Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

I vaguely remember watching the original Planet of the Apes on television when I was a young kid. I never really understood the movies and never watched the many sequels that came out after it. When the movies came back in 2011, I enjoyed what I saw and wanted to see where the story was going. The “Caesar” trilogy was fantastic and gave us an incredible look at the evolution of this character and how he wanted what was good for his people. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes starts with the end of Caesar’s life and then flashes forward to generations later.

Noa (played by Owen Teague) in 20th Century Studios’ KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2024 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The time jump is an interesting choice as now there are many new characters that we are unfamiliar with. We are introduced to the Eagle Clan, which is a tribe of apes that have trained eagles to do tasks for them. We learn in the beginning that the apes have to get an egg and take care of it until it hatches. We see Noa, Anaya, and Soona, played respectively by Owen Teague, Travis Jeffery, and Lydia Peckham, performing this task and this is how we are introduced to the new crew that will carry on this franchise. 

Caesar has become something of a legend in this era and we see that his meaning has been twisted by a certain clan of apes. The notion of something that what was once a good has become a catalyst for evil parallels how certain religions use their scriptures in a way that has nothing to do with their original meaning. Yes, the religious angle is a bit deep but that is what came to mind when we first meet Proximus Caesar, played by Kevin Durand. 

The movie is stunning to see and the apes look amazing. The technology has come a long way and it is easy to get lost in this world that has been created by Wes Ball. There are moments in the film that the score is reminiscent of the original movies from the 1960s. The scene where the humans are rounded up is a great homage to the original movie but also helps prepare you for what will come next. The goal for Proximus is to get all of the knowledge of the humans to take over the world and rule everything.

Final Thoughts: While the “Caesar” trilogy gave us a compelling story and evolution of Caesar, “Kingdom” gives us a fresh starting point for those unfamiliar with the series. “Kingdom” is set generations after War of the Planet of the Apes and we are introduced to the character named Noa. The theme of legacy hovers over the movie and we see how it can be twisted and maligned from the original meaning. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is cinematically beautiful to look at and is an interesting beginning to a new series.

Kid-Friendly: The movie has some strong themes about legacy, friendship, and family that are good for kids to see. At 2 hours 25 minutes, the movie might not keep the attention of younger viewers. The slow pace of the story might be geared toward older kids 15 and up.

Violence: There is a lot of animal-on-animal violence in the movie. Realism tends to blur with the quick movements because everything is computer-animated. If your family has seen some of the previous movies in this series they will be familiar with the action in this one.

An all-new action-adventure spectacle, 20th Century Studios’ “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” opens exclusively in theaters nationwide May 10, 2024. 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. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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