Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” directed by Wes Ball, is the latest instalment in the iconic “Planet of the Apes” franchise. Set several years after the events of “War for the Planet of the Apes,” this film explores the evolution of ape society as they grapple with the remnants of human civilisation. With its rich narrative and compelling characters, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” promises to be a thought-provoking addition to the series.

 Plot and Narrative

The narrative unfolds in a world where apes have established their own societies and humans are on the brink of extinction. The film centres around Caesar’s legacy, focusing on his descendants who strive to build a world that honours his vision of peace and coexistence. However, internal conflicts and external threats challenge this fragile balance.

Owen Teague plays Cornelius, Caesar’s son, who emerges as the new leader. Cornelius is torn between adhering to his father’s principles and addressing the growing unrest among the apes. Freya Allan’s character, a human survivor, offers a unique perspective, bridging the gap between the two species. Peter Macon portrays a rival ape leader, whose differing ideology poses a significant threat to Cornelius’s vision.

 Visuals and Direction

Visually, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is stunning. Wes Ball, known for his work on the “Maze Runner” series, brings a dynamic and visually arresting style to the film. The use of cutting-edge CGI and motion capture technology makes the apes remarkably lifelike, maintaining the franchise’s tradition of high-quality visual effects. The landscapes are breathtaking, from the dense forests that serve as ape havens to the dilapidated ruins of human cities, symbolising the fall of mankind.

Ball’s direction is meticulous, ensuring that the film’s pace keeps the audience engaged while allowing for deep emotional moments. The action sequences are well-choreographed, striking a balance between intensity and narrative significance. Each scene is crafted to enhance the storytelling, making the visuals an integral part of the film’s impact.

 Themes and Impact

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” delves into themes of leadership, legacy, and survival. The film poses critical questions about what it means to be a leader and the burden of upholding a legacy. Cornelius’s journey mirrors the struggles faced by his father, adding depth to his character and highlighting the cyclical nature of history.

The film also explores the dynamics between different ape factions and the remaining humans, emphasising the complexity of coexistence. The presence of Freya Allan’s character as a human who aligns with the apes adds an interesting layer, challenging the black-and-white perception of interspecies conflict.

One of the most compelling aspects of the film is its examination of societal evolution. As the apes build their own civilisation, they encounter challenges similar to those faced by humans, suggesting that the quest for power and the struggle for dominance are universal. This thematic exploration makes the film not just a continuation of the series, but a commentary on broader human experiences.


Owen Teague delivers a powerful performance as Cornelius. His portrayal captures the character’s inner conflict and determination, making him a worthy successor to Caesar. Teague’s nuanced acting brings depth to Cornelius, making his leadership journey both inspiring and relatable.

Freya Allan’s role as a human survivor is equally compelling. She brings a sense of resilience and empathy to her character, serving as a bridge between the apes and the dwindling human population. Her interactions with Cornelius provide some of the film’s most emotional moments, highlighting the potential for understanding and cooperation between the species.

Peter Macon’s portrayal of the rival ape leader adds a significant layer of tension to the narrative. His character’s ideology challenges Cornelius’s vision, creating a compelling antagonist whose motivations are complex and rooted in a desire for power and protection.

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is a worthy addition to the franchise, combining stunning visuals, strong performances, and a thought-provoking narrative. Wes Ball’s direction ensures that the film remains engaging and impactful, while the cast delivers performances that add depth and complexity to their characters.

The film’s exploration of leadership, legacy, and societal evolution makes it more than just a sci-fi spectacle. It is a reflection on the human condition, mirrored through the journey of the apes. As the latest instalment in the series, it not only honours the legacy of its predecessors but also sets the stage for future narratives within this rich and compelling universe.

Director: Wes Ball 

Starring: Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Peter Macon

Writers: Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver

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