Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes reviews hail it as another strong entry in the franchise

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has a lot to live up to. Not only does it carry the legacy of one of the greatest sci-fi franchises on its back, but it comes hot on the heels of the acclaimed Apes trilogy starring Andy Serkis. That series encompassed Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), and spun the tale of genetically engineered simian Caesar (Serkis) who sought to lead his fellow primates to freedom.

Kingdom takes place 300 years after Caesar's death at the end of War. His ancestors, including inquisitive young chimp Noa (Owen Teague), have now assimilated more human-like characteristics including upright walking and coherent speech. By contrast, humans have retreated further into the shadows and regressed into a grunting, primitive state. However, trouble is on the horizon in the form of Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand), a warmongering bonobo who corrupts Caesar's teachings to bend the apes to his cause.

Noa must team up with feral young woman Nova (Freya Allen) to venture beyond his home and discover the secrets that may once again unify apes and humans. It's a bold story rendered with photo-realistic performance capture effects and conveyed on a sweeping scale by director Wes Ball (who takes over from Matt Reeves and Rupert Wyatt). The critical verdicts are now in, so does the film honour the spirit of its predecessors?

The good news is, yes. Here's a smattering of enthusiastic responses that should incentivise you to book your Cineworld tickets immediately. (Scroll to the end of this post to do so.)

Wes Ball adapts to the world of the apes with flair

Wes Ball’s brilliant Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, walks securely in the footsteps of this recent legacy, wearing the Caesar-centric films’ values like fairness, loyalty and communal solidarity on its sleeve with pride," writes Tomris Laffly,

"Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a jaw-dropping spectacle," writes Matt Neglia, Next Best Picture. "But more so than that, it retains the heart of the previous three films, engrossing us in the world and getting us to care deeply about each of the newly introduced characters."

"Many of us couldn’t muster much interest in the Maze Runner movies," writes David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter. "but Ball’s time on that YA trilogy has clearly sharpened his storytelling tools in terms of world-building, survival suspense, and vigorous action."

"Ball executes some top-flight action sequences but, as with the recent Planet Of The Apes trilogy, Kingdoms set pieces are heightened by a respect for the complexity of the characters and the desperation of their mission," writes Tim Grierson, Screen International.


The CG effects are truly breathtaking

"Ever since 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this series has boasted excellent special effects — particularly in the motion-capture ape design," states Tim Grierson, Screen International. "Kingdom is especially strong in this regard, the simians’ expressive eyes and rich coats remarkable to behold."

"Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a tremendous visual feat with some of the best effects this franchise has ever seen and certainly the most stunning on the big screen since the release of Avatar: The Way of Water," raves Matt Neglia, Next Best Picture. "The team at [effects studio] Wētā FX have outdone themselves yet again."

"Noa and his ilk are astounding digital creations by the artists from Weta and other special effects houses," writes Matt Singer, ScreenCrush. "I don’t know why the apes of Planet of the Apes tend to look so much better than comparable CGI characters in other modern Hollywood productions, but they do."

"Owen Teague delivers an outstanding performance as Noa… Durand’s Proximus Caesar is intimidating and menacing, able to instill fear with just a slight glance. It’s a spellbinding performance from the character actor that instantly ranks as one of his very best."
— Matt Neglia, Next Best Picture


The film works for both franchise devotees and newcomers

"Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes does a wonderful job of weaving in explanations of anything that has happened previously that is important to understanding the story. It is not necessary to have seen any of the previous Apes films. You can absolutely go in to this one cold, and perhaps it will have you interested in going back and watching the older films."
— Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky


It will leave you wanting to return to the Planet of the Apes

"The picture ends with a teaser that suggests more sequels will be coming. Considering how effortlessly Ball returns us to this riveting, sweeping universe, those next installments can be eagerly anticipated."
— Tim Grierson, Screen International

"Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a promising start to a new chapter in this particular franchise.
— Kaitlyn Booth, Bleeding Cool


Are those reviews positive enough for you? Then click the link below to book your tickets for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. It's on release now at Cineworld.