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Movie Review – Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Review by the Scribbling Geek

Superb special effects and great performances make Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes a story you will want to sink into.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Review: 6 thumbs-up and 1 thumbs-down
Snappy Movie Review | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Synopsis

Many generations after Caesar’s death, the apes have established different clans but have yet to achieve any degree of technological expertise. While out seeking an eagle egg for his coming-of-age ceremony, young Noa (Owen Teague) of the Eagle Clan unwittingly leads the warriors of the despotic Proximus back to his village, resulting in his entire clan being enslaved. Noa’s quest to free his clan then results in him meeting Nova (Freya Allan), a mysterious young woman with a mission of her own.

Snappy Review

To me, one of the biggest accomplishments of the newer Planet of the Apes movies is how believable they are.

I mean, let’s be honest. While the older movies are nowadays regarded as cult classics, they were never free of a certain … outrageousness? (For the lack of a better description) The premise and twists befit classic sci-fi storytelling tropes but in today’s more sophisticated world, I’m sure you know what I mean when I say all could come across as being excessively far-fetched. Maybe even comical.

The revival trilogy helmed by Andy Serkis was likely aware of this, and so while the premise of simians taking over the world was retained, a lot of effort was spent explaining the phenomenon; the introduction of the Simian Flu, and all. In a grand continuation of the tradition, Wes Ball’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes likewise presents a simian society that’s just slightly more evolved than when we last saw them. A scattered race that’s still millennia away from the advanced civilisation in the Charles Heston classic.

I think this is a brilliant decision, one that immediately draws you into the tale with its believability. Top-notch visual effects, acting, and exemplary dialogues add sparkling magic to the story but what really anchors your attention is how the Apes are shown going through the exact process that humans went through. A process that most of us are familiar with in one way or another.

These furry ones have a long climb up the ladder of evolution; it’s not an instant leap to a technologically accomplished society. Before they even achieve medieval sophistication, they must confront social fractures, war, and bloodshed. Meanwhile, homo sapiens lurk in the shadows, not quite as brainless as the Apes thought they have long been …

It’s a story that’s really easy, really attractive to sink into. You believe and you quickly forget how outrageous everything actually is.

For viewers keen on action, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is not short of that, with loads of thrilling confrontations and a finale that’s, to me, one of the most glorious moments of the entire franchise. You know, the sort of YES moment that makes me want to stand up and clap.

The lead characters of Noa and Nova aren’t as well-crafted as I hoped for them to be—Noa doesn’t quite deliver the impression of the classic reluctant hero he is supposed to be. On the other hand, Kevin Durand’s egomaniacal Proximus absolutely steals the show whenever he appears. This is especially so during a scene where he “explains” his vision to the wary Noa.

Repeat, it’s an attractive story made doubly appealing by great performances, special effects, and writing. The story also ends on an equivocal note, one that lays the groundwork for great tragedies and upheavals in the future.

I keenly look forward to joining the Apes in their next adventure in evolution.

Watch the trailer here.

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