Yes Hollywood has remade another classic, this time it is the 1967 Planet of the Apes, and rather than remaking it director Tim Burton has “re-imagined” the original. What is the result? The sort of wild ride that Tim Burton does so well, if you like Tim Burton movies, or want a bit of monkeys running around type fun go see it.

The movie has huge plot holes, admittedly, but I found that within each scene there was a kind of internal dream logic that made it acceptable. Burton seems more interested in images and showing everything that he thinks should be in his movie and wont traditional story narrative get in his way.

The special effects are spectacular, but you wouldn’t expect less from a movie of this budget. Despite that I am getting really sick of the over use of wirework these days. There are a few scenes in Apes, particularly near the end where it works, but most of the time it looks like someone being swung by a wire.

Danny Elfman’s score to the movie is one of his standard backgrounds, though the opening title is a little catchy. He uses a lot of drums, not surprisingly. Danny was a lot of fun as front man of Oingo Boingo, and has done some great soundtracks like Beetlejuice, but most of his work is nothing special. The best bits in the music were those inspired by the great Jerry Goldsmith score for the original film.

The sets are impressive and gave a much better feel of a city than the sets in Burton’s Batman (1989), which just looked like one street over and over again.

More monkeys from Rick Baker - Tim Burton & Lisa Marie

The costumes are pretty good and Rick Bakers make-up is quite amazing (it is better than the original movie). Tim Roth in particular has a new face that conveys his character well and is flexible enough to allow him to act through it. Rick has been doing monkeys and werewolves most of his career, which includes Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan (1984) and King Kong (1976). The only distraction I found was that most of the actors in makeup seemed to have lisps, but then we are talking about talking monkeys so accuracy is going to be debatable

The 1963 book by Pierre Boulle had a twist in the tale. The story was told as a message in a bottle found floating in space. It turns out that the couple that found the bottle were apes who dismissed the idea of a planet run by humans as nonsense. When Michael Wilson and Rod Serling adapted the book in 1967 for Franklin J Schaffner, they gave it and even slicker twist, so it will come as no surprise that when William Broyles Jr, Lawrence Konner and Mark D Rosenthal adapted this version they thought it traditional to throw the twist in. Please don’t let it disturb you that it makes no sense, I don’t think it is supposed to.

Out of five I would give the film three bananas, and I’m glad I saw it.

With the DVD release of the film 20th Century Fox have given it the deluxe edition with two discs and a Dolby Digital and DTS soundtrack. With a slew of behind the scenes and commentaries you will learn more about making this film than you could imagine. Both the Burton and Elfman commentaries are good and add insight into the development of the film and the creation of the score.