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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Film Review

This summer season hasn't really seen any movies with deep thematical themes (except for Dune 2, which I needed Google, a friend, and five books to understand the themes). If The Fall Guy is the season's first fun blockbuster, then Kingdom is the summer's first thought provoking, theme heavy, well made movie. So the summer season which started off so well with The Fall Guy, continues even stronger with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Movies together, strong.

The Story

It's nothing crazy plot wise, even a few of the previous entries have the same "Ape on a Journey" feel to them, but it's a plot that holds you for the entire movie. Avenge my family. Solve racism. Apes together strong. The formula works for a reason, and the real selling point is seeing an Ape that doesn't rely on brute strength or charisma like Caesar did in the previous films, he relies on....climbing. And as silly as that sounds, it's what his tribe is all about, and the way he uses it to fight and solve problems is awesome. And the movie really does a great job exploring the legacy of Caesar, and legacies themselves. It shows how stories can changes over generations, and how evil men (or apes) can twist those stories to serve their own end. The story is the strongest part of the movie, and worth seeing it for that alone.

The Humans

I've been saying it for years. Transformers. Godzilla. King Kong. Planet of the Apes. NO ONE is interested in the human stories of those movies. The last Godzilla movie is a prime example, every scene with a human in it was terrible and a waste of time. At least the Planet of the Apes franchise casts good humans, like Gary Oldman or Woody Harrelson, but this movie fully embraces the Ape and that's one of it's biggest strengths. The humans in this movie can't talk, which is great, and without spoiling too much they go away from that towards the end of the movie and go right back to full talking humans, which was not needed. Give me a complete devolved humans storyline. The more the humans talked at the end the less I cared about it. Freya Allan is great and she kills the role, but it's a role that didn't really need to happen. I feel like these studios get worried the movie won't be relatable if there isn't some human stakes in it, but they need to realize I am here for the APES TOGETHER STRONG and not the "Ah my hard drive!" Let the humans go.

The Visuals

The current run of Apes movies has always had great visuals, but this was the greatest entry to date. The sprawling dystopian apocalypse is a wonder to behold, with wonderfully rendered backdrops. The contrast between the Eagles Tribes home and Proximus' home is well done too, invoking the feeling/theme of nature vs. civilization that the movie so perfectly plays out. I'll always be amazed at how well the apes look too, motion capture has come so far since the first movie of the modern Apes series, and it was already awesome back then.


With a strong story, themes, and visuals, the latest addition to the Apes franchise proves the series has a lot more to give.

Score: 8/10

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