Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

May 10, 202460/1004 min
Freya Allan, Dichen Bachmann, William h. Macy, Owen Teague
Written by
Josh Freeman (written by), Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (based on characters created by)
Directed by
Wes Bell
Run Time
2h 25min
Release Date
May 10th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Planet of the Apes has been a part of our lives for over 60 years. From Charlton Heston defiantly addressing an ape to the captivating reboot of the series spanning from 2011 to 2017, apes have left an indelible mark on film. In my opinion, it stands as one of the better film series, with only one notable misstep—the 2001 reboot attempt. So, whenever news of more apes emerges, my anticipation for its quality immediately ignites. With a new film on the big screen, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes does not disappoint; rather, it intensifies excitement for a future filled with those damn dirty apes.

Set three centuries after Caesar and the events of War for the Planet of the Apes, we encounter Noa (Owen Teague) and his two friends on a mission to find eagle eggs, an integral rite of passage within their clan’s traditions. Following a mishap, Noa inadvertently leads another group of apes to his village, resulting in the massacre or enslavement of its inhabitants, with Noa left for dead. However, he survives and embarks on a journey to track down the war party and reunite with his clan. Along the way, he encounters Raka (Peter Macon), a wise old orangutan, claiming to be the last of Caesar’s teachings. Raka, along with a human woman named Mae (Freya Allan), joins Noa on his quest. Although reunited with his clan, Noa realizes that their current circumstances are far from ideal.

Kingdom, penned by Josh Friedman, brims with ideas, complemented by stunning visuals akin to its predecessors. However, it falls short in evoking the emotional resonance characteristic of the previous trilogy, particularly in its somewhat lackluster conclusion.

Despite its emotional shortcomings, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes offers a entertaining viewing experience. While it may not match the strength of its predecessors, it stands as a commendable film. Building on fresh characters and a coming-of-age adventure, Kingdom takes steps in the right direction. Teague shines as Noa, delivering a remarkable performance that draws viewers into his journey. While surpassing the achievements of the Caesar series was always going to be a daunting task, Kingdom manages to deliver an enjoyable entry into this tremendous series of films. In my view, this franchise remains one of the best, and despite its flaws, Kingdom proves that the Apes are still a force to be reckoned with in the jungles of Hollywood.

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