PLANET OF THE APES

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Estella Warren, Michael Clarke Duncan and Tim Roth
Director: Tim Burton
Running Time: 117 mins

Out to buy on DVD February 18th

2029, on board the Oberon Space station. An electromagnetic storm is closing coming closer to the stationís orbit around Saturn. An experimental spacecraft, containing a genetically engineered clever chimpanzee called Pericles, is sent to investigate. When contact is lost with the ship, hero astronaut Leo Davidson (Wahlberg) sets off in another craft to rescue him, only to crash land on a remote planet, were humans are slaves and under the rule of Apes.

Tim Burtonís ďRe-ImaginationĒ of the 1968 Sci-Fi classic is here, beckoning the question, why bother? The original movie and itís four sequels are part of science fiction folklore, taking this into account, Burton has not just gone and remade the original but used the situation to offer a new take on the premise. The problem is he has made it less exciting. The movie plods along at a very slow pace, with very few major action sequences to break up the tedium. Mark Wahlberg is severely under used and is never given the chance to show the talent we know he has, just watch Three Kings or Boogie Nights, his part is just so under written. The extremely beautiful Estella Warren hardly says a word in the entire movie but unlike the Nova character from the original the Humans can speak in this one, so why does she have so like dialogue? Another problem I had is the time frame the movie was set in. It is extremely unlikely that we are going to advance to the point that we will be able to build a space station of that size and complexity in 28 years and then put in Saturnís orbit, weíll be lucky to have reached Mars by then.

The movie does have its good points after all this negativity. Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter are a revelation. The way the two of them completely take on their Ape personas is remarkable. All the mannerisms and characteristics of chimpanzees, in the way they move and act are expertly mimicked bringing the parts to life. The star of the show however, is Rick Barkerís Ape make-up. It is truly extraordinary and is the main reason to go and see the movie. Never has make-up defined a set of characters and made them so perfectly believable.

This all accumulates into a movie that is more of a visual treat and a character acting class than a piece of all-out entertainment. It lacks in more parts that it gains in others and is only saved from mediocre oblivion by its extremely good twist ending. While it doesnít have the same impact as the original it still delivers a very firm punch setting up what could be, a much better sequel.

Audio tracks by Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, Easter Egg, Animated Menus, Featurettes - 'HBO First Look' special, 'Simian Academy' (ape movement), 'Face Like A Monkey' (a day in the make-up chair), 'Costume Tests', 'On Location in Lake Powell', 'Chimp Symphony Op.37' (behind the scenes on scoring the film), 'Swinging From The Trees' (stunt work), 5 Extended Scenes, Make-up Group and Movement Tests, Gallery of multi-angle features allowing viewer to climb into director's chair for key scenes, Theatrical Trailers, Music Video, TV Spots Image, Art and Stills Gallery Plus Additional DVD Rom Content


The Usher Home | Hush, Hush... | The Big Story | The Usher Speaks

Stuck @ Home | Coming Soon | Links | Contact the Usher

The Usher 2001