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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes


Stars: Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, William H Macy, Peter Macon

Director: Wes Ball

I'm still not completely convinced that we need any more chapters in the 'Apes' franchise, but this one is pretty good for most of its (slightly overlong) runtime. 'Generations' have passed since Caesar's death, and humans seem to have regressed to primitive form, while apes have taken over the world, as we home in on a clan which lives in rickety skyscraper constructions and have trained eagles to catch fish for them.

When the chief's son, Noa (Teague) ventures out on horseback in search of an eagle's egg, giant-ape marauders spook Noa's horse and follow the panicked animal back to its home, where they attack the Eagle Clan with fire and taser-like weapons and burn its homes to the ground, killing Noa's father and taking many hostages.

Noa is determined, like Maximus in Gladiator, to have his revenge, teaming up with a wise old orang-utan (Macon), who knows about books. They soon have a companion in human Mae (Allan). You sense that the old guy isn't destined to stay the course, and, when the travellers are captured by the guard of giant-ape chief Proximus Caesar (Durand), the action moves into the main body of the plot.

But the apes don't seem to have progressed much in the way of civilisation or technology in 300 years or so, something that Mae mysteriously seems to know quite a lot about,

The films sags a bit in the middle, and some scenes are held a mite too long, but the characters are well-rounded and, where necessary, sympathetic, and snarling ape action abounds, well staged and leading to both a satisfying conclusion, and a rather elongated coda that suggests this may be the first of a new trilogy.

David Quinlan

USA/Australia 2024. UK Distributor: Disney (20th Century Studios). Colour by FotoKem.
146 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 09 May 2024