Embedded with fierce action and intense emotion, this fantasy thriller is set in the year 2029, when astronaut Leo Davidson boards a pod cruiser on a Space Station for what begins as a routine reconnaissance mission.
However, an abrupt detour through a space time wormhole lands him on a strange planet where talking apes rule over the human race. With the help of a sympathetic chimpanzee activist named Ari and a small band of human rebels, Leo leads the effort to evade the advancing Gorilla Army led by General Thade and his most trusted warrior Attar. Now the race is on to reach a sacred temple within the planet's Forbidden Zone to discover the shocking secrets of mankind's past - and the key to its future.
In 2029, aboard the United States Air Force space station Oberon, Leo Davidson works closely with primates who are trained for space missions. His favorite simian co-worker is a chimpanzee named Pericles. With a deadly electromagnetic storm approaching the station, a small space pod piloted by Pericles is used to probe the storm.
Pericles's pod heads into the storm and disappears. Against his commanding officer's orders, Leo takes a second pod and goes in pursuit of Pericles. Entering the storm, Leo loses contact with the Oberon and crashes on a planet called Ashlar in the year 5021. He discovers that the world is ruled by humanoid apes who can speak human language and treat human beings as slaves.
Leo comes across a female chimpanzee named Ari, who protests the awful treatment humans receive. Ari decides to buy Leo and a female slave named Daena to have them work as servants in the house of her father, Senator Sandar. Leo escapes his cage and frees other humans. Ari sees them, but Leo convinces her to join a human rebellion against the apes.
General Thade and Colonel Attar march ape warriors in pursuit of the humans. Leo discovers Calima (the temple of "Semos"), a forbidden, but holy, site for the apes.
Calima turns out to be the remains of the Oberon, Leo's space station, which has crashed on the planet's surface and looks ancient (the name Calima coming from the sign "CAution LIve aniMAls", the relevant letters being the only ones not covered in dust).
According to the computer logs, the station has been there for thousands of years. Leo deduces that when he entered the vortex he was pushed forward in time, while the Oberon, searching after him, was not, crashing on the planet long before he did.
The Oberon 's log reveals that the apes on board, led by Semos, organized a mutiny and took control of the vessel after it crashed. The human and ape survivors of the struggle left the ship and their descendants are the people Leo has encountered since landing. In the present, a battle ensues between the humans and the apes.
A familiar vehicle descends from the sky and is identified immediately by Leo as the pod piloted by Pericles, the chimpanzee astronaut. Pericles was pushed forward in time as Leo was, and had just now found his way to the planet. When Pericles lands, the apes interpret his landing as the return arrival of Semos, the first ape, who is their god. They bow, and hostilities between humans and apes disappear.
Pericles then runs into the Oberon and Leo runs after him, followed by General Thade. Inside, Thade and Leo fight, with Pericles trying to help Leo, only to be thrown hard against a wall. Thade gets hold of Leo's gun, but does not understand how to use it at first. Seeing that Thade is in the pilot's deck, Leo closes the automatic door of the entrance, trapping Thade as he shoots the gun, the bullets ricocheting off the door harmlessly. Thade thrashes around to escape, but after all attempts to do so fail, he finally gives up.
Leo then decides that it is time for him to leave the Planet of the Apes, so he gives Pericles to Ari, with her promising to look after him, also saying farewell to Daena. Leo climbs aboard Pericles's undamaged pod and uses it to travel back in time through the same electromagnetic storm. Leo ends up crashing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Earth.
He looks up at the Memorial, and sees it is now a monument in honor of General Thade. A swarm of police officers, firefighters, and news reporters descend on Leo, but on closer inspection, they are all apes.
Continuity At the end of the movie, the dome on the door to the space pod is facing upwards, but in another shot, it is flipped the other way.
Continuity When General Thade is trying to shoot at Leo and others with Leo's gun, the gun changes from a futuristic "laser gun" to what appears to be a plain old Beretta 92/96.
Continuity (at around 1h 40 mins) When Leo is about to trap Thade inside the wreck of the Oberon, the touch screen that activates the shield is shown twice. It is clearly encrusted with a thousand years of dust. But as Leo actually puts his hand over the screen it is suddenly as clean as the day it was made.
Miscellaneous Many people believe that, when the group goes to the crashed spacecraft, there are rock formations in the aircraft. This would not be possible, since it takes millions of years and a lot of pressure to form rocks. The spacecraft, however could have landed on rocks that were there before the spacecraft crashed.
Miscellaneous (at around 45 mins) When Leo and co. come out of the lost city there's a shot from some distance, back at the ship. Look to the far right and you will see a road with clear tire tracks on it.
Character Error We first see Captain Leo Davidson training a chimpanzee in astronautics. Its inconceivable that an officer with such responsibility would be unaware of the taxonomic and cladistic difference between apes (including chimpanzees and humans) and monkeys (the New World and Old World monkeys). Yet he twice refers to his student as a "monkey".
Character Error The monkey in the pod that is launched at the beginning is shown in a full spacesuit except he is not wearing any gloves.
