CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!!!! First, I just wanted to say that I haven't yet had the opportunity to see the 1968 version and I'm not one of those people who prefer remakes over originals just because "the effects are better".
Anyway.. what can I say about this movie? I'll start on the positive side of things. It was very entertaining and seemed to actually have a bit of intelligence behind it, a rare (but welcome) combination in modern Hollywood. The makeup and special effects were absolutely stunning. The apes looked and moved like apes, yet effectively had the human characteristic of being able to distinguish the characters through face recognition. It made a great combination. This great imagery was backed up by impressive looking sets. Watching the two connect together, it was hard to believe these were human actors in ape costumes acting on a studio set, you get the full impression of a real world. The cast were good enough, Mark was convincing as a lost and puzzled human, the rest of the humans were appropriately primitive-like, Carter portrayed the human-sympathising Ari well and.. well Tim Roth as Thade.. he stole the show every time he appeared, his portrayl of the character echoed frustration and anger and his voice was more than appropriate. The film also had a well suited soundtrack, provided by music magic man, Danny Elfman. The direction throughout this movie was also very strong and of the usual Burton quality.
Anyway, onto the bad stuff. There were countless plot problems and issues that weren't explained either fully enough or not at all. The apes rode horses.. however, where these horses came from was unexplained. Mark kisses that blonde woman at the end (whose character is so insignificant, her name isn't even worth remembering) even though he only said about three words to her throughout the whole film, I have no idea.. was there supposed to be some sort of love triangle thing going on with Mark, Ari and the blonde? The part near the end with the chimp arriving in his pod was so coincidental that it just seemed completely unbelievable. The apes were scared of water, for some bizarre reason they couldn't swim, even though they are physically superior to humans. The apes are unable to cross water because they can't swim, so why can't they build a boat? I'm sure there were other plot issues too, but those are the only ones that I can remember. Now onto my comment on the ending, which, if you've seen the film is probably the part you've been waiting for. I warn you, if you haven't seen the movie, then do yourself a favour, don't read the paragraph below, it will completely spoil the almost remote chance that the ending will shock you in a positive manner.
Three words: what, the, hell? I've questioned myself over and over about how this ending could make any possible sense whatsoever. As Mark's pod landed and he walked up to the Lincoln statue I thought to myself "Hehe.. it would be funny if we find out that Mark's world is now inhabited by apes.. but then again.. the writers aren't that stupid.. are they?". I actually felt quite gutted the moment where we saw the statue's face, because the rest of the story (despite the plot problems mentioned) actually made sense. I've since heard lot's of interesting theories, but they've all had some sort of reason for not being correct. The most popular theory was that Thade repairs Leo's space pod and goes back through time to Earth and edits the world. First of all, Leo's pod is underwater and apparently the apes can't swim, so it is unaccessible to Thade. Also, even if Thade could get the pod, the apes don't have the technology to repair it. The pod was only big enough to fit Thade in, how could just one ape make such a difference? Finally, if apes did inhabit Earth instead of humans.. what would be the chance of the apes building a city exactly the same as Washington DC with a Thade memorial looking exactly the same as the Lincoln memorial? Pretty damn slim to say the least.
Anyway, final verdict: entertaining, but too many plot problems and an appalling ending. If the movie ended the second that Mark's pod takes off at the end, my overall opinion would have been better, let's just hope a sequel will come our way and remedy all our frustrations about that ending. Rating: 6/10.
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