Planet of the Apes Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Review by Rich Cline | 3/5

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
dir Wes Ball
scr Josh Friedman
prd Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick Jr, Jason Reed, Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa
with Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon, William H Macy, Eka Darville, Sara Wiseman, Travis Jeffery, Lydia Peckham, Neil Sandilands, Karin Konoval, Dichen Lachman
release US/UK 10.May.24
24/US 20th Century 2h25

teague durand macy
See also:
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014 War of the Planet of the Apes 2017

Is it streaming?

noa, mae and raka
Launching a new trilogy "many generations later", this is a much more straightforward style blockbuster, with the usual action beats, contrived plot points and much more simplistic characters and situations. It's still entertaining, in a big-movie kind of way, with its enormous set pieces and twisty interaction. And director Wes Ball makes sure that it looks absolutely stunning, with state-of-the-art performance capture work from a skilled cast.
In a peaceful village where chimps train eagles to hunt, young Noa (Teague) has daddy issues, never living up to the expectations of his father (Sandilands), the community's leader. Then a marauding gang of violent apes torches the village, dragging residents off to be slaves for Proximus (Durand), a tyrant who has twisted the beliefs of ancient leader Caesar. Lone survivor Noa runs to rescue his family, he runs into orangutan Raka (Macon), who teaches him the truth about Caesar's unifying pacifist philosophy. He also meets Mae (Allan), a primitive human who shockingly can speak.
Set in the gorgeously rendered long-overgrown ruins of Los Angeles (there are architectural hints), the story sees Noa and company tracking Proximus' goons to his seaside lair in a rusted-out, beached ship, where another human (Macy) is helping the bonobo Proximus understand humanity and open a huge silo where human weapons have been locked for centuries. Yes, the narrative is obsessed with violence, especially of the power-hungry type, which makes the movie feel dark and weighted.

Aided by the cutting-edge effects, these simian creatures emerge as fully emotive beings, with detailed movements and expressions that make them easy to identify with. Teague gives Noa an especially warm personality that's both curious and bold, building strong connections with the other characters. Despite her carefully distressed designer clothing, Allan keeps Mae intriguing and provocative. Durand and Darville (as Proximus' sadistic silverback general) are properly crazed villains. And Macon steals the show as the wise, chatty Raka.

As a carefully constructed blockbuster, this movie will keep audiences riveted with its visually impressive action and untroubling themes about peace and loyalty. So we don't mind too much when the details of the plot become increasingly preposterous. Or when, in the final act, the story awkwardly shifts to introduce a whole new direction for the saga. It doesn't quite make sense, but if we don't think about that, we might be able to look forward to the next chapter. tt11389872

cert 12 themes, language, violence 8.May.24

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S

send your review to Shadows... Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Laurie T, Minneapolis: "I kept watching because I was waiting for something to happen that would explain what the heck was going on. Never did completely figure it out. It was spectacular - but, gee, what was going on?" (15.May.24)

© 2024 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall