Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes proves to be a powerful and compassionate franchise

by Gordon Shelly

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is a remarkable addition to the iconic franchise, skillfully helmed by director Wes Ball. Set in the aftermath of “War of the Planet of the Apes,” the film delves deep into the complexities of power and leadership and the struggle for dominance. Freya Allan delivers a captivating performance as Mae, a young human caught in the midst of this tumultuous conflict, while Owen Teague shines as the young ape Noa, navigating the treacherous waters of ape society under the rule of Proximus Caesar, portrayed with chilling intensity by Kevin Durand.

Building upon the legacy of the original Caesar, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” explores the consequences of his reign and the rise of Proximus Caesar, whose ambitions threaten to tear apart the fragile peace between humans and apes. The narrative masterfully weaves together themes of betrayal, redemption, and the inherent flaws of power, offering a thought-provoking commentary on the nature of civilization and its inherent fragility.

One of the film’s greatest strengths lies in its stellar cast, both live-action and motion capture alike. Freya Allan brings depth and vulnerability to her portrayal of Mae, while Owen Teague delivers a nuanced performance as the conflicted young ape Noa. The motion capture performances, led by Kevin Durand as Proximus Caesar, are nothing short of extraordinary, imbuing the ape characters with a remarkable level of emotion and humanity.

Visually stunning and technically impressive, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” showcases amazing CGI that brings its vibrant world to life. From sweeping landscapes to intense action sequences, every frame is meticulously crafted, serving a purpose beyond mere spectacle. The action sequences, in particular, are exhilarating yet purposeful, driving the narrative forward and adding depth to the characters and their struggles.

In a landscape oversaturated with sequels and reboots, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” stands out as a shining example of cinematic excellence. With its gripping storyline, stellar performances, and breathtaking visuals, the film not only honors the legacy of the franchise but also elevates it to new heights. In a market dominated by recycled ideas and uninspired sequels, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is a true standout, reminding audiences of the power of storytelling and the enduring relevance of the Apes franchise.

Gordo’s Grade: A