With Tim Burton at the helm, Planet of the Apes should have been a terrific re-working of the classic 1968 sci-fi film but sadly, somewhere in the translation it all went very wrong (apparently even some of the cast members have admitted they were puzzled by the ending which differs from the original).
Wahlberg is sadly miscast as the astronaut in 2029 whose mission goes awry, leaving him stranded on a strange planet where talking apes rule over humans who are treated as slaves. With the help of besotted chimpanzee Ari (Bonham Carter), our hero attempts to evade the gorilla army led by General Thade (Roth, clearly having fun being an utterly over-the-top baddie) and uncover the secrets hidden in a remote area called the ‘Forbidden Zone’.
While the effects and ape make-up are impressive, this just isn’t as much fun as the original, despite some nods in that direction (Charlton Heston, the star of the 1968 version, even has a cameo as Thade’s dad, and gets to utter the same line he did first time around: ‘Damn them. Damn them all to hell!’).
A missed opportunity as the superb Rise/Dawn/War Of The Planet Of The Apes trilogy from a decade later has shown how it should be done.
Is Planet Of The Apes (2001) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Aimed at older children and adults, this movie does have numerous fight scenes between apes and humans. There are attacks, explosions, fights, and scenes in which a boy is captured and a girl is held in a cage.
There are scenes of both apes and humans being branded which may upset viewers, and a scene of an ape on fire, screaming.