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Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Review - The Ape takeover is a sturdy new direction but the light is still bleak in there

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes finds itself worshipping Ceaser and that is indeed needed, but there is also a lot beyond that which needs to be shown. 

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Review - The Ape takeover is a sturdy new direction but the light is still bleak in there
Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Review

Last Updated: 10.54 AM, May 10, 2024


Generations have passed since our hero Caesar performed his legendary deeds and ascended to Ape-heaven. His clan has taken over the world, eradicating most of the humans and continuing to kill and captivate those still alive. The humans have lost the ability to speak or understand language, while the Apes, on the other hand, have developed good speaking skills and can now speak in complete sentences. Amidst this, a supremacist Ape who twists Caesar’s words to rule and exploit others rises and snatches his world from Noa, the new hero. Noa revolts and takes back his people to become the new Ape with the torch for this franchise.

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Review:

For humans who have only enjoyed these magnificent beasts in captivity, cinema in an exaggerated form has shown us how fascinating their ways of living are. Be it King Kong, Caesar, or even Godzilla for that matter, they have made for characters that are close to humans, but also to the wild, connecting us to them. But the progress of the Ape franchise reminded us that we were once the Apes and that evolution is a process that might play its game again, and they might become the stronger/cleverer species. Enters Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes, a movie set in the far future where humans are wiped off, things that can decompose have decomposed. The skeletons of buildings and structures stand tall but with the forest having taken over them. And the Apes are ruling this world. 


With Wes Ball in the director’s chair and Josh Friedman in charge of writing, Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes comes from characters created by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The idea that not years or decades, but generations have passed and there is no trace of humans left, at least in the open, and we look at how that planet will bloom back if we stop to exist, is partly fascinating and also dystopian for our species. The movie opens with an explanation of how Caesar is no longer your Ape Hero who could fight the most dangerous armed forces in the West; he is now the Ape who made it possible for the others to take over. He is a revered legend now, he is a borderline God, and people can run cults in his name.

And Wes with Josh takes this very direction. With Apes learning the way of life, and trying to crack the code to evolve faster, some communities of them have progressed, while some are slow in the race. Noa, one who comes from the Eagle clan still doesn't know who Caesar is or how the world was. For him, humans are nothing more than a myth because as we look at dinosaurs and dragons, he and his clan look at humans. Maybe he will find our fossils one day and put them up for exhibition (it's that level of fascination). 

But the other side of the world has declared Caesar as the God, the first supreme leader. While some among them live to his words without tweaking them, one evil has been misusing Caesar's ideology to become an oppressor (Well, the current climate is no different except we are still humans). The idea that even in the next evolution the strong will exploit the weak is haunting on so many levels.

Wes takes this idea and creates a story around it where a young Ape, who is about to become a hero is learning about the world that was and where humans and apes were trying to co-exist. Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes is very exciting in this part because even you are looking at your world without you and your likes. The makers take it slow as to help you register every corner and details, the story parallely moves forward. A plan is hatched so the evil man cannot reach resources, and Noa is established as the new face of the franchise. But while all of that happens and there is just one complete human with them, we never really go beyond the confines of the setup that is presented in the movie. The world is still dark for us because the film only manages to focus on the age-old conflict of a war in the jungle.

For example, the human Mae played by Freya Allen appears, reveals a couple of things, helps Noa fetch a plan, hands over something to someone, and is done. We are never told what her motivation is to do all this. Her intentions for the future can be kept under wraps for the next movies, but some of the past should have been explored for us to invest in her as a character who can have a concrete future in the franchise. For example, Zendaya’s Chani in Dune was never directly a part of the first film, but the padding around her and the layering of her mystic existences created such a good base for her.

In Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes the makers keep the world too unexplored. So when it feels like a new fresh direction, it is also a very dark path where not enough light is shed to be waiting. Like if the Apes know horses and use them, how are they not aware of the rest of the animals? Because generations have passed at least some species must have bounced back if not all.

The visuals and technical marvel are of course brilliant. There is so much thought behind shaping the dystopian world that every corner has something to decode. The voice stars are brilliant especially Peter Macon who plays Raka, with such a captivating voice. Kevin Durand does a fine job too, and so does Freya Allen in whatever she is given.

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Review: Final Verdict:

This is a franchise we grew up with taking a different direction and we are all here to witness. But the progress is also limited this time because the story never ventures into the domain that is the most fascinating even for a tease.

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes releases on May 10, 2024, in cinema halls near you. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.

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