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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024) Review

Review by Jan Mangion

A new ape is in town!

Another Planet of the Apes movie may have not been something I or perhaps anyone necessarily needed, especially with how successfully things ended seven years ago in Matt Reeve’s War for the Planet of the Apes, but after seeing what Wes Ball has just come up with, we are locked in with what’s to come next in the franchise. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set 300 years after Caesar’s demise. Noa, a young chimp embarks on a journey where his decisions along the way will determine the future of the remaining apes and humans. 

Let’s get the negative points out of the way first. This movie has a first-in-a-planned trilogy vibe as it lacks the scale and emotion of the previous three movies. There are a few scenes where the pacing stutters stretching its fairly hefty runtime a bit as a result. For a few scenes I found myself zoning out of the movie – which isn’t a good thing. Thankfully, this only happened briefly in the second act but the film found its pace for the rest of its runtime. 

Ball takes his time to develop his story by directing each scene with caution and without rushing to the end zone. It may drag in some areas, but each scene is necessary to showcase what Noa’s journey is all about. It does what a sequel should do by respecting the previous protagonist’s legacy (Caesar) with each ape having a different perspective of the legendary figure. However, the film is its own thing with a new storyline and characters. Ultimately, this is a solid entry into this already successful franchise. 

Every character excels here, especially this movie’s antagonist Proximus Caesar, and Noa the protagonist of this new yet inevitable trilogy. His development is very straightforward making him easy to root for whilst Proximus’s presence is threatening despite taking a long time to show up. Owen Teague and Kevin Durand lead the line of the cast’s brilliant motion capture performances respectively. 

Visually, this is an arresting movie and its CGI gives The Way of Water a run for its money. The apes feel very much alive with their motion capture and the visuals show off its decaying world-building breathtakingly whilst maintaining the dark and gritty tone of Andy Serkis’ trilogy. It’s worth watching on the big screen for just that, and those who want to be immersed in another dimension will not be disappointed. 

Caesar may be gone, but Noa can assure us that we have another journey to get on board with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. While lacking behind Dawn and War, this is another decent installment in a strong franchise four movies in and counting. 

Final score: ✰✰✰ 1/2