Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review


    Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes movie poster

    Moving the action several generations after the events of the War for the Planet of the Apes, Wes Ball (The Maze Runner) takes over directing duties and delivers another enthralling apes adventure–albeit one that doesn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations set by the previous three films, one of the best trilogies of all time. 

    Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a beautiful, mesmerizing, and overly long action-drama that follows Noa (Owen Teague), prince of a cowardly ape clan that is captured and turned into slaves under the rule of Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand). Noa is joined by human Mae (Freya Allan), proof that in an evolutionary apocalypse genetics can indeed give you an upper hand.

    Visually, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is another stunning success. Between the backdrops of long-abandoned cities overtaken by nature and the photo-realistic apes, the visual effects are not only top notch but make everything you’re watching credible, even believable. The visuals set the foundation for another strong entry in this new Apes series.

    Well written and expertly crafted, Kingdom is another absorbing take on an alternative future with an exciting story at its center. Featuring none of the characters from the previous three, including lead protagonist Caesar, the movie does a fine job resetting, though it takes a while for Ball to establish his lead characters. This, combined with some efforts to inject some serious drama into the action, leads to some stretches that don’t quite fire on all cylinders.

    But when it does fire, it fires with serious heat. The movie boasts several strong action scenes, introduces an intimidating villain, and offers some impressive set pieces. Ball and screenwriter Josh Friedman take the story in a few unexpected directions as well, especially as it relates to the humans. It doesn’t all fully work–while I liked Allan, her character feels a little out of place given how far into the future the story has moved–and I’m still not quite sure what to make of the final scene, though it sets things up for a compelling sequel.

    The one serious issue I had was with the eagles; Ball and Friedman needed to spend just a minute or two early on establishing why the Eagle Clan was the Eagle Clan, as eagles come into play at a pivotal moment–and frankly make that moment feel cheesy and underwhelming. It’s not the end of the world, but the eagles are one of the sillier elements of the movie.

    Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has more flaws than at least the last two movies combined, but a) those two incredible movies are hard to beat; and b) given that this new movie is essentially the beginning of a new trilogy/series, it deserves some leeway. Flaws aside, the movie has the look, feel, and action of another great sequel, one that more than deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.

    Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

    Originally Posted Here

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