Planet of the Apes (2001)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1/2

In the year 2029, Captain Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) leaves the safety of his space station to rescue a chimpanzee test pilot lost in space. An electromagnetic pulse hurls him into the future where his ship crashes on an unidentified planet. Davidson quickly realizes that, on this planet, apes rule and humans are slaves. His only hope for survival is Ari (Helena Bonham Carter), an ape sympathetic towards humans. With Ari and a rag-tag group of humans, Davidson heads for the planet’s forbidden lands, where the secret of the apes’ origin on the planet lies. And a decisive battle between humans and apes looms. Fans of the original may enjoy the comic relief provided by references to the 1968 classic and a slightly more than cameo appearance by its star, Charlton Heston. But throw the updated special effects aside, and this film is not as intriguing the second time around. A faint attempt to copy the drama of Heston’s discovery of the Statue of Liberty in ruins, as depicted in the orignal film, falls short.

The MPAA cites sequences of action/violence as the reason for the film’s PG-13 rating and violence is the most prominent aspect of PLANET OF THE APES. As soon as Captain Davidson crash lands, the film shows humans handled roughly by apes - everything from punches, kicks, and stabs, to even a branding with a cattle prod. The climactic battle scenes include many violent acts, though few would be considered overly graphic by most moviegoers. A couple of references are made wrongly implying that Darwin's theory of evolution is scientific fact. Apes are shown praying to their ape-god, which is acceptable in this type of film, although no reference is made to the Christian God. While no obscenities are heard, there are a few regular and exclamatory profanities and crude comments scattered throughout the dialogue. Although limited, some viewers may take exception to suggested sexual acts by ape characters. A positive, and politically correct, message supporting humane treatment of animals is depicted through the character of Ari and her support of human rights. However, the frequency of moderate violence seems excessive, even for teens and adults, and along with misleading references to evolution, mar this otherwise decent and entertaining film.

Preview Reviewer: John Barber
20th Century Fox, 10201 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times – All Mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular 3 (J); Exclamatory 1 (OG)

Violence: Many times - Moderate (Apes round up humans roughly, multiple hits; human branded by ape; ape stabs others; explosion kills and wounds numerous apes; apes and humans battle)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near nudity - Few times (woman in skimpy tunic)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (foreplay between apes)

Drugs: None

Other: Apes pray to ape god; humans treated as pets; references made about evolutionary process

Running Time: 119 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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