This file was generated 2002-06-09 04:23 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2001-07-28.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> January 2001 >> Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes is a terrific movie both as an entertainment and as a though-provoking debate on the nature of man. At the one end of the spectrum, it has action sequences which are both entirely believable and entirely appropriate to the plot. At the other end, there are courtroom scenes where a belligerent human tries and fails to demonstrate that he deserves the respect of the apes. Across the board, there are exciting displays of filmmaking technique. The photography of the action scenes in particular is exquisite.
I was constantly thinking of how I would have behaved as Taylor, assuming my mental state had not been significantly altered by my captivity. The story neatly sidesteps the often thorny language issue, but he never does anything to establish himself as anything but ornery that he isn't getting his way. Heck, couldn't he have at least backed up his claim of flight with a quick explanation of Bernoulli's Principle? I chuckled when Taylor insisted on being armed and I remembered that he was being played by Charlton Heston. If anything, I read the movie as a condemnation of violence, and Taylor as a less-than-heroic figure. I'm horrified that any civilization would send him as an ambassador to the future. My best guess is that the people in charge of the mission selected him knowing that they'd never see him again in their lifetimes. Regardless, his missteps are instructive.