this be remembered in 30 years with a fraction as much fondness as the original? I doubt it very much.


Monkey business
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