robinson curueso on mars is fantastic, for the first twenty minutes. all the stuff on the spaceship is as funny and cool as darkstar. the ship is claustrophobic and there’s no gravity. the relationship between the two astronauts — cmdr. christopher ‘kit’ draper and col. dan mcready — is tender. and there’s a monkey on-board who also wears a spacesuit. unfortunately, once they crash on the planet, which kills col.dan mcready, the movie gets a little slow.
but here’s my big problem with the movie: the monkey that is in 75% of the movie doesn’t even get credited as an actor. that monkey saved the last half of the movie. and the first half of the movie, she was stuck in a spacesuit she obviously hated. and she was super funny. and the monkey was the one that found water on mars, not the human with his
equipment and science. in fact, the monkey shows itself, time and again, to be much better at survival in an unknown and harsh environment. draper just sits around all day, getting high on oxygen tanks, waiting to get rescued and trying to blow up the part of his ship that is still in orbit. the monkey finds a source of food and water.
we humans never give anything else credit.
so i was browsing through some of the so-called online movie database and i found that almost no primates are credited anywhere. can you believe it? these are serious actors playing important roles in wonderful movies and i can’t even find out their names?
case in point:
have you ever seen any of those mvp/mxp movies? they all star this one chimp who excels at different sports — hockey, skateboarding, snowboarding. this is a tough role for a chimp. he’s essentially playing a human child. he wears clothes, sleeps in a bunk-bed, makes scrap books and drinks soda. and he’s great.
here’s a real review of his performance in mxp2 i found online (you can tell it wasn’t written by me because of all the capital letters):
This movie was hilarious. It is definitely a movie for teens. I am not joking when I say that this monkey walks, talks, and acts like a human. Plus he throws his balls at unsuspecting victims. You will fall over laughing, especially if you are under the influence. The jokes in this movie are not funny at all, but this monkey acts like he is constantly on crack, and he always jitters and shakes. Plus you can tell that every time he is snowboarding that someone pushed him down the mountain and he is trying to stop, but he can’t. In one scene you can see the guys hand pushing him off of a jump. It was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen. Go see this movie… no, wait, go buy this movie! It will be worth it!
(i agree with everything except the part about this movie being for teens; this movie is for anyone with a sense of humor.)
continuing my case in point:
obviously this monkey is a talented actor with a wide range and multiple starring roles, but i can’t even find his name; the cast list doesn’t mention him or the four other primates in the movie (there’s this side plot in the movie about how mxp’s primate family ends up on vacation in hawaii but it rains the whole time there). in other words, these chimps aren’t even considered actors.
here’s what i don’t understand: how is it possible to not consider all animals who act in movies actors?
when will we humans ever get over ourselves?