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Planet of the apes

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

After crash-landing upon a strange alien world, astronaut Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) soon discovers the dominant species are simians: apes and monkeys have fashioned an intelligent but savage civilisation. In this world human beings are considered at best slaves; at worst, nuisances to be destroyed.

Davidson soon finds he has allies in this strange place, including the nomadic beauty Daena (Estella Warren), her tribal father Karubi (Kris Kristofferson), and Ari (Helena Bonham Carter), a chimpanzee who favoured human rights long before she found herself drawn to Davidson. As the brutal General Thade (Tim Roth) closes in on Davidson and his new found companions, the stranded astronaut must make his way through the barren landscape the apes call The Forbidden Zone to learn the ancient and terrible secret history that birthed the planet of the apes.

From Tim Burton, one of today's most visually innovative filmmakers, comes a totally new film derived from some of the themes from the classic 60s and 70s film series.

Persons of interest

  • Mark Wahlberg .... Captain Leo Davidson
  • Tim Roth .... General Thade
  • Helena Bonham Carter .... Ari
  • Michael Clarke Duncan .... Colonel Attar
  • Paul Giamatti .... Limbo
  • Estella Warren .... Daena
  • Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa .... Krull
  • David Warner .... Senator Sandar
  • Kris Kristofferson .... Karubi
  • Erick Avari .... Tival
  • Luke Eberl .... Birn
  • Evan Parke .... Gunnar
  • Glenn Shadix .... Senator Nado
  • Freda Foh Shen .... Bon
  • Chris Ellis .... Lieutenant General Karl Vasich
  • Anne Ramsay .... Lieutenant Colonel Grace Alexander
  • Andrea Grano .... Major Maria Cooper
  • Michael Jace .... Major Frank Santos
  • Pierre Boulle .... Author: Monkey planet
  • William Broyles .... Screenwriter
  • Larry Konner .... Screenwriter
  • Mark Rosenthal .... Screenwriter
  • Tim Burton .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

First of all, I will state my pedigree. I saw every Planet of the apes film ever made (in sequence and as they were produced), every episode of the Planet of the apes TV show (some of them more than once) and read the novelisations of all the films. That makes for some pretty heavy expectations of some Johnny-come-lately remake of yet another classic film.

The good thing is that almost all my expectations were not only met but exceeded. The story is not just a repeat of the original film - which would be horrendous given that the original relied on a huge twist in the final scene for its cult status - it is a completely new vision of the progenitory novel. William, Larry and Mark have created a new script from an old source, something which most Hollywood writers are unable to achieve. Tim's direction pushes you from scene to scene, never giving you the chance to sit down and rest. You are caught up in events as they unfold and if you don't keep up you'll be lost to the following apes. The look of the film is a fantastical blend of jungle, dirt, volcano and spaceship. It works. It's cool.

Don't-call-me-Marky is in full stride as the compassionate and heroic adventurer thrown into a world for which he isn't suited. His performance is more than a series of Schwarzeneggerian grunts and more real than a procession of Bondian candy. Despite a slow beginning, Leo is a three-dimensional character caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But you only care about that stuff if you are a follower of Mark's film career. What you really want to know is whether this most recent Planet of the apes is worth seeing. It is. It's a high-energy action film with some room for unveiled political messages and interspecies romance. The baddies are baddies, the goodies are goodies, the effects are seamless and the ape masks are even better than the originals. See it: you'll like it.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital
  • Commentary: Danny Elfman, Tim Burton
  • Disc: Single side, single layer
  • Features:
    • Disc 1:
      • Cast and crew profiles (90 static pages)
      • DVD-ROM (screenplay/script/storyboard comparisons)
      • Easter egg
    • Disc 2:
      • 4 branching film clips
      • 4 quadrangles with 4-way audio split
      • 5 extended scenes
      • 8 Featurettes
      • 8 interactive multi-angle sequences
      • DVD-ROM (novella, screensavers, teasers)
      • Music/video promo
      • Stills gallery
      • TV spots
  • Trailers: 4

Media intelligence (VHS)

  • Features:
    • HBO special
    • Face like a monkey
    • Simian academy

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence)

Surveillance time

115 minutes (1:55 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 9 August 2001
DVD rental: 6 January 2002
VHS rental: 6 January 2002
DVD retail: 24 April 2002
VHS retail: 24 April 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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