Chimpanzee Ex Machina

Patient: Planet of the Apes

Profile: Update of the 1968 original with better-looking apes, equally wooden protagonist and totally stupid ending. Bitter, psychotic old coot Charlton Heston plays himself. Think Planet of the Apes meets What the Hell? meets Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp meets I Would Totally Do the Ape Chick.

Symptoms: I liked this until the last 15 minutes, when the whole thing fell apart like so much hurled feces. No. 1) humans aren't good enough to touch food, but they're allowed to walk up and straddle the Ape God? “Check it out! That human is dry humping the Almighty! Let's be friends!” And why exactly did the gorilla turn against Thade? Because the general couldn't get out of a sealed room? And—what?—it takes a minute to fly from one distant part of the universe to another? And once he gets there, what's the deal with the statue? And the cops? And why is everything different but looks exactly the same?

Diagnosis: I'll understand the ending the day Mark Wahlberg flies out of my butt.

Prescription: My daughter believes the ending could be fixed if Wahlberg, after promising to show the apes something that'll change their world, produces bananas “and then all the apes start go-go dancing.” She added that it's critical Wahlberg say “bananas” in a “really funny voice.” I say that when the chimpanzee ex machina shows up, he should run over to Wahlberg. Thade, knowing the Monkey God's affection for the human threatens his power, attempts to kill the god. When his troops see that their god is being protected by the human, they kill the general and decide to live in peace, ushering in an era of understanding between man and animal, Pax Gorilla, if you will, by sitting down to a nice veal dinner.

The filmmakers didn't do that, of course, so here's how they get out of their present predicament in the sequel. At the beginning of the sequel, Wahlberg will be standing there all puzzled when one of the apes walks up and says, “I can see you're confused. Let me explain. Here, step into this mobile soundproof room.” They go in for a moment and then Wahlberg emerges, saying, “Well, that explains the color of my ass, but I still don't understand Carson Daly.” Then you pump up the Destiny's Child with Wahlberg saying, “To my big brother, George, the richest man in town!” Then he adds, “Bananas for everyone,” in a really funny voice, and all the apes start go-go dancing.

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