Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon and William H. Macy

Director: Wes Ball

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review. (Photo Credit – IMDb)

What’s Good: The film’s visual effects are top-notch, and even when we have seen all of it before, seeing the CGI apes in all their glory doesn’t get old.

What’s Bad: It is a long movie, and for some, recent movies have been too long for their taste.

Loo Break: The film’s first act has a couple of spaces where you can escape to the bathroom, but it is not recommended.

Watch or Not?: It is crazy to say that the tenth film in such a long-running franchise is a must-watch, but in this case, it is only logical, thanks to its quality.

Language: English (with subtitles).

Available On: In Theaters

Runtime: 145 Minutes.

User Rating:

Since 1968, the Apes franchise has been present in the minds of audiences worldwide. Unlike many other franchises, the Apes franchise has been lucky enough to attract several very talented people to make these new movies a reality. It seems crazy, but it is a fact that since Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the new Apes films have been constant in their quality, and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is no exception to what seems like a tradition at this point.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review. (Photo Credit – IMDb)

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review: Script Analysis

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is written by Josh Friedman, who, at this moment, is having one hell of a career. Friedman got his big break writing Steven Spielberg’s version of War of the Worlds, and now he is not only working very closely with James Cameron in the Avatar sequels, but he is also part of the writing team for the new version of The Fantastic Four at Marvel. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes proves that Friedman can be a high-value commodity for studios now, thanks to a script that feels classic and fresh in its content.

The film takes place 300 years after the events of War of the Planet of the Apes, where we saw Caesar’s final adventure in the franchise, and yet, the legacy of the Ape, played by Andy Serkis, continues to be very much present in the world where the story takes place. This time, Caesar is being name-dropped in the same way many humans today drop the name of Jesus, and Friedman uses these similarities to explore very human themes through the apes and the ways that they are getting closer and closer to being just the new humans.

Friedman fills the story with many discussions, events, and characters, but the film always feels manageable regarding the number of things it tries to do. The film feels quite simple and straightforward for most of it until the third act, where things go wild, making the franchise’s future quite enjoyable to explore. The characters are also very well-defined, thanks to how the script places them in situations, and everything flows well.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes might not be the deepest of blockbusters, but it is definitely above average when it comes to delivering a solid story, fun revelations, emotion, and also a bit of comedy here and there, but never too much as to lose the sense of gravitas that has accompanied this new reboot franchise since Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It is unclear if the movie will be the start of a new trilogy, but I wouldn’t be mad if it ends up being precisely that.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review: Star Performance

Andy Serkis dominated the previous trilogy of films thanks to his outstanding performance as Caesar, but Caesar is no more, and so Wes Ball has found a worthy substitute in Owen Teague, a young actor who has been appearing in many TV shows and movies for the last five years, and who finally receives a leading role in this movie. Of course, we never see his face on screen, but for those who know his face, it is straightforward to see him behind the CGI makeup, which is quite impressive, proving that his performance really comes through.

Teague serves the movie right by creating the character of Noa, a young ape learning about the world beyond his village, and he is accompanied by another young talent, Freya Allan, better known as Cyril, in The Witcher TV series for Netflix. Allan has been struggling in The Witcher, but she shines here, portraying a complex and nuanced character. Durand and Macon also shine in minor but consequential roles that fit entirely inside the Apes canon.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review. (Photo Credit – IMDb)

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review: Direction, Music

Wes Ball makes Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes his breakthrough film, which is coming from someone who already had several successes, as he also directed the original Maze Runner trilogy, which is being remade for some reason. Ball proves with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes that he can create the right tone and pace for his films and is proficient at visualizing fantastic action sequences. The film feels like a step up for the director, who will now jump into the Zelda live-action for Nintendo.

Ball might not have at the moment a style that feels like his own, as he is definitely tapping into the Matt Reeves’ style that defined the previous trilogy, but the film’s pacing is so good that the lack of style becomes an afterthought. Events come and go at a perfect pace, and even for such a long movie, it never feels like there is a slow moment. Ball also brings John Paesano, a composer with whom he collaborated in the Maze Runner trilogy, to the music department, and the result is a score that feels powerful and emotional and elevates the climax of the movie.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review: The Last Word

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes proves that the franchise is alive and well and maintains the fact that the Apes franchise distinguishes itself from other blockbusters by being severe enough so that the concept of Apes conquering the planet never feels corny or out of place, you definitely feel like this is real, and that the characters even if they are not like us, have real emotions and motivations. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes feels like a new start, and if Ball or the studio can keep delivering films of this quality, then I’ll be happy to watch them all.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Trailer

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes released on May 10, 2024.

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