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Home > Categories > Movies > Sci-Fi > Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes review

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Score: 9.5/10  [1 review]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 9215 - Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Directed by Wes Ball

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by 20th Century Fox

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by 20th Century Fox or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
in cinemas from May 9th 2024

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes product reviews

Many years after the reign of Caesar, young ape Noa 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.

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Review by: tucker (Karl)
Dated: 10th of May, 2024

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 9.5/10
Pay to see it again:
Score 9 out of 10
Attention Span:
Score 9 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Special Effects:
Score 10 out of 10

Rolling onto the big screens with a grand title, it was inevitable that I would end up seeing it on a grand screen, and if you plan to see this movie then watching it on IMAX is a good way to do it.

In 2011, Rupert Wyatt's reboot of the franchise with the prequel "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" marked a pivotal moment in the long-standing legacy of the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, which had traversed various mediums since its inception in the 1960s. This cinematic revival breathed new life into the narrative, reinvigorating it with a modern sensibility while staying true to the essence of the original story.

At the heart of this revitalization was the character of Caesar, portrayed with unparalleled depth and nuance through Andy Serkis's groundbreaking performance capture technology. The journey of Caesar, from his humble beginnings under the care of James Franco's character in the first film to his evolution as a revolutionary leader in a world teetering on the brink of chaos, resonated with audiences on a profound level. Through the sequels "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (2014) and "War for the Planet of the Apes" (2017), expertly helmed by director Matt Reeves, Caesar's arc became the linchpin of a sprawling narrative that explored themes of identity, morality, and the consequences of unchecked ambition.

What set this trilogy apart was its ability to transcend the confines of traditional blockbuster fare. It eschewed simplistic narratives in favor of complex character dynamics and socio-political allegories, inviting viewers to contemplate the nature of power, prejudice, and the precarious balance between civilization and primal instincts. The visual spectacle, bolstered by cutting-edge visual effects, served as a conduit for storytelling rather than a mere spectacle, enhancing the emotional resonance of key moments without overshadowing the narrative's substance.

"Kingdom," the latest installment in this saga, inherits this rich tapestry of themes and character development, albeit with a shift in focus. While the absence of Caesar's commanding presence is keenly felt, the film introduces a new protagonist in Noa, played with conviction by Owen Teague. Noa embodies the spirit of resilience and defiance against oppression, navigating a world fraught with tensions between humans and evolved apes.

Director Ball's vision brings a palpable sense of urgency to the narrative, propelling the story forward with a series of gripping set pieces and thematic explorations. The conflict between Proximus Caesar's faction and the Eagle Clan, now led by Noa, serves as a microcosm of larger societal struggles, touching on themes of leadership, loyalty, and the moral complexities of warfare.

Visually, "Kingdom" is a tour de force, showcasing stunning cinematography that captures the lush landscapes and visceral action sequences with equal finesse. The seamless integration of CGI enhances the believability of the ape characters, grounding them in emotional realism despite their fantastical origins.

However, the film is not without its flaws. The pacing, while generally brisk, falters in certain moments, stretching scenes beyond their narrative impact. This tendency to linger detracts from the overall momentum of the story, undermining the tension and emotional resonance that the film strives to achieve. Additionally, some technical inaccuracies - such as the mishandling of the dam-break scene's fluid dynamics and the suddenly-increasing height of 'sea-level' - detract from the immersion, reminding viewers of the film's artificiality. While these shortcomings are relatively minor in the grand scheme of the narrative, they are noticeable enough to warrant mention.

Despite these criticisms, "Kingdom" remains a worthy addition to the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, continuing the tradition of thought-provoking storytelling and compelling character arcs. It challenges audiences to confront uncomfortable truths about human nature while offering glimpses of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

Overall, in an era dominated by sprawling cinematic universes and formulaic blockbusters, "Kingdom" stands as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling that dares to ask difficult questions and explore complex themes. It may not reach the lofty heights set by its predecessors, but it serves as a solid continuation of a narrative tapestry that continues to captivate and inspire audiences worldwide. The movie tried to be a cinematic epic, but only got it half-right.

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