Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024)

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024)

2024 PG-13 145 Minutes

Action | Science Fiction | Adventure

Several generations in the future following Caesar's reign, apes are now the dominant species and live harmoniously while humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape...

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • ScreenZealots


    7 / 10
    I didn’t expect much from “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” director Wes Ball‘s standalone sequel to 2017’s “War of the Planet of the Apes,” and I was pleasantly surprised by this sci-fi spectacle. While the film definitely has some issues with pacing and storytelling, it’s better than most of the entries in the rebooted canon. Dark and intense, it is exciting and entertaining enough to please even the pickiest fans of the “Planet of the Apes” film series as well as genre heads who can’t get enough big screen science fiction / action stories.

    Set 300 years after the events of “War,” the story follows a young chimpanzee named Noa (voice of Owen Teague), who embarks on an adventure with a feral human (Freya Allan) to discover what the future holds for each of their species. To reveal more plot would spoil some of the best surprises (and aspects) of the movie, so I will leave it at that. I will say that the story’s payoff is a good one, and it’s worth sticking it out through the slower points in the film to get to the action-paced and narratively rich final third.

    The first thirty minutes are so brutal that I thought this was a clunker from the get-go (glad I was wrong), with a drawn out storyline about cliff climbing, egg stealing, and eagle raising, which apparently are the only topics the characters feel like discussing — repeatedly. Even worse is the breathless, delayed conversation style of the apes. I understand that these are primates who are speaking English, but the draggy dialogue and voice performances make an already sluggish film seem even slower. Once the story picks up, the film finally gains its much needed momentum and doesn’t let up.

    Lacking big name Hollywood superstars, Ball lets his cast take the back seat while allowing the visual effects and technical prowess to take center stage. The work here is fantastic and nearly flawless (save for a few minor background animations here and there), and the apes look, move, and feel real. Ball has created a truly immersive experience for audiences, and it’s visually impressive.

    Something even better is that fans of the original “Planet of the Apes” classics from the late 1960s and 1970s will appreciate the nods to those films, including the iconic field of scarecrows, a finale set on a beach, and imagery of apes hunting humans that still makes your skin crawl. It may not be as shocking as it was decades ago, but it’s updated in a way that feels fresh and new for the younger generation.

    The story is quite dark and intense, and there’s enough violence to earn the film its hard PG-13 rating. This could prove to be too scary for smaller kids, so parents should be aware. The stakes are extraordinarily high for the characters, although the narrative is on the simpler side. The script kept me guessing and engaged, with just enough twists to offer up a few satisfying surprises.

    “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is a testament to the enduring appeal of the beloved franchise, offering a simple yet captivating story that not only pays homage to its predecessors, but extends a fresh, updated, and reimagined take for a new generation.

    By: Louisa Moore / SCREEN ZEALOTS