Long story short, I really didn’t enjoy “Planet of the Apes.”
I saw the remake on the theater way back in 2001, and while I had fun making fun of it (and nearly got myself kicked out of said theater), I never really felt the need to go back.
But I did. I’m not entirely sorry I watched the original, but this is a film that is so familiar, it almost feels unnecessary to watch it.
There is good potential here, and like all good science-fiction films (and TV shows), “Planet of the Apes” takes the fears of the day and paints a picture of the worst-case scenario. The problem here is that while the message still largely holds up (we are quite capable of destroying everything we are), there is no suspense to this story.
Everybody knows how it ends; the big reveal has long since passed into the pop culture collective unconscious, and while movies aren’t always about the ending, when the journey itself is not that exciting (and at times very heavy handed), it’s hard to get invested in the story.
Like the original “King Kong,” I really would have liked to have seen this when it came out, before it was a massive hit and all the secrets were revealed.
Pop culture backlash really bites.
“Planet of the Apes” (1968)
Written by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring: Charlton Heston (Taylor)
Roddy McDowall (Cornelius)
Kim Hunter (Zira)