PLANET OF THE APES (2001)
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The film opens up in the year 2029 on a space station orbiting an unknown planet. Onboard the space station is Captain Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) who is one of a dozen or so officers in charge of training chimps to operate space pods.
A mystery cloud of an electromagnetic force approaches them. Wahlberg wants to go investigate it but the captain of the ship orders his chimp to go instead. Reluctantly, Wahlberg straps his chimp in, they give each other the thumbs up signal and off he goes. All of a sudden he is knocked out of sight by the cloud. While the crew is trying to figure out what happened, Wahlberg gets into another pod and heads out after the chimp.
He gets knocked around by the same force and next thing you know, the year on his "dashboard" starts climbing higher and higher until he crashes on the planet they were orbiting. The ship cuts through trees and ends up underwater in a small lake.
Wahlberg swims to safety but as he's getting out of the water, a mob of cavemen-type humans begin running past him, including Estella Warren and her father Kris Kristofferson. They are being chased and gathered up by a band of Apes. They are all chased out of the woods and into a clearing where hundreds more apes are waiting for them with wagons to carry them into town. Just about all of them are captured.
They are then sent to a prison where a slave trader gets them all ready for sale. Paul Giamatti is Limbo, the slave trader. (Who just about steals the show every time he speaks.)
Helena Bonham Carter plays Ari, the animal rights, er, um... human rights activist who protests the poor treatment of the humans. She convinces Limbo to sell Wahlburg and Estella to her.
Ari is also the daughter of the town's senator and Wahlburg overhears a dinner conversation between the Senator and General Thade, (Tim Roth). The General is trying to convince the senator that all humans should be eliminated.
That night, Wahlburg, Estella and a few other imprisoned humans escape (The cheap locks are no match for Wahlburg) but are stopped by Ari. She decides to show them a shortcut out of town through a tunnel. First they get Estella's father who is imprisoned somewhere else in town. Just as they are about to enter the tunnel, the head gorilla, Michael Clark Duncan, spots them but Kris Kristofferson holds them off long enough so the humans can escape but he is eventually killed by General Thade.
The humans, along with Ari and a gorilla friend of hers go to the lake where Wahlberg crash landed. We learn that Apes are scared of water and won't go anywhere near it. Wahlberg dives down and gets his gun and a tracking device and brings them back to the surface. Suddenly, a group of apes, including Limbo, begin attacking them but Wahlberg stops them all with a few shots from his gun. The gorilla with Ari breaks the gun just to make sure that Wahlberg won't use it on them. They take Limbo with them as the tracker tells Wahlburg that another ship is on the planet so they head off to find it.
General Thade tells the Senator that the humans have kidnapped his daughter and he gives Thade permission to eliminate the humans. Thade is called to his father's house as he is near death and wants to speak to Thade. His father is played by Charlton Heston who explains to Thade the story that his father told him that has been passed down through the generations.
The Apes pray to the original ape, Semos, but in reality, Heston explains, the humans came before the apes but their technology got in their way and they destroyed themselves. To prove the technology existed, Heston has Thade break open an ornamental display and inside is a handgun. He tells him that that the humans must be stopped. "Damn them, damn them to hell!" Heston exclaims and he dies.
Wahlberg and his group eventually get to the place where the tracker has led them. What he discovers is a wreckage of an old spacecraft that crashed there thousands of years earlier (according to Ari). Wahlburg looks around and realizes that it's his old space station that he was on in the beginning of the movie. He inserts his tracker into a slot and a small bit of power comes on. He is able to watch a video of the officers explaining that they went out after Wahlberg but instead, crashed on this planet. The trained chimps on board have gone crazy and have actually taken over, killing most of the crew. The chimp leading the revolt is the one named Semos.
Meanwhile, Thade has gathered up the entire army of gorillas and are heading towards the crash site. Most all the humans on the planet have now gathered there as well as they want to see for themselves the human that came out of the sky to save them.
One of the human scouts sees the army of gorillas coming and Wahlburg comes up with a quick plan. He has everyone hide behind the ship and when Thade sends the first wave of soldier in, Wahlburg fires a blast of jet fuel at them, knocking most of them out. The humans then attack and kill most of them as they lay on the ground.
Thade has enough of this and sends the rest of his army after them. A huge battle begins but suddenly, out of the sky comes another space pod and all the fighting stops as it land right in the center of all the action. The pod opens up and there is the original chimp that Wahlberg was training in the beginning of the film. The chimp gives Wahlberg the thumbs up sign.
Wahlberg climbs in the pod and retrieves another gun. He and Thade have a small fight that works its way into the wrecked ship. Inside, Thade gets control of the gun but Wahlberg traps him in the glass control room where Thade goes crazy and ends up whimpering under a control panel.
The Apes and Humans now know the real story of what happened years ago and decide to live together in peace.
Wahlberg can't stay though. He kisses Ari and Estella goodbye, then climbs into his chimp's pod and takes off. He goes through the time warp cloud again and his dashboard clock begins going backwards, back to the time he started in.
THIS IS WHERE IT WILL BE DEBATED AS TO EXACTLY WHEN OR WHERE HE REALLY IS...
His controls tell him he is approaching Earth and points him to Washington DC. On the radio he is told that he is in restricted air space but he tells them he knows but is crash landing. His pod splashes down in the lake in front of the Washington Monument and bounces to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Wahlberg gets out of pod and walks up to the Memorial and is amazed at what he sees...
From a distance it looks like Lincoln sitting there but when he gets closer he realizes that it's a statue of General Thade.
The plaque above says...
IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF APES
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE PLANET
THE MEMORY OF GENERAL THADE
WILL BE ENSHRINED FOREVER
Suddenly, a swarm of police cars, helicopters and news reporters arrive.
They are all Apes.
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