This review is part of a series of reviews Journey to the Planet of the Apes to prepare for the newest installment.
You can find all the reviews here.
Following a lot of movie franchises Planet of the Apes is the best part of the franchise and what came after never reached the hights of the original.
The movie is about an astronaut Taylor (Charlton Heston) who crashlands on a mysterious planet where Apes dominate humans. To the apes’s surprise Taylor can speak, something no human has done before. The appearace of the astronauts causes strong discussion about the treatment of humans and the beliefs of the ape society.
When it says Sci-Fi, they mean Sci-Fi
This movie is not just categorized as science fiction because there are spaceships in it, no, this is real sci-fi, using technology to reflect about human nature.
Firstly the role-reversal allows for a reflection that Greenpeace has to dig the hell out of. Putting humans into the animal-camp and letting them endure sterilisation and other fun things like human hunting.
Surprisingly provocative (and this is not the only movie in the series that does this) is the stand against fundamentalism. When Taylor presents the idea that he comes from a world where apes are stupid and men dominate them he is confronted with hatred – is it not told in the ancient scrolls that god created ape out of his own image?
The progressive ape-scientists are faced with the conflict that their religion might be a wrong and that the people in power deliberately destroy evidence to maintain their power – seeing as intelligent design is still a topic of discussion in America the message is still important and has not aged at all.
The twist of Planet of the Apes is one of the most well known in movie history, ranking with Darth Vader’s identity or Norman Bates’s personality (yes that was a big twist but it is so well known it is no longer known as a surprise).
If you miraculously have never heard of what happens at the end (maybe you are lucky) then stop right now, get to a dvd store and pay that 5 euro for the DVD. Don’t look at the cover when you get it or you will know, best ask a friend to get it or ask the shopkeeper to remove the cover and just give you the DVD.
If I had one movie experience I would like to see as an uninitiated movie goer I would chose this – yes, probably even over “No, I am your father”. The last six minutes are striking and iconic even if you know what is going to happen, but oh my god, I would love to see this, completely unprepared and just be awestruck of the last image, when everything makes sense and a cold shiver runs down your spine.
Stay tuned for more Apes!