Guilty Pleasures: Planet of the Apes (2001)
By Felix Quinonez Jr.
December 27, 2012
Let’s face it, whether we’re talking about movies, music, books or whatever, we all think we have great taste. Because we only see things from our own perspectives, we usually use our personal tastes as a way to judge quality.
But even so, we all have our guilty pleasures. I’m talking about that song you stop humming when someone walks into the room. Or maybe it’s that movie you claim your significant other dragged you to. Whatever the case, we all have guilty pleasures and that includes me, of course. With this column, I’m going to try to encourage people to stop being embarrassed for liking things they normally wouldn’t or that aren’t considered cool. I’m going to do this by celebrating movies that are my personal guilty pleasures.
It’s always hard to predict audience reaction. Sometimes even when it seems all of the right pieces are there, the movie doesn’t catch on. But it takes a special kind of movie to inspire the kind of vitriol reserved for the Planet of the Apes remake, directed by Tim Burton. On paper it seemed like a perfect pairing but in this case the parts did not add up to a satisfying whole. Even its 45% rating at Rotten Tomatoes does not adequately portray how much people dislike this movie. Planet of the Apes was so vehemently disliked that to this day it still generates animosity. This movie got such a negative reaction that the fact that it actually made money was not enough to get its intended sequel green lit. Director Tim Burton actually said that he’d rather jump out of a window than make a sequel. So basically, people hated this movie…but not me. I actually always loved this movie and still do. The only thing that gets me mad is that I never got to see the sequel that would have explained that crazy cliffhanger ending…which wasn’t supposed to makes sense! It would have been explained in the sequel.
I should point out that even though most people were excited for Tim Burton’s take on the sci-fi classic - it was a major tentpole that summer - I was probably even more so. Although I had never seen the old TV shows, I grew up watching the old movies. Every New Year’s Day there used to be a marathon on TV and I would always watch it. Because of this, these apes have a special place in my heart and I also happen to be a pretty big Burton fan, so this seemed to be especially made for me. Needless to say, I was ready to embrace this movie and having recently seen it again, I still love it.
The year is 2029 and The United States Air Force is doing space missions. On a space station is Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg), who works with the primates used on these missions. Unfortunately, there wouldn’t be much of a movie if something didn’t go wrong, so a mysterious electromagnetic storm begins approaching the station and a small pod containing Leo’s favorite chimp disappears in the storm. Of course, Leo does pretty much what you’d expect a movie character to do: he charges into said storm blindly.