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'Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes' Review: The apes franchise is going nowhere

BY ELLIOT LINES MAY 9, 2024
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

First hitting our screens as far back as 1968, the Planet of the Apes franchise, with a resurgence in the previous decade, is a blockbuster story that stands the test of time. The fourth instalment in the most recent reboot of the franchise, directed by Wes Ball, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes proves that the apes are still able to give us a blockbuster experience in the post Caesar era.


SYNOPSIS

Many years after the reign of Caesar, a young ape goes on a journey that will lead him to question everything he's been taught about the past and make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike.



REVIEW

The most recent apes films (Dawn, Rise and War) have always been praised for quality in the imagery. Going into Kingdom the big worry was whether they could continue this same quality going forward, it's safe to say they have, and this may just be the best looking film yet in the franchise. From the beginning to end you see every single detail of these characters, like every single strand of hair, and unlike films outside the franchise, the talking apes never feel un-natural. There is a bit of a difference between this and the previous films, and that is the lack of humans, we spend the majority of the movie with the apes and at no point do you feel like this isn't a real world.


Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes feels lived in. The incorporation of the human world is key; cities, shopping malls, train tracks, are all under the cover of nature, providing a perfect world for the apes to thrive. And throughout the journey we get to see just how far they have come over the many generations. Each and every set piece is meticulously designed to not only look like a desolated human world, but to look quite stunning in its appearance.


Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

The story does enough to keep you interested, however it's nothing we haven't seen before. Driven by revenge for his family, Noa (Owen Teague) attempts to track them down and save his family from a dictator leader. It's fairly simple on the surface, but keeps moving at a decent pace to push the film along, and even with the runtime sitting at 145 minutes, it never feels like it's a drag. The most intriguing parts were the ways in which the ape groups took Caesars ideologies and interpreted them in different ways. This idea is relatable in our world today, but also shows just how cultures that follow the same ideas can take them to totally different extremes. This idea of conflict of religions set up for some decent action scenes that are carefully placed in amongst the story.


For fans of the original, Planet of the Apes (1968), there are nods to said original that enhance this world even further. However, these are not key to the story, just a few Easter eggs to enjoy for fans of the franchise in its entirety.


This continuation of the franchise proves that the apes franchise is going nowhere. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes provides us with a stunning lived in world that expands on what has come before it. How this movie was made for $160 million is beyond belief, where the story-line may be a little basic, it sure makes up for it by how beautiful this looks.


STAR RATING

Rating When Evil Lurks

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is out now in cinemas



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