Planet of the Apes: The Empire Cut

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Brief Synopsis:
The main changes were to remove weak lines, several unnecessary scenes and subplots, political references, comedic relief, and cliched moments such as villains acting too slowly. The physics of flying humans was improved, several side characters reduced, and main characters made a little less cliched, especially Thade. Scenes were tightened to improve pace.
The 2001 reboot of Planet of the Apes received mixed reviews. After watching the film for the first time earlier this year, I thought it was an enjoyable film, but with some flaws. I felt that the film could be made more enjoyable by removing some of these weaker, B-movie elements. The tone and pace of the film also needed fixing.
Release Information
Cuts and Additions:
Change list:
*Cut one of Anne’s lines early on the ship
*Cut video message that Leo receives
*Cut “every transmission in human history” as a result of the storm
*Cut the date changing as a result of Leo’s ship passing through the storm. This keeps the reveal later, that the ship is thousands of years old, as more of a surprise.
*Cut "Never send a monkey to do a man's job"
*Throughout the film, humans (and 1 ape) fly through the air when hit by apes. I have tried to eliminate every instance of this, with the characters landing much more quickly when struck.
*The first line of the film, spoken by General Thade (“This one looked at me”), is cut. Instead, the first line of the film is now spoken by Colonel Attar: “Take your stinkin' hands off me, you damn dirty human!”, which is symbolic as it is a call-back to first line spoken by Taylor following his capture in the original film.
*The romance between Leo & Ari is toned down, whilst the romance between Leo & Daena is mostly cut, as is the love triangle subplot.
*Mentions of free speech, welfare state and diversity are cut. The whole idea is that the Ape leadership don't see the humans as another equal species but rather simply as animals below them – just as humans today see apes. So, a welfare state for what the apes view as animals makes no sense. This seems like an attempt to insert modern politics into the film, and doesn’t fit.
*Cut “he’s feisty” reference to Leo.
*Cut additional shots of side characters that slowed the pace of scenes (Limbo, Daena, the kid, Gunnar)
*General Thade's random snarling and aggression is cut throughout the film. Some of his aggression makes sense, but other times it seems triggered by nothing. Later on, Thade's over-reactions when receiving news of the humans passing through the Ape outpost, and when trapped in the ship, are kept but reduced.
*Leo threatening Ari with a poker whilst asking for help is cut. It doesn't make much sense to threaten the ape that is about to release you from your cage. Instead, Leo grabs Ari when she comes near and asks for help, and she obliges. There is no threat of the poker.
*Cut General Thade asking for a towel after looking for Leo’s soul.
*The two Gorillas alerting Thade of the crashed ship, Thade killing them, Leo & Daena seeing their drowned bodies, and then mentioning it to the rest of the group, are all cut. This subplot seemed unnecessary and never went anywhere.
*When Leo and his group escape, they pass teenage apes listening to rock music, a female ape performing some kind of...ritual, and an old ape removing his wig and teeth. This is all cut.
*Cut the kid getting hits off on Limbo before being captured (outside the city)
*Following his capture by Leo’s group, Limbo the Slaver is largely cut, including his one-liners and comedy relief.
*Cut “are you sure they’re afraid of the water”
*Cut the entire scene where Attar’s army returns to Ape City and Thade goes crazy and breaks some stuff. Only the very end of that scene is kept, showing the Ape army marching out of the city, is kept.
*Cut “Go where?” from Daena after Leo wants the humans to go home.
*Ari & Krull’s fake defection from the humans to General Thade is cut. It was pretty obvious to both the viewer and the antagonist that this was not genuine. It seems the betrayal was motivated by Ari being jealous of romance between Leo & Daena, which I cut, and so this had to be cut as well. Besides, why would General Thade allow the daughter of a senator and a skilled ape fighter back into the army of the humans? Why not detain them, or kill them right there and then? Additionally, all later mentions of Ari’s marked hand are cut.
*The character of Birn (Daena’s younger brother) is almost entirely cut. His main appearance is when he falls off his horse and Leo has to rescue him. Which was pretty much his sole purpose in the original film.
*The rocket engine turns on more quickly
*The apes don’t fall to the ground twice after the engine turns on
*Some shots during the battle at Calima are cut to improve the pace.
*Cut Pericles’ hand appearing before his reveal after landing on the planet
*General Thade gets Leo’s gun more quickly, instead of both of them waiting around.
*General Thade fires the gun much more quickly. Upon being trapped, he still freaks out but does not appeal to Ari for help, and gives up on firing on the barrier sooner.
*The film ends with Leo greeting Ari and leaving the planet. There is no return to an Ape-controlled Earth. The reason for this is that the original film was supposed to be the first of 2-3 films, meaning that the next film would pick up from the ending of this film. However, since this never happened, it made more sense to me to end the story here with the Apes & Humans resolving their differences, and Leo leaving the planet to return home. Without a follow-up film, the original ending is unnecessary. I will render a version with this scene includes as a post credit scene.

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Wasn't too thrilled about this film when it first came out. Mainly because I am not a real big fan of remakes redos reboots ....whatever. And this was no exception. While I do enjoy Tim Burton films (mainly the Depp titles) this one has too many Burtonisms in it for me. But the selected edits done in this version made me want to sit down and watch it all the way through in one sitting. When generally I watch a few minutes then do something else for a few then come back to what I was watching. This held my interest. So now I look forward to watching other edits done by Heavysyde especially the Dexter titles. Again thanks for the hard work and effort.

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