Why Tim Burton’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ Isn’t Nearly as Bad As You’ve Heard
People love Planet of the Apes. They love the 1968 original with Charlton Heston. They dig the reboot trilogy starring Andy Serkis as mo-cap ape leader Caesar. They even enjoy a lot of the sequels in between, like the disturbing Beneath the Planet of the Apes and the allegorical Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
But they don’t like Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes so much. Critics weren’t kind (“Intellectually, it’s science fiction for junior high school boys,” said Roger Ebert in a very typical review) and despite major hype and a massive marketing campaign, it was just the tenth highest-grossing film of 2001, behind films like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Shrek. Burton's film ended on a cliffhanger meant to tease a sequel that never materialized, and when the whole franchise was rebooted from scratch in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it fell even deeper into obscurity.
According to ScreenCrush’s Ryan Arey, though, Burton’s Apes is better than its reputation, up to and including that controversial ending, which played off the famous conclusion of the original film from 1968. In this video essay, Ryan explains why you should take another look at Burton’s Planet of the Apes, or try it for the first time if the negative buzz has kept you away.
Do you think the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes is underrated? Let us know in the comments. Plus, we’ve got lots more ScreenCrush videos and video essays coming in the future. In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe to the ScreenCrush YouTube channel to catch all our future episodes. And you can watch more of ScreenCrush’s videos below!