Almost there...

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

So everyone seems to be talking about Planet of the Apes. The longer I'm away from that film the more I'm disappointed by it. The film started out encouraging. There was talk of the chimps on the space station being genetically modified to be smarter. Okay good explanation. Then I wondered if the monkeys on the planet were descendants of the apes on the station. It could give it a chance to play out as a whole anti-genetic modification parable. That path seemed confirmed by the brand that was put on humans. It was the same shape as the station. Ah-ha, says I in my head. 2 + 2. Okay so let's see how that plays out. Sure enough that's what happened. Of course, as Kevin points out, this does nothing to explain the horses. Hmm. In actuality, it does nothing to explain anything beyond the chimpanzees. They only visibly had chimps on the ship, but the planet had orangutans and gorillas and, well, horses. Where did that bio-diversity come from? So in my brain, I was working out this elaborate thing where it really was earth, and the chimps had taken over the ship and brought it down there. That didn't work out. Actually, after the ship was discovered to be the source of the beacon, the movie takes such a turn for the "I forgot what I came into this room for" that it deteriorates really rapidly from there. There's a heroic battle scene, but it doesn't really make any sense. There's Mark Wahlberg leaving the planet, even though he's the only one with enough historical knowledge to knit any of this together and help them create a new society. There's the much talked about kisses. When he kisses Ari (and everyone in the audience I was in said, "Ewwwww!), it sort of makes sense because he wouldn't have survived without her help and she gave up her whole world to help him.Then there's the random blonde chick who exists for no discernable reason other than to be scantily clad. Then he makes a special effort to go kiss her too. Ugh. Whatever. Frankly, I expect better from Tim Burton. I expect him to be a man with the capacity to understand science fiction and what makes it good. He took his eye off the ball on this one.

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