Continuity The scratch on Leo's neck swaps sides and disappears randomly.
Continuity (at around 8 mins) When the chimp is taking off from the ship you see Leo with his hands behind his back. In the next shot you see them at his side.
Continuity (at around 24 mins) When Thade's niece buys their human pet, the bolt on the cage is left out. In the next shot, it's bolted shut again.
Continuity (at around 10 mins) When Leo enters the delta pod he puts on his helmet and it loosely touches the collar of his spacesuit. In the next shots it fits perfectly in the collar.
Continuity (at around 1h 6 mins) As Leo begins to enter the water with Ari on his back, she puts her hands over his face. In the next shot from further across the water, they are by his side. The hands return over his face once they are in the water.
Crew/Equipment Visible (at around 1h 35 mins) During the final battle, studio lights are reflected on Thade's helmet.
Miscellaneous There are numerous apparent plot holes in the story which are explained away in supplementary material (DVD booklet, novelization, etc). This includes the frequently asked question regarding the presence of horses. These remain goofs as far as the casual viewer is concerned, but they are the subject of much heated debate and are not now included in this list.
Miscellaneous How did humans from far and wide hear about "this human who defies the apes"? Leo was hardly noticed by anyone but the group he was with, and a few apes. The apes wouldn't publicize that a human was making fools of them, so how did word of his presence spread??
Miscellaneous After the refugees cross the river, they set up camp and make fires. They are in the middle of the desert and there are no trees as far as the horizon. Where did they get the firewood?
Revealing Mistakes (at around 26 mins) When Leo is holding the branding iron close to Ari's face, the hot part of the iron is obviously painted orange to appear hot, and stays that color way too long.
Revealing Mistakes (at around 1h 40 mins) After the chimp gets into his cage, we see an ape with his makeup incomplete.
Revealing Mistakes (at around 45 mins) As Leo and co. escape the city through the tunnels, they break through some boards covering the tunnel exit. One of the boards has been clearly sawn through and is broken at that point.
Continuity (at around 1h 45 mins) When Leo and Daena kiss at the end, Daena then runs off. But as Leo then gets into his pod, Daena is visible in the crowds again.
In order to star in this film, Tim Roth declined the role of Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001).
Mark Wahlberg joined the film after meeting with Tim Burton for only five minutes. He was so anxious to work with the director that he agreed to play any part. Wahlberg dropped out of the role of Linus in Ocean's Eleven (2001) to do this film. He refused to wear a loincloth like Charlton Heston did in Planet of the Apes (1968) because he did not want to remind audiences of his underwear modeling.
Charlton Heston and Linda Harrison are the only actors to appear in both this film and Planet of the Apes (1968).
Michael Clarke Duncan had sprained his ankle during filming and was forced to go to the hospital in his full gorilla makeup.
One of the things Rick Baker enjoyed doing was making himself up as an ape and scaring people at a drive-in theater showing the original Planet of the Apes (1968)
It was after this movie wrapped that director Tim Burton and leading lady Helena Bonham Carter became romantically involved. Instead of moving in with her in her Hampstead home in London, Burton bought two next-door houses which the couple both share today (2010).
Female chimpanzees weren't going to have eyebrows but they were added after the first results were deemed too unsettling.
Tim Burton himself insisted that this movie was not a "remake", but a "reimagination" of Planet of the Apes (1968); it uses the idea of an ape-inhabited planet from the same source material as the 1968 movie, but ultimately tells a very different story.
Director Tim Burton has been quoted as saying that he has a fear of monkeys. He changed the character of Thade from a White Gorilla to a Chimpanzee for this reason.
(at around 18 mins) Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan) says to Captain Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg), "Take your stinking hands off me, you damn dirty human!" mirroring the original line from George Taylor (Charlton Heston) in Planet of the Apes (1968). "Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"
Tim Burton wanted to give a "Cornelius-like role" to his friend Paul Reubens but neither actor nor character was included in the end.
Ari was first planned as an "ape princess" and the romantic interest, but Fox vetoed any kind of human-ape romance calling it "weird and unnatural". The veto stood, even after Tim Burton offered to make it platonic or just implied.
Gary Oldman was considered for the role of General Thade, which went to his Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990) costar Tim Roth. He would later play Dreyfus in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).
Different versions of this film were in development since 1988. Directors involved in pre-production over the years include Alan Rifkin, Sam Raimi, Oliver Stone, Phillip Noyce, Chuck Russell, Chris Columbus, Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, and Albert Hughes & Allen Hughes. In 1993, Oliver Stone wanted Terry Hayes as writer and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role. James Cameron dropped out in 1997 after the success of Titanic (1997).
The character of Leo Davidson is regarded as a messiah by the primitive humans. Fittingly, his named translates (from a mixture of Latin and Old English) as Lion, Son of David, combining two of Jesus Christ's traditional titles.
This is the second of two films co-written by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal in which David Warner (Senator Sandar) appeared. The first was Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
Planet of the Apes 2001
27 Jul 2001 ● English ● 1 hr 59 mins
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