Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Review

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ is the latest entry in the rebooted franchise which started
out in 2011 with ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’. It brings a new look and feel to the series,
showing a world where apes are the rulers.

20th Century Studios

The movie takes place around three hundred years after the events of ‘War for the Planet of the
Apes’. Humans have been decimated by the effects of a deadly virus known as simian flu, and
in their place, apes have risen to become the dominant species, learning to speak, build, and
use technology. One ape keen to take advantage of this new dominance is Proximus, ruler of an
ape kingdom who wants to gain entry to a human military bunker so he can take the technology
and weapons inside.

The series has left behind its main protagonist Caesar, who died in the last movie, and now
focuses on Noa, a young ape whose tribe is taken into slavery. In many ways, he’s a more
endearing character than Caesar. He’s not a leader or involved in the struggle between ape and
human civilizations, allowing him to be a more relatable character for the audience as he
embarks on a personal journey to save his tribe.

20th Century Studios

In this world, Caesar has now become a legendary figure, remembered for his actions in leading
the apes. His name is held in reverence, and used by Proximus to legitimize his reign, as he
styles himself as Caesar’s successor.

As always, the effects used to bring these creatures to life are excellent and super realistic. This
film adds another challenge for the effects team, as every ape is now capable of speech, and
uses it often, rather than communicating in sign language like they used to do. This gives them
new ways to express their emotions and is used to the full. There are also more characters
here than before, and special mention has to go to Peter Macon for bringing to life one of the
best characters in the series with the good-natured orangutan Raka.

20th Century Studios

Unlike previous entries, there are barely any human characters in this movie besides Nova, the
young woman who’s trying to get hold of important human technology. It’s a shift from previous
movies, but it feels like the right time to make it as the franchise was beginning to feel tired with
‘War’. The earlier stories all featured humans and apes involved in some kind of conflict, but
now that dynamic has changed. Apes are clearly the dominant species, and many humans are
no longer capable of using technology or even speaking. It also allows for a refreshing new look,
as cities have crumbled into ruins, being overgrown with foliage as nature reclaims them.

20th Century Studios

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ manages to do the difficult job of rebooting a franchise while
delivering something that’s actually new and interesting. It takes some direction from the 1968
movie but isn’t a remake, and still keeps the feel of the franchise. Wes Ball brings a new
directing style, too. It’s more real with less stylized action and a natural look that’s rare in movies

In all, it’s a tense, emotional, and satisfying movie which features all of the action and top-tier
effects that this series is known for and asks an interesting question about who Earth actually
belongs to in this new world where apes have the real power and are just as capable of
becoming the dominant species as humans. The ending is left open for future installments that
are already in the works, and it will be exciting to see where they go with this new storyline. It
proves that there’s always more stories that can be told within a fictional world, so long as they
are well-executed and dare to do something different.

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