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"Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes"(2024): Swinging Back Into Action. Movie Review

The new Apes movie is set many years after the conclusion of 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes. Many apes societies have grown from when the Moses-like Caesar brought his people to an oasis, while humans have been reduced to a feral-like existence. Some ape groups have never heard of Caesar, while others have contorted his teaching to build burgeoning empires. In this setting, one ape leader begins to enslave other groups to find human technology, while another ape, who watched his clan be taken, embarks on a journey to find freedom. A young human woman becomes key to the latter's quest, although she has plans of her own.

Ah, the Planet of the Apes franchise—it's the gift that keeps on giving. Just when you think you've seen enough ape-on-human action to last a lifetime, they swing back in with another installment. This time, it's Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, and let me tell you, it's a wild ride. With a star-studded cast including Owen Teague, Freya Allan, and Kevin Durand, this movie promises to take you on a journey through an evolved simian society and a devolved human one.

Plot (Or How Apes Have More Drama Than a High School)

Set many years after the conclusion of 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes, the movie shows a world where ape societies have flourished and human beings have regressed to a feral-like existence. Think of it as a reverse Tarzan situation, but with more hair and less loincloth.

Some ape groups have never heard of the legendary Caesar, while others have twisted his teachings to build burgeoning empires. In this tangled vine of simian politics, one ambitious ape leader starts enslaving other groups to uncover human technology. Enter our hero, a noble ape who has seen his clan taken and embarks on a journey to find freedom. Throw in a young human woman with plans of her own, and you've got yourself a blockbuster.

What I Liked

Special Effects That Make You Go Bananas: The special effects in this movie are top-notch. The CGI apes are so lifelike, you'll forget you're watching a movie and start wondering if you need to stock up on bananas. Every fur strand and facial expression is meticulously crafted, making the apes' world incredibly immersive.

A Strong Storyline: This installment does a fantastic job of making sure you don't need to binge-watch all the previous movies to understand what's going on. It's a standalone story that brings you up to speed quickly, and the narrative is compelling enough to keep you hooked.

Surprise Voice Cameo: There's a voice cameo in this film that absolutely made my day. I won't spoil it for you, but let's just say it's a delightful Easter egg for long-time fans of the franchise.

What I Disliked

Hollywood Liberties: As with many blockbuster movies, you have to suspend your disbelief a bit. There's a scene where a generator that's been off for centuries fires up without a hitch. I mean, I can't get my 10-year-old car to start in the winter, but sure, let's go with that.

Obvious Foreshadowing: Some plot points are as subtle as a gorilla in a china shop. The foreshadowing is so blatant it feels like the filmmakers are holding your hand and guiding you through the story. Trust your audience a bit more, folks. We're not all swinging from trees.

Extra Tidbits (Because Who Doesn’t Love Trivia?)

Nova Connection: There's a cool nod to the original series where Raka calls Mae "Nova," a name given to all humans by apes. This ties back to the mute human adopted by Maurice in War for the Planet of the Apes and Taylor's human mate in the original 1968 movie. Easter eggs galore!

Caesar's Birthmark: Noa, one of the characters, has the same birthmark on his chest that Caesar had. It's a nice little touch that ties this movie back to the previous trilogy.

Final Thoughts and Rating

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a solid addition to the franchise. It's got action, drama, and enough CGI fur to make a plush toy factory jealous. While it has its flaws—like taking Hollywood liberties and treating the audience like they need a map to navigate the plot—it's an enjoyable ride that's worth the price of admission.

My final rating? 8.0/10. Grab your popcorn and swing on over to your nearest theater, because this one's a wild ride.

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