Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Review

Cast: Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Dichen Lachman, William H. Macy, Owen Teague, Lydia Peckham, Peter Macon

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Director: Wes Ball

In Cinemas: 10th May 2024


Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes – A Futuristic Tale of Primates Roaming Vast Wilderness

The latest instalment in the Planet of the Apes saga delves into the backstory of Proximus Caesar, the enigmatic leader of the apes. As the narrative unfolds, it becomes clear that this prequel may mark the conclusion of the series, signalling a need for the franchise to embrace new directions. In this film, we’re not just watching, we’re transported to a world where apes reign supreme, navigating through untamed terrain teeming with both danger and intrigue. The lush environments serve as the backdrop for the apes’ struggle for dominance, adding depth to their complex relationships and motivations. Rather than relying solely on the spectacle of a cinematic jungle, the narrative delves into the psyche of its characters, offering insights into their desires and fears. Through compelling storytelling and nuanced performances, the film doesn’t just show us; it immerses us in a world where the line between humanity and animality blurs. As we witness the rise of Proximus Caesar and the evolution of ape society, we’re not just observing; we’re part of the story, reminded of the timeless themes of power, loyalty, and the quest for identity. Yet, amidst the action and drama, there’s a palpable sense that the franchise is ready to evolve beyond its origins, exploring new avenues of storytelling and thematic depth.

Following four ambitious and triumphant instalments, the reboot-prequel narrative of the Planet of the Apes franchise finds itself on the cusp of convergence with the seminal moment when Charlton Heston and his comrades crash-landed in the original film’s timeline in the year 3978. This juncture marks the inception of the saga back in 1968. While the possibility of yet another prequel episode remains contingent upon the success of this latest endeavor, one might hope for a closure. The film does not lack in vigour or style; however, its narrative has become entangled in convolution and contrivance, resulting in a peculiar sense of anticlimax as the shadow of the original movie looms large. Every plot development must align meticulously with the established chronology, tethered to the impending ape domination depicted in the original. Thus, the narrative demands the presence of “good” apes for audience sympathy, juxtaposed against “bad” apes to rationalise the forthcoming ape hegemony.


Similarly, “good” humans must coexist to facilitate relatable interactions with the “good” apes. Yet, they must also exhibit conflicting or hostile behaviour to perpetuate the inherent animosity between apes and humans. Moreover, the storyline necessitates many details concerning observatories and radio telescopes that persist in functionality, adding to the intricacy of the narrative landscape.


The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes presents a captivating narrative, albeit drawing inspiration from The Lion King. Nevertheless, it serves as a poignant reminder of the unparalleled brilliance of the original film, crafted as a satirical exploration of power dynamics by Pierre Boulle, who also penned The Bridge on the River Kwai, a tale of ironic enslavement. Set “many generations” after Caesar’s reign, the resilient but enlightened leader inadvertently brought to life during a human anti-dementia drug trial, humanity has regressed to a primitive state. In contrast, apes are under the rule of the cruel and deranged Proximus Caesar, governing a chaotic coastal encampment near an enigmatic human vault believed to hold the key to ultimate power. Amidst this turmoil, the gentle Eagle Clan, devoted to eagle training, suffers the loss of their leader at the hands of Proximus and his forces. Noa, the leader’s spirited son, embarks on a quest for justice, aided by the wise ape Raka, encountering Mae, a secretive human with her agenda, and Trevathan, a cynical sage akin to Raka. The narrative culminates in a showdown with Proximus, a less compelling figure than Caesar’s, leading to a somewhat convoluted and fantastical climax. Nonetheless, the film offers engaging action sequences and impressive CGI ape renderings. While the franchise has endured admirably, it beckons for innovation and fresh storytelling.


In conclusion, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” delivers a captivating tale that honours its predecessors and hints at the potential for future innovation. It’s a fitting conclusion to a saga that has captured audiences’ imaginations for generations while also paving the way for new adventures yet to come.

Overall: 6.5/10

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