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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
IMAX
Opening Date
09 May 2024
Rating
To Be Advised
Runtime
-
Language
English 
Genre
Action, Sci-Fi
Director
Wes Ball
Cast
Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon, William H. Macy
Synopsis
Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike.
Reviews
By InCinemas  08 May 2024
A gripping, action-packed film with unexpected twists.
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Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes, directed by Wes Ball, is the latest instalment of the Planet Of The Apes franchise and with a screentime of 145 minutes, is the longest one to-date. Set hundreds of years after the reign of Caesar, a young ape goes on a journey that will lead him to question everything he has been taught about the past and is forced to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans. 
 
The film opens to a world several generations after the events of War Of The Planet Of The Apes (2017), following Caesar’s death. Ape civilizations have emerged, while humans are reduced to living in shadows, having reverted to their primitive and feral nature.
 
Noa, a young ape from the “eagle” clan set out with his two friends, Anaya and Soona, to prove their coming of age. We are treated visually to a spectacular and stunning backdrop of beautiful, lush mountains as Noa and his friends make their perilous climb to hunt for eagle’s eggs to bring home and raise as their own. They cannot take all the eggs from one nest and their must to always leave at least one egg behind for the mother eagle depicts their peaceful nature and respect for the birds. Noa brushes away his fleeting encounter with a young human on their way home, as they are told that humans will not venture beyond the safety of their location.    
 
The tone and pace of the film escalate from here on. Soon upon his return home, Noa’s idyllic world with family and friends is ripped away. The hunting party from a coastal clan of apes sweep through his village seeking a human, causing death and destruction. Noa, defeated and confused is determined to embark on a harrowing journey to bring his people back.    
 
Along the journey, Noa meets Raka, a wise and gentle orangutan who becomes an ally of Noa. Raka understands and shares Caesar’s philosophy that strength comes from a holistic perspective. He believes that humans and apes living side by side is the ultimate goal. Raka then tells Noa the hunting party who destroyed his home and took away his people belongs to the clan where Proximus is the leader who wields Caesar’s legacy as a weapon to rule and dominate in a tyrannical manner.   
 
Noa’s face-to-face meeting with Mae, the feral human is naturally filled with intrigue and distrust. The developing relationship between the two –as Mae’s enigmatic character unfolds very slowly and the things they learn about and from each other, both good and bad – are hugely important to the core story. While Noa is clearly the protagonist experiencing the world for the first time, Mae is more of an enigma which is only revealed in the final minutes of the film.     
 
Proximus stands out as an antagonist in Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes because his fears and motivations are not entirely wrong. He believes in “Apes Together Strong” from a physical perspective of a tyrannical leader and wants a better world for the apes where “we will learn, and I will learn” but tragically, the path he takes ultimately makes him a villain.    
 
Towards the end of the film, Noa has grown from the unsure “kid” to a leader, as he questions all that he has been taught about the past and understands the inevitable complexities of rights and wrongs.

Will Noa help Mae in her cause, save his people and embark on the right path to determine the future for apes and mankind? I highly recommend that you catch the film and share the heartfelt journey with Noa and be transported to the world of apes and humans to find the answers yourself.  
 
Being a big fan of the previous three Planet of the Apes instalments – Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) – I was very much looking forward to more and was surprised by how much this addition to the franchise blew me away. It's exciting, action-packed, perhaps larger in scope than the previous films, and equally balanced in honest emotion with a gripping storyline and unexpected twists. The film explores themes of power, loyalty as well as the consequences of our choices and actions. It retains the signature elements that fans love, with a fresh perspective and pushes the boundaries of the story. 
 
The VFX is astonishing, creating a visually stunning world of lush landscapes with detailed set designs. There's also excellent performances by Owen Teague as Noa, Freya Allan as Mae, Kevin Durand as Proximus, Peter Macon as Raka and the rest of the cast. Teague's Noa is simply amazing, but I must admit I am partial to Dar, Noa’s mother play perfectly by Sara Wiseman especially in her tender emotional moments with her son. The pacing of the film is spot-on, balancing the high action battle sequences with quieter emotional moments which allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in the story.
 
Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes serves as powerful reminder of the impact of our choices in life, the importances of compassion and empathy to make the world a better place. Let us reflect on how we treat others in our society today.
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