Apes Together Make Worthy Sequel: Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Review 

May 21, 2024

By Marc Peoples

Planet of the Apes is a long-running franchise that spans over half a century.

Ever since Charlton Heston crashed on a strange, but familiar planet dominated by apes in the original film back in 1968, the apes have dominated Hollywood in every medium.

In 2024, we’ve been graced with a 10th installment in the film series. Kingdom takes place many generations after the events of the last film. We follow a new protagonist named Noa, a chimpanzee who begins a journey and reluctantly allies with Raka, a wise orangutan, and a human, named Mae to save his family and clan from the ambitious king, Proximus Caesar. 

Now, let’s be honest we were all cautiously optimistic about this one. The last three films are considered nothing short of greatness. Caesar’s story ended on a very high note. Can a fourth film in this rebooted series be better or as good as the first three? Well, it’s not better, but it’s a good film… actually, it’s terrific. 

“… the most beautiful Planet of the Apes movie ever …”

They are starting with the look. Cinematographer Gyula Pados has made the most beautiful Planet of the Apes movie ever by blending CGI with on-set locations. The film has a lot of beautiful landscape shots of abandoned buildings covered in plant life and rusted ships sitting on beaches. If you freeze certain scenes at the right moment, they can be background images for your computer. The hair and facial expressions of the apes have never looked any better. The studio continues to use Wētā FX’s state-of-the-art technology and motion capture to bring these apes to life. The CG is very comparable to James Cameron’s Avatar movies

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Owen Teague plays the franchise’s new protagonist Noa. Compared with Caesar, he is not as tough, but he is clever, and you do feel for him when he makes hard decisions. Freya Allen who we geeks might recognize as Ciri from Netflix’s The Witcher, plays Mae a human who has her own agenda.

“… this one might be one of his best performances …”

One of the brighter performances comes from Peter Macon’s portrayal of Raka, a wise orangutan who is an educator of Caesar’s teachings and the film’s comic relief. Another standout is Kevin Durand as Proximus Caesar. Durand has played villains in many films, but this one might be one of his best performances. Proximus was a worthy antagonist who manipulated Caesar’s words to make himself a king and had an understandable motivation behind his goal. William H. Macy makes a surprising appearance as an opportunistic human who sides with Proximus. 

The only few criticisms are the pacing. The film’s running time is close to two and a half hours and it does have some slow scenes. Overall, this is one of the best films of the year, closely behind Dune Part Two in my opinion.

“… must be seen on the big screen …”

The ending leaves it open for more films and there are many possibilities of how the story may continue. This is a worthy sequel and must be seen on the big screen.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Marc Peoples

Marc Peoples is a writer, film, and game enthusiast with a full range of electronic or digital games experience, who lives on the West Coast in Los Angeles, CA.

He graduated with honors from the Los Angeles Film School (LAFS), where he studied film and screenwriting. www.linkedin.comwww.instagram.com

Photo Credit: 1) thenerdsofcolor.com 2-4) youtube.com

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