KSL Movie Show review: ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ has great action and a few minor setbacks

May 10, 2024, 6:00 AM | Updated: 10:29 am

ksl movie show host steve salles next to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes poster...

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — It was with some trepidation, that I was soon to review yet another “Planet of the Apes” movie on the heels of such a rewarding reboot franchise, especially given that Caesar (played brilliantly by Andy Serkis) would not return.  

Apparently, I was not alone.
Director Wes Ball had the same concerns, but when the idea was floated that this new film would take place 300 years after the life of Caesar and show just how his legacy within the ape community would be remembered, Ball got on board.

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And here’s where it gets really interesting. Some twist Caesar’s teachings to serve their own interests, while others look to Caesar as a revered teacher and prophet-like character for future generations. 

We are now introduced to Noa (Owen Teague) a young chimpanzee hunter of the Eagle Clan. Noa, like most teenagers, is determined to make his parents proud of his accomplishments.
This small band of chimps has mastered the art of falconry, or raptor handling, as they’ve trained eagles to catch fish and return them to the tribe.
Noa’s father is an expert. Noa, unfortunately, has no such skills and is an irritant to the noble birds. 
One night, Noa hears a rumbling in the smokehouse and discovers a human or “echo” trying to steal some food.  
In an effort to catch said human, he breaks an important symbol to a bonding ceremony set for the following day and must venture out in the middle of the night to find another.  
Instead, he runs into a gorilla platoon searching for this same human, inadvertently leading them back to his clan’s village. The soldiers burn the community and take the survivors captive.  
Noa is left for dead under a pile of rubble. He arises the next morning to discover this horrible scene of death and destruction, vowing revenge.

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As he sets out to reclaim his clan, Noa encounters a philosophical orangutan named Raka (voiced by Peter Macon) who is a firm believer in the teachings of Caesar. They soon meet the sought-after human Mae (Freya Allan), only to discover why she is of such great importance.
Don’t let the two-hour, 25-minute runtime scare you. The story moves along briskly with a great number of terrific action scenes, fascinating characters abound (especially Raka) and extraordinary CGI effects in every frame of this beautifully shot film. 
There are only a few minor setbacks: the inclusion of a wasted William H. Macy (under-used not high – although I can’t be certain either way), the bizarre, fortified weapons bunker with a bigger design flaw than Darth Vader’s Death Star and the quick dismal of an intriguing, fun character.  
Otherwise, I found this to be a fitting addition to the most recent trilogy. I’m actually looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.  
KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (B+) Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence/action. Starring Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon and William H. Macy. Directed by Wes Ball (“The Maze Runner” trilogy) – filmed in Helensburgh, New South Wales, Australia. Running time: 145 minutes.  

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ has great action and a few minor setbacks