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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024) - Evolution Continues

Rating: ★★★½(3.5/5 Stars)

Released 05-08-2024

Watched 05-11-2024

Reviewed 05-13-2024

Watched in the theater Using Cinemark Movie Club

"Are you familiar with the concept of evolution? In their time, humans were capable of many great things. They could fly, like eagles fly. They could speak across oceans."

"Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" (2024), directed by Wes Ball, is a visually stunning addition to the Planet of the Apes reboot franchise. As the fourth installment and a standalone sequel to "War for the Planet of the Apes" (2017), this film is set 300 years after its predecessor, exploring the evolving dynamics between apes and humans in a dystopian future.

The story follows Noa, a young chimpanzee portrayed by Owen Teague, who embarks on a perilous journey alongside Mae, a human woman played by Freya Allan. Their mission is to rescue Noa's abducted clan and to uncover secrets that could determine the future of both species. The plot, though ambitious, sometimes struggles to balance its many elements, leading to occasional pacing issues. However, the central themes of survival, coexistence, and the quest for power remain compelling throughout.

The film’s visuals are a highlight, with impressive CGI bringing the apes to life in a way that is both realistic and emotionally resonant. The post-apocalyptic landscapes are beautifully rendered, creating a haunting yet captivating backdrop for the story. Owen Teague delivers a strong performance as Noa, capturing the character’s determination and vulnerability. Freya Allan’s Mae adds depth to the narrative, though her character’s motivations could have been more fully explored.

Kevin Durand’s portrayal of Proximus Caesar, the film’s primary antagonist, adds a layer of menace, though his character sometimes feels one-dimensional. Peter Macon as Raka, the wise orangutan, provides a grounding presence, offering wisdom and guidance to Noa.

Despite its strengths, "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" does face some challenges. The narrative occasionally feels overstuffed, and the film's attempt to delve into complex themes can lead to a disjointed storyline. Moreover, the premise of intelligent apes versus feral humans, while initially unique, now feels somewhat repetitive within the franchise.

In conclusion, "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" is a visually impressive and entertaining film that continues the saga with a mix of action and introspection. While it may not reach the heights of its predecessors, it offers a satisfying experience for fans of the series.

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