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KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES review – Together Apes Strong

Review by Dan Berry and Darren Shulman

Director: Wes Ball
Starring: Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon, and William H. Macy
Movie Length: 2 hours 25 minutes

What it’s about: The next installment of the Planet of the Apes reboot series (4th in that series), it takes place 300 years after the last movie. The movie follows a young chimp as he and a woman go on an adventure which could set the future for both apes and humans.

What Dan thought: Going into the movie I didn’t know what to expect, as it has been a while since the last movie in the franchise came out (7 years), and I didn’t remember much. That being said, you don’t need to know to much about the previous movie as this movie stands alone thanks to the time jump.

The acting was mostly motion-capture, which as to be expected from this franchise (and especially now that Disney owns the rights to the movie) was terrific, and the only human actors with significant screen time did great.

The story line was great both for new viewers to the franchise, and those who have been a fan of the previous movies (both within the reboot series, and the original set of movies). For the most part the movie moves at a good pace (albeit there was some parts that dragged ever so slightly).

If you’re looking for another good summer movie to get out of the heat and into an air conditioned theater, this is a movie you should see.

What Darren thought: Quick, name a fourth movie in a franchise that’s good. If you’ve managed to come up with one, now name a fourth movie that came after a trilogy that wrapped up the story that’s good. In recognition that this list is not long, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes moves forward hundred of years from the original reboot trilogy. This allows the film to stand on its own and organically bring in all new characters.

This Apes installment is notable in that 95% of the dialogue is given by CGI characters. In a nod to how far special effects have come from the mask days of the original, these apes feel real and they manage to convey real emotion. The voice work combines with the special effects to result in some excellent performances (my favorite being the Orangutan).

Another strong point to this film is the world building. It’s interesting to see how Ape society has grown without all the humans around and how things have shifted in the many years since humans were in charge.

My one quibble with the plot is that while it is easy to tell what is happening, it always feels like there is another layer going on beneath the surface that is just beyond understanding. This makes for an interesting movie, but the fan in me wishes there were some more spoon fed answers at the end.

This movie threads the needle making a film that feels like it fits within the franchise, while feeling fresh and remaining accessible to new viewers. There is enough explanation about what happened that this movie stands on its own. Fans of the three recent Apes films (The Marky Mark version is best left forgotten) will enjoy this movie, but I recommend fans of post-apocalyptic films give it a try as well.

Dan’s rating: A

Darren’s rating: A (for Apes)


Are you going to see the movie? Have you already? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter/X at @TheConCollectve, Threads at @theconventioncollective, or Bluesky at @theconcollective.bsky.social

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Dan Berry
Dan Berry
Dan Berry is a man of mystery, an enigma that flits from convention to convention like a spectre, like a spirit. His interests range far and wide: he cannot be determined, he cannot be defined, he cannot be contained. He's like the wind. He also is a Sagittarius and enjoys a nice Italian.

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