Is Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Worth Watching? [Movie Review]

The Planet of the Apes is one of the most resilient franchises in movie history. Getting its start in 1968, and coming off what is probably the most lucrative trilogy in the franchise's history, can Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes carve a new path forward for the property? In the next four years, they can attract new audiences as the franchise approaches its 60th anniversary in 2028.
Yesterday, we watched the premiere of Wes Ball’s The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, and “Kingdom” definitely feels like a great first step in that direction.

Now, I personally have not been following the “Caesar Trilogy” of Planet of the Apes, despite the fact that I have heard many good things about it. Maybe I just didn't want to commit to yet another film franchise and fan fatigue is real. But when the invitation came in to attend this premiere. I thought, hey, why not give it a shot? It's a fresh start, a new story, and I could see if I would like this, as much as I liked the 1974 series.

But with the new cast of characters and a brand new environment to explore in the Apes Universe, Kingdom of Plants of the Apes brings the fresh approach to a franchise that has already been reinvented without needing to reboot the series. A new story arc carries on in the same timeline, very similar to how comic books can reboot, whenever a new writer takes over on a title.
In this installment, we find ourselves meeting up with Noa, our young main character on his journey from becoming what is essentially a boy ape into a man ape. It's a thrilling adventure as much as it is a coming-of-age tale.

Without any spoilers, we see a lot of recognizable themes make sense in human stories. Except this time, he's an ape and he's animated. Substitute the ape for a human and you actually end up with a story and imagery that's very, very familiar. As a result, the plot is easy to follow along with, but not without gravity.
And therein lies, the beauty of The Planet of the Apes of these as a whole: Your ability to find yourself on either side of the equation: Gorilla. Orangutan. Chimpanzee. Echo. Human.

The story carries on many, many generations after Cesar, the main character from the previous movie trilogy, has long passed away. An entirely different world now exists, inhabited primarily by Apes, with only legends of humans and the civilization that once was.

The landscape is lush and green. Eagles have made their nests in what used to be skyscrapers and buildings. As we make our way through the landscape, you can't help but identify the different objects that are so normal for us today, now presented as intelligible artifacts from a time that once was.

As Noa moves through this world, he unravels the truth of what happened all those years ago. The truth about his ancestors, and how the message of Ceasar may have gotten lost and twisted over the ages. Ironically, this happens through the mirror of human nature corrupting beautiful ideals. Ironic, because they aren't humans at all.

The visuals in this picture are stunning. There are moments when you cannot tell if you are looking at computer graphics or monkeys flailing around in incredibly beautifully rendered trees and waters of rivers, streams, and beaches. The line between CGI and live-action is not blurred here — it's non-existent.

Coming out of the picture. I think the biggest win of Kingdom of the planet of the Apes. That I would like to watch more. Now, whether that means watching the previous Caesar Trilogy on Disney+, or in what is neatly set up to be sequels in the Kingdom trilogy? Much like evolution itself, only time will tell.

However, if you're interested in joining in on the ride, there is probably not a better jumping on point then right now The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is in theaters starting today and it's the viewing that you will not regret. - Kayo Cosio

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