Review: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes


Title: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
MPA Rating: PG-13
Director: Wes Ball
Starring: Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand
Runtime: 2 hrs 25 mins

What It Is: 300 years have passed since we last visited the Planet of the Apes, and while Caesar is long since gone, his influence is felt across all Apes. While some try to continue the teachings of Caesar, others have turned his teachings into a lust for greed and power. A young ape named Noa (Owen Teague) travels across the planet to question everything he’s been taught and must make choices even he doesn’t understand to define the future both human and apes alike.

What We Think: The Planet of the Apes series has been arguably the most consistent franchise we have, with one truly forgettable stinker in there (sorry, Burton fans.) Kingdom continues the tradition, and while it may not be as epic as the previous two installments, it surely delivers some tremendous world building. Director Wes Ball takes his time in building this “new” world for the apes, and while the pacing may not be completely stout, it certainly isn’t a problem when we’re getting a new cast of apes and humans to enjoy.

Owen Teague is tremendous as the young Noa, bringing a good sense of confusion and determination as he questions everything around him. Kevin Durand has the time of his life as the villain Proximus Caesar, as he makes the most of what he’s given and truly is one of the more memorable villains of this franchise. On the human side, Freya Allan does a great job expressing her fear and survival as Nova. Her wide eyed baby blues are more than enough to convey what the character is both thinking and acting, a true testament to a great performance.

And of course, you can’t discuss this film without talking about the amazing visual effects. Erik Winquist and the team at Weta have to be hiding the Apes somewhere, because this is the best they have ever looked on-screen. The “Avatar-level” comparisons don’t sell enough how tremendous the effects are, truly bringing us into this world.

Our Grade: A-, It’s not a perfect entry but it doesn’t need to be. Wes Ball continues the consistency this franchise has held since 1968, and in doing so adds another great entry to the franchise. What’s here is a solid breakdown of religion and how it can be perverted for selfish gain, wrapped around a great world set up for many more entries in this saga. Next up for Wes Ball is the live-action Legend Of Zelda feature. If he brings half of what he brought to his entry in the Apes franchise, we will be looking at the greatest video game adaptation ever made.

Related Posts