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Kingdom of Apes Review: A Spectacle Lacking Fresh Elements

0 11-05-2024
Alex Romanenko 94
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes movie review highlighting visual effects

In the latest instalment, "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes," viewers are treated to an action-packed spectacle but are left wanting more in terms of character development and screenplay depth. This Kingdom of Apes review highlights how the film, while visually impressive, falls short of bringing anything new to the beloved franchise.

Familiar Territory with New Faces

Following the success of the rebooted series that began in 2011 with "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," the new movie introduces Noa, a young ape played by Owen Teague, who is unaware of his ancestor Caesar’s legacy. Set generations after Caesar’s death, Noa's village, a peaceful wooded enclave with treehouses, becomes the target of marauding apes led by the power-hungry Proximus Caesar.

Despite the film's impressive use of motion-capture technology, this Kingdom of Apes review underscores a significant lack of fresh storytelling. Noa's journey, though filled with action, mirrors the typical hero’s journey without adding substantial novelty to the franchise.

Impressive CGI, Lackluster Storytelling

Wes Ball, known for the Maze Runner trilogy, directs this new chapter, leveraging advanced CGI to create lifelike ape characters. The action scenes, particularly the village attack, showcase Ball's skill in orchestrating kinetic sequences. However, as this Kingdom of Apes review notes, the screenplay doesn’t match the visual spectacle.

The film attempts to draw parallels with contemporary authoritarian trends through Proximus Caesar’s dictatorial regime, but the narrative remains flat, failing to offer a compelling analogy. The virus that enhanced ape intelligence now renders humans less intelligent, adding an ironic twist, yet this element alone doesn’t elevate the storyline.

Characters and Themes

Noa’s interactions with a wise orangutan, Raka, and a human survivor, Mae, played by Freya Allan, explore themes of trust and coexistence between apes and humans. However, these characters lack depth, and their dialogues, despite being in complete sentences, lack engaging substance. As highlighted in this Kingdom of Apes review, the film’s ending teases a sequel, promising a more intriguing conflict ahead, but leaves the current narrative underwhelming.

Rehashed Plotlines and Missed Opportunities

The Kingdom of Apes review also brings attention to the film's reliance on familiar plotlines from previous instalments. The climactic scenes, set in an abandoned weapons depot, bear a striking resemblance to "War for the Planet of the Apes" (2017). This repetition of themes and settings, such as the ruthless leader holding apes prisoner, underscores a missed opportunity to explore new narrative avenues.

Proximus Caesar, the film’s antagonist, attempts to adopt Caesar’s mottos but twists them to serve his authoritarian agenda. This characterization, while visually striking with his rusted face mask and crown, lacks the nuanced complexity that made previous villains in the series memorable. As noted in this Kingdom of Apes review, the film’s portrayal of Proximus fails to deliver a fresh or compelling villainous presence.

Potential for Future Installments

Despite its shortcomings, the film hints at potential for future instalments. The teased sequel suggests a new conflict that could inject the much-needed innovation and depth into the franchise. Fans are left with a sense of anticipation, hoping that the next chapter will build on the visual strengths of this instalment while addressing the narrative and character development gaps identified in this Kingdom of Apes review.

The introduction of Mae, a human character who retains her intelligence amidst a world of diminished human cognitive abilities, adds a layer of intrigue. Her presence raises questions about the future of human-ape relations and whether coexistence is truly possible. This element, if developed further, could offer a rich vein of storytelling for future films.

Final Thoughts: A Mixed Bag

In wrapping up this Kingdom of Apes review, it’s clear that "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" is a mixed bag. The film excels in delivering high-octane action and visually stunning scenes, thanks to advanced motion-capture technology. However, it falls short in providing a fresh and engaging narrative, relying too heavily on familiar tropes and underdeveloped characters.

For fans of the franchise, the film offers a nostalgic return to the world of intelligent apes and their complex dynamics. Yet, for those seeking a groundbreaking addition to the series, this Kingdom of Apes review acknowledges that the latest instalment may not fully satisfy. As the franchise looks to the future, there is hope that upcoming sequels will build on this foundation with more innovative and compelling storytelling.

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Alex Romanenko

Quebec, Canada

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