Planet of the Apes

by Mark Rivers

As the release date for the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes approached, I heard some scuttlebutt about a protest surrounding the original version in the 1960's. It seems that some uppity negroes didn't like the way apes were portrayed in that movie; that it hit them a little too close to home.

This is exactly the case in the updated version of Planet of the Apes. The apes are distinctly negroid in word and action. The little ones run around playing basketball and being obnoxious, the teenaged ones stand around the street corners and drink while loud music plays, the adults fight and jump around screeching, and nearly all of them are completely stupid.

Despite the presence of Jews (co-writer Mark ROSENTHAL), this 2001 version of Planet of the Apes has the distinction of being the only one of Hollywood's recent films that I actually recommend.

Paul Giamatti plays an ape who is a Jew-like slave trader. He treats the humans like filthy animals, but later, when he is cowering at the humans' vengeful wrath, he quips "Can't we all just get along?" It's just the sort of last-resort humility a negro would feign as the noose is slipped around his neck.

As soon as I realized that I loved watching this movie, my suspicions were aroused: why would the Jews allow such a movie to be made? If director Tim Burton's intentions were to show negroes as they really are, he cleverly disguised the fact by playing up a few typically "touchy-feely" scenes, namely:

1) Helena Bonham Carter's character, Ari. She, like Dr. Zera in the original, tries to convince her fellow apes that humans can live among them as equals. A few points of equality and brotherhood are touched upon, but the bottom line shines through; apes are apes, and we humans are better than they are. Also, Ari isn't motivated by science and compassion so much as she is by lust and curiosity.

2) There are negroes living amongst the humans. Get ready, I'm about to spoil part of the ending. Unlike its 1960's predecessor, the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes begins with Leo Davidson (WAHLBERG) on a space station orbiting Saturn. Various apes are used as test pilots for potentially dangerous missions.

When Leo's favorite chimp pal, Pericles, disappears into an electromagnetic storm, Leo charges in after him. He goes through a wormhole and crash lands on a distant planet (NOT Earth). The human/ape switcheroo still happens, but its origin is drastically different.

You see, when Leo crashes, his ship comes to rescue him and also crashes. The difference is, the ship crashes onto the planet in the present. Leo crashes onto the planet several centuries in the future.

When the ship crashes, the crew and monkeys get along fine at first, but then the monkeys revolt and take over. The humans are eventually reduced to the slave class they are in Leo's time. What it amounts to is this: Leo's rescue attempt results in an entire planet becoming populated by oppressive, semi-literate apes, ruling the humans through terror and tyranny (that sounds familiar).

Since the humans in Leo's time are the descendants of his crew-mates, it doesn't make sense that there are negroes among them. Even assuming that there were, say, several hundred people on board, it seems unlikely that a bubble-lipped negro would still exist in the gene pool centuries later. It's more likely that the population would be a slightly tainted Caucasian.

So, they threw a negro into Leo's human defiance party, and he fights side by side with Leo and the rest of the human freedom fighters. Still, they don't elevate the negro beyond that of a secondary role. He is violent and brutish, and in the final battle scene, he is snapped in half by an ape.

The only other negro I saw was an extra in a human crowd scene. There were also an Asian woman and a dot-head man, but they were both subservient "house humans."

3) The tree-sized negro Michael Clark Duncan plays a fervently religious gorilla in the ape army. When General Thade (Tim ROTH), driven by greed and lust for power, goes too far, the noble gorilla changes his tune and realizes that if we all just pray hard enough, we can get along.

So, despite its couple of negro-pacifying moments, this 2001 version of Planet of the Apes is one of the absolute best movies for capturing the true nature of the negroes. It also serves as a bit of a cautionary tale. WARNING: here comes another spoiler...a big one.

At the very end of the movie, Leo gets in a space pod (the one previously occupied by Pericles) and blasts off for Earth. He touches down in Washington, D.C., where he sees the Lincoln Memorial bearing instead the likeness of General Thade. Scores of apes descend upon him, this time driving police cars and flying helicopters.

This ending has not only left room for a couple of sequels (plus a double cheeseburger, a blue whale and the annotated works of Charles Dickens), it makes a grim commentary on the state of our capital, our country and our planet.

Think about it: Abraham Lincoln, for freeing the apes, has now been replaced in memory, holiday and celebration by a descendant of one of those apes. Washington, D.C. is overrun with apes. This is not fiction; this is what is happening RIGHT NOW, and Tim Burton has somehow managed to give us warning, whether it was his intent or not.

We must heed this warning, and act accordingly. Not only should you see this 2001 version of Planet ofthe Apes, you should recommend it to everyone you know, and explain why you think it is such a winner.

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