Directed by Wes Ball (The Maze Runner film series) and written by Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds, The Black Dahlia), the latest film in the Planet of the Apes franchise arrives seven years after its predecessor. A standalone sequel to War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), it marks the fourth instalment in this iconic series. The film stars Owen Teague (The Stand, Eileen, You Hurt My Feelings) in the lead role alongside Freya Allan (Gunpowder Milkshake, The Witcher) Kevin Durand (last seen in Abigail), Peter Macon, and the ever-resourceful William H. Macy in a rare appearance.

Three hundred years after the events of War for the Planet of the Apes, a complex ape civilisation flourishes while humanity has regressed to a primitive state following a devastating virus. Wielding weapons forged from lost human technology, ape king Proximus Caesar (Durand) betrays the legacy of the hero ape Caesar, subjugating peaceful ape clans.

When his community is attacked by Proximus’ forces in the dead of night, chimpanzee hunter Noa (Teague) embarks on a perilous journey alongside a mysterious human woman named Mae (Allan) to liberate his people. Meanwhile, Mae harbours a secret that could determine the fate of the human race.

It’s no wonder Wes Ball was chosen to helm this fourth instalment. Bringing his signature awe-inspiring post-apocalyptic set pieces and capturing the raw energy of youthful rebellion, Ball delivers a film that resonates deeply with its audience. Building on familiar historical and religious themes, Ball and screenwriter Josh Friedman weave a narrative that feels both timely and brilliantly conceived.

Ball’s film retains the same boisterous youthfulness and humour that energised the Maze Runner movies. Boosted by captivating performances from its young cast and the magic of the award-winning WETA FX team, this latest chapter feels not only fresh but also immensely satisfying.

It’s a true delight to see a series like this continue to be one of the most successful reboots in Hollywood history. With astounding VFX and richly developed characters, the latest instalment of this inventive series delivers on both story and spectacle and it does it with class and oodles of bonhomie.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
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Linda Marric
Linda Marric is a senior film critic and the newly appointed Reviews Editor for HeyUGuys. She has written extensively about film and TV over the last decade. After graduating with a degree in Film Studies from King's College London, she has worked in post-production on a number of film projects and other film related roles. She has a huge passion for intelligent Scifi movies and is never put off by the prospect of a romantic comedy. Favourite movie: Brazil.
kingdom-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-reviewWith captivating performances, astounding VFX and richly developed characters, this latest chapter feels fresh and immensely satisfying, delivering on both story and spectacle. A true delight.