Thursday, July 05, 2007

In which an otherwise enjoyable movie is ruined by an inexplicable ending

I watched Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes last night. I had never really been incredibly interested in seeing it. I mean, I liked the original. I'm not a huge remake fan (sorry, it was a re-imagining), nor am I incredibly into Tim Burton's movies. So, as I'm sure you can tell, I wasn't in a great hurry to see the movie. Hell, I only picked it up because it was free (buy 2, get 1 free (I also picked up Constantine and Lake Placid for the curious)).

That said, hell, I liked it well enough. It was entertaining, in a 'I like Chuck Heston more than anyone else in this movie' kind of way. I just had, really, a few questions.

1) Why was Thade always so pissed off? Every time he spoke, he was growling. He just sounded mean and, as a character, completely unsympathetic. The most intimidating characters are never the ones who are just full out bad. The really good bad guys are the ones that you can see their side a little. When you start to sympathize with the villain, and you start to see a little of yourself in him, that's when the bad guy gets interesting. There are, of course, exceptions. Zombies, velociraptors, sharks. They don't care if you sympathize with them. They will just fuck your shit up. This is because, unlike humans and the apes in the movie, they don't posses the same cognitive abilities as us. Therefore, while a possible exception, they are excluded from the category. Once again proving that Darth Vader is the ultimate badass.

2) When the humans, led by Marky Mark, are trying to escape Apeville, why do they run through everyone's bedrooms? Wouldn't there be a more direct route through town? One that didn't involve waking everyone up? Sure, I understand the desire to stay off the road so that the Ring Wraiths don't find you, but surely there is an alley or something. It just seems silly to have to go through so many bedrooms.

3) Why bother rescuing the little girl? She only gets sent back to the house anyways, and is never mentioned again. It's like making yourself a really nice dinner and then throwing it out because you weren't really that hungry in the first place. One could simply have removed the three scenes involving the little girl and made the same movie. The story would not have been any different.

4) Why did Helena Bonham Carter look so good while made up to look like a monkey? She looked hotter than she does as a human. What kind of weird bestiality fetish is Tim Burton trying to inspire?

5) Alright, yeah, the ending. Holy crap, what was that? It's one thing to do a twist ending and then let the audience put the pieces together, it a whole other thing to say 'Here you go! I'll explain what happened if we do a sequel!' It's as bad as declaring Darth Vader the ultimate badass when you've done nothing to support the argument.

And, while the ending is a bit of a puzzle, and lord knows I like a puzzle, the movie itself wasn't good enough to warrant trying to figure it out. There's a big difference between making the audience think and telling the audience 'fuck you. figure it out yourself jackass'. Unfortunately, the ending seems to fall into that second camp.

Imagine a crossword puzzle. 5 across reads: 5 letter word for monkey. You know from reading that that the answer is chimp. However, there are only 4 boxes. The puzzle isn't able to be solved because you are automatically disqualified from giving the correct answer before you start. That is what the movie was like.


Nik! said...

Keanu! *grin*

I really dig that last part. 5 letter word, 4 boxes, great stuff!

And I really thought I was the only one not *into* Tim Burton.

Unknown said...


I thought Big Fish was okay, but, I don't know. I was never a Pee Wee fan, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kind of bugged me.

Nik! said...

Keanu! Constantine, baby! :)

C&TCF totally bugged me, no kinda about it. Big Fish was okay the first time I saw it, but since I just don't like it. Pee Wee, don't know that I ever knew that was TB.

Unknown said...

I very much disliked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It could ahve been SO much better, considering it was Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.