Adventure Movies

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes review: ‘wildly exciting’

May 9, 20244 Mins Read

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the latest installment in this impressively resilient film franchise. Yes, six decades after astronaut Charlton Heston’s confounding crash-landing in 1967’s Planet of the Apes (based on the novel by French writer Pierre Boulle), itself spawning four sequels and a TV series, and inspiring both Tim Burton’s disappointing 2001 “re-imagining” and the recent, vastly better blockbuster trilogy, the intelligent apes saga proves it still has legs. 

In story terms, director Wes Ball’s new film is a sequel to that trilogy and takes place “many generations” after the climax of 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes, which saw rebel ape leader Caesar finally expire after leading his simian followers, Moses-like, to their promised land. The new film has a fresh protagonist in chimpanzee Noa (played in a motion-capture performance by Owen Teague), a spirited, naive young member of a peaceful ape clan that rears eagles as companions and hunting aids. Noa knows nothing of Caesar’s existence but when violent and tragic events propel him on an epic journey, he encounters figures for whom Caesar is a vitally important legend.

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