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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
                                          review by Bobby Blakey

I am a huge Planet of the Apes fan so when they announced they were once again rebooting the franchise with 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes I was a bit nervous like most fans were. Surprisingly the film delivered more than we all expected and was really good and kicked off the series with a bang leading right into 2014s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and 2017s War For The Planet of the Apes. It felt like it was the end of this series, but here we are with the next chapter Kingdom of the Planet of the apes starring Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon, and William H. Macy from The Maze Runner trilogy director Wes Ball at the helm. Could this latest continue the great stride the previous trilogy gave us, or will it fail to be strong together?

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes follows the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike.

 

I have loved the trailers for this next chapter but was also a bit worried if it was forcing to much into the franchise without much depth. Thankfully I was wrong, and this latest film is not only great but takes things into both familiar territory while still having its own voice. I was glad that it offered up a small nod to honor the finale of the previous film before jumping generations ahead to take us into a new direction. The legacy of Ceaser is alive and well, but with certain groups taken into a direction not quite what he put forth.

 

One of my favorite parts of this film is the lack of humans. It goes all in and allows the actual apes to lead the charge without the need to force humans into the mix. Of course, to do this they have to have a strong story and the effects to

back it up and they have all of those things. Most of the story focuses on the new character Noah and his journey and his newfound friend Raka who is easily my favorite character in the film. Their journey is not only engaging and sometimes exciting but serves to get the audience caught up with all the things that have transpired through the generations while still being interesting.

 

Once we get to the new kingdom led by an ape known as Proximus Ceaser things take a darker turn and get into the first true glimpse of the ape world fans know like that of the original film. Sure, the aesthetics are different, but it works to use the ideals and even some familiar music. It fully creates its own place in the franchise and still gives nods to the original series and lends itself to possibly leaning towards where it all started in some way. Not sure the official plan and there is no way to recreate what the original does, but it can still do something special with its own voice.

 

 As expected, the visuals are insanely amazing, from the apes themselves to the world that has been created. It is beautiful in the color palate and even the apes themselves bring so much beauty and soul to characters that could have easily gotten lost in the effects. I love the world they have created in this new take on the iconic franchise even if it is often times a bit creepier with these more lifelike apes. I hope we keep getting more and more entries into this franchise as I love them more and more. This one is easily my favorite of the new franchise and has the even more important task of keeping me revisiting the entire franchise whenever the next film is released.

 

Step back into the simian world with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes in theaters now.

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