‘Kingdom of The Planet of The Apes’ Review: An Impressive 4/5 Stars

After four ambitious and successful films, the reboot-prequel franchise of ‘Planet of the Apes’ appears to be nearing its conclusion, drawing closer to the moment when Charlton Heston and his crew famously crash-landed in the original movie in the year 3978. It’s the point where everything began back in 1968. However, if ‘Kingdom of The Planet of The Apes’ proves to be a hit, there’s always the possibility of yet another prequel being squeezed in, though personally, I’m not too keen on that idea.

It’s not that this film lacks energy or style – far from it – but the plot feels convoluted and contrived, with a strangely anticlimactic tone, all because of the looming presence of the original movie. Everything that unfolds needs to align with what we already know is coming. We need “good” apes to root for, alongside “bad” apes to set the stage for the impending ape domination.

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Kingdom of The Planet of The Apes Review
Image Courtesy: IMDb

There also needs to be a balance of “good” humans for the audience to relate to, while also displaying “bad” tendencies to maintain the inherent conflict between apes and humans. And let’s not forget the obligatory inclusion of observatories and radio telescopes that somehow remain operational.

Despite its reliance on borrowed storylines and concepts from ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ isn’t half bad. However, it serves as a stark reminder that nothing quite compares to the original film, a powerful satire on authority crafted by Pierre Boulle, who also penned the source material for The Bridge on the River Kwai, exploring a similarly ironic reversal of power dynamics.

Kingdom of The Planet of The Apes Review
Image Courtesy: IMDb

In this latest chapter, we find ourselves “many generations” after the reign of Caesar, the enlightened ape leader inadvertently created by humans during a drug trial. Now, humans have regressed to a primitive state, while apes are under the rule of the cruel and deranged Proximus Caesar. Proximus presides over a chaotic coastal settlement near what seems to be an abandoned human stronghold, which he believes holds the key to ultimate power – if only he could unlock it.

Amidst this turmoil, a peaceful ape colony, the Eagle Clan, reveres the art of training eagles. Their leader falls victim to Proximus’ brutality, prompting the leader’s son, Noa, to embark on a quest for justice. Along the way, he forms an unlikely alliance with a human named Mae, whose motives are shrouded in secrecy. Together with the guidance of a wise old ape and a cynical human companion, they confront Proximus in a climactic showdown.

While the film’s conclusion may feel somewhat chaotic and far-fetched, it’s not without its moments of thrilling action, enhanced by impressive CGI ape effects. Despite its longevity, it’s high time for this franchise to evolve into something fresh and innovative.