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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Review

Publicity+image+via+The+Hollywood+Reporter.+
Publicity image via “The Hollywood Reporter.”

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” marks the fourth installment in the new “Planet of the Apes” franchise, which started in 2011 with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” This film not only takes place three hundred years after the events of the aforementioned trilogy, with a complete new set of characters and circumstances. The film also has a change in directorship, with director Matt Reeves stepping down from his directing post for these films and allowing Wes Ball to take the reins.

The resulting film is… alright. As a matter of fact it is quite good, though it hardly carries the same weight of the first three films in this series. That is not to say that the film does nothing well, just like the rest of the new “Planet of the Apes” movies, the presentation may very well be perfect. The visuals are so convincing, I for one cannot imagine them getting better, and the voice acting, music, and choreography is on point as ever. This, however, is no big departure from the rest of the series and, unfortunately for all who worked on it, this was only to be expected.

Another interesting point which the film did quite well on was worldbuilding. With the film being set so far after the others in the franchise, it had to nearly completely build up a new world for itself based on the previous films. For watchers of those films, there are more than enough new things to keep the films interesting, as well as callbacks to the older films. This film allows the viewer to explore the world in the exact way the main character does, as someone somewhat out of the loop to the world as a larger whole.

The film is quite funny, however, therein lies its problem, which is its writing. The writing here is not by any means terrible, though it lacks the overwhelming creativity present in the rest of the franchise. While here the writing certainly services the film and its plot points, it unfortunately is rather formulaic in the motives and arcs of each character. Compared to the rest of the films, there is a subtle lack of creativity in the motivations of each character, and the circumstances which lead to action scenes. An example of this lack of creativity to the detriment to the film is the villain. Without spoiling too much, as this film is still worth a watch, the antagonist of this film lacks the human and understandable motivation behind his evil that the rest of the villains in the franchise have displayed so perfectly. It seems as though any great set piece which occurred only happened so that the audience could see the amazing visuals rather than the writing called for it.

 

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Atticus Stevenson
Atticus Stevenson, Staff Writer
My name is Atticus. I am currently 6’3 and I love to kickbox and box. I guess you could say I dabble in jiu-jitsu as well. Oh my, I almost forgot, I’m not a half-bad writer or illustrator.
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