Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, Estella Warren
Special Supporting Role: Charlton Heston
Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: William Broyles Jr., Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
Genre: science fiction
Release Date: July 27, 2001
MPAA Rating: PG-13 - for some sequences of action/violence
Running Time: 100 minutes
Imagine that it is hundreds of years into the future, and you are an astronaut who crashes on a distant planet. Although the planet is strangely Earth-like, you soon discover that it is ruled by intelligent and ruthless simians. This is exactly where Captain Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) finds himself as he is captured along with other humans and carted off to “Ape City” as a common slave.
The story unfolds when Captain Leo escapes with Ari (Helena Bonham Carter), the human-sympathizing daughter of a respected ape senator. This is just what the brutal General Thade (Tim Roth) needs to convince the senate that humans must be exterminated.He is given the authority to lead his entire ape army against the human and ape traitors in a violent clash that ends with a real twist. Will Captain Leo ever return home? Welcome to Planet of the Apes!
Inspired by Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel, Planet of the Apes, director Tim Burton re-imagines the story with incredible make-up, costumes and cinematography. There were only a few occurrences of bad language, and while there was violence, it was neither bloody nor gory. Some of the humans were immodestly dressed, but unlike the 1968 original, there was no nudity. So far, so good, right?
Wrong. The most disturbing attributes of the movie were its anti-Christian overtones and references to evolution as scientific fact. The story reveals that the apes evolved from a small population of test animals into highly intelligent beings capable of a complex society and religion. In the movie, apes believe that they were created in the image of their ape father, Semos. They even give thanks to Semos before meals, asking him to “hasten [his] return” and bring peace. Later in the movie, Ari states that “educated apes” do not believe in Semos. One cannot overlook this striking allusion to the anti-Christian sentiment of our own planet.
I left the movie with mixed emotions. On one hand, I was captivated and inspired by this fantastic ape-world and the talent of Tim Burton. On the other hand, I was saddened that Hollywood is so successful at mocking God and the Bible. In reality, this anti-Christian movie is just a symptom of a deeper problem. It is the by-product of a nation and culture that has rejected its Creator.
Psalm 11:3 states “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Now, more than ever, the church needs to wake up! The acceptance of “millions of years” and “evolution” by the church has ultimately destroyed the foundations of the Gospel message found in the book of Genesis. It’s time that we take God at His Word and expose the lie of evolution. There are answers. The Bible is trustworthy.
I challenge each of you to consider how you can join Answers in Genesis in challenging the church to uphold Biblical authority. If so, perhaps someday our culture will once again turn their hearts toward the Lord. Maybe then we will see high-quality movies that glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and honor His Word.