Home Movies Reviews ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Movie Review - A Tech Expo Disguised As A Film

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Movie Review - A Tech Expo Disguised As A Film

Many years after Caesar’s reign, a young ape sets out on a journey that challenges his understanding of the past and influences the future of both apes and humans.

Vikas Yadav - Tue, 14 May 2024 18:25:30 +0100 760 Views
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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the second movie this year with a scene in which an ape gives other apes freedom. You saw something similar in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. There is another similarity between this new Wes Ball film and Adam Wingard's production. Both movies use computer graphics as a substance. The CGI is meant to dazzle us, and it does...to an extent. After a while, you are hit with the realization that while there has certainly been an evolution in technical terms, the writing is still primordial. Movies like Avatar, Godzilla and Kong, and now, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes run with such a single-minded pursuit to push the boundary of the CGI world that everything else is ignored. The realm of feverish, imaginative drama is left unexplored. As a result, you feel as if you are watching a tech expo.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is indeed a tech expo disguised as sci-fi/action/drama. Ball and his team showcase the wonders of CGI through monkeys that are as expressive as humans. The motion-capture performances are impressive, and you can hear the screen screaming with delight, "Look how far we have come!" The world of the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes consists of tall structures covered with leaves/plants/grass/whatever. The green surroundings indicate that nature has reclaimed its position from humans. I was reminded of the Horizon games as they, too, have a similar environment. But look beneath these embellishments, and you will find a story that tries too hard to leave an impact on the audience.

The writer, Josh Friedman, has conceived the script in terms of emotional impact. He is more interested in pushing the right button at the right moment instead of absorbing us in the ongoing events. Mae/Nova's (Freya Allan) first words, Raka's (Peter Macon) death (executed for lazy sentimental purposes), and Noa's (Owen Teague) command over an eagle - it's all calculated and timed to occur at the right moment to rouse the audience (they don't feel rousing, however, because they come across as mechanical). Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is craftsmanlike - the gears of this machine run smoothly, but the experience is not always rewarding. Friedman gives us clichés as silly as the one where a character first refuses to join a mission and then, in the very next scene, joins the mission. Mae's interactions with Trevathan (William H. Macy) are merely expository, so when she chokes him and kills him, you feel as if a bug has been exterminated. The psychological implications of this act on this young girl seem negligible. Most of the conversations (between Noa and his friends, Noa and his mother, Mae, and Trevathan) that occur at Proximus's (Kevin Durand) kingdom dampen the film's momentum.

Proximus twists Caesar's words for exploitation. "Apes together strong" is the equivalent of "unity is strength." Proximus, however, tells the apes to work together to open a vault full of "treasure." He also, with Trevathan's help, reads books to know more about humans (he is apparently well-versed with the Roman Empire). What the movie suggests is that a dictator is not a nincompoop but an educated individual who applies his knowledge to catch the pulse of his citizens to manipulate them. The crowd cheers along with Proximus when an attempt is made to open the vault in front of Noa. Despite sounding so scary, so interesting, and so promising, Proximus looks like a cartoon villain. He doesn't speak like someone who has read many books or seen the outside world. His megalomaniacal sentences are as bland as those of other one-dimensional, power-obsessed villains. As a result, our thoughts regarding manipulation and control become feeble.

The fight sequences are just competently shot. They only depict the action without raising it to the level of spectacular. You don't lean forward from your seat or hold your breath. More striking than any of the fight scenes is that brief moment where Noa is seen dangling above the fire. The camera swings along with him, creating a sensation of palpable danger. Moreover, the shot of an eye filled with awe while looking through a telescope proves to be more magical than the entire CGI work. Technology is advancing all right, but movies like Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes tell us that the cinematic medium is undergoing devolution.

Final Score- [5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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