Film review by Cliff Homewood

For those that lost count we are on the tenth Planet of the Apes movie. They can’t all be good. I didn’t like War of the Planet of the Apes but loved Rise and Dawn, the original’s the best. Definitive. Kingdom starts to hark back to it as it’s set halfway between War of the Planet of the Apes (300 years ago) and Planet of the Apes. I enjoyed seeing that world returning, Planet of the Apes is among my favourite films. Planet of the Apes had a screenplay by Rod Serling that’s hard to beat, but it was nice to see its animal rights theme alive and well. Kingdom’s biggest issue is the story takes a long time to get going, expect a slow start, although following a bird to cut from one scene to another was a nice artistic touch but an example of how it spends too much time dwelling. Once the film gets going it’s a cracking adventure. The Director pitched Apocalypto with apes. William H Macy even turns up at one point. The big bad, called Proximus Caesar, is a Roman inspired conqueror.

“I always love that so much time had passed that erased all evidence of our existence in the ’68 film. And then you uncover all of this haunting past of the world that once was that we got to play with here. They couldn’t do that in the previous three movies. They were about the end of the human world; ours is about the beginning of the ape world,” says Director Wes Ball. He tried to recreate a 1970s film using anamorphic lenses, no wonder the film felt like the original in places.

Our hero Noah is from the Eagle Clan, meaning they practice Falconry. Kingdom is meant to be the start of a new trilogy so we should see these characters again. The next two films are mapped out. The shape of the attic window in Rise of the Planet of the Apes denotes a follower of Caesar. The acting was very believable, we are used to finding apes so. In synchronicity, Kevin Durant, recently in Abigail, makes Proximus an imposing villain, Dan Stevens from Abigail played the Ape villain in the recent Kong x Godzilla.

The trailer received 75 million views within 24 hours so there’s obviously a thirst for it, however the makers were disappointed later trailers spoilt one of the film’s surprises. They may just be throwing stuff at the screen at this point but it’s still an enjoyable time in this world albeit with a sedentary start.