Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

Critics shared their initial reviews and reactions to 2024’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, offering high praise for the new film.

Directed by Wes Ball, the latest addition to the Planet of the Apes franchise will follow up on the story from Andy Serkis’ trilogy, which ran in theaters between 2011 and 2017.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes takes place nearly 300 years after 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes, setting up a new conflict between apes and humans in this otherworldly sci-fi epic.

First Critics Reviews for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes movie poster
20th Century

Following the first critics’ screening of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, initial reviews for the sequel are now posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Film Speak’s Griffin Schiller praised director Wes Ball’s work on the film, using Star Wars’ Episode IV: A New Hope as a comparison for how good the sequel is:

“Apes have never been STRONGER in Wes Ball’s MAGNIFICENT ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes!’ The complexities of Caesar’s legacy loom large, but twisted in this coming-of-age odyssey of truth & lies, knowledge & power. A breathtaking visual feast! ‘A New Hope’ for the Apes franchise.”

Collider’s Perri Nemiroff ranked the entire franchise as “one of the very best…reboots out there,” giving credit to Ball for his “personal proficiency with visual effects” as he made the movie look amazing:

“Between ‘Rise,’ ‘Dawn,’ ‘War,’ and now ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,’ this series continues to be one of the very best franchise reboots out there. As expected, there was no better director to take over than Wes Ball. Of course, the wizards at Wētā had a big hand in this, but there’s also no doubt that Ball’s personal proficiency with visual effects contributed big time to how incredible this film looks.”

Gizmondo’s Germain Lussier gave Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes credit for “[doing] the Apes saga proud,” only offering minor criticisms for what he saw on screen:

“‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ does the ‘Apes’ saga proud. A sprawling adventure with wonderful effects & performances. It has A LOT to say, which leaves it thematically murky – I also don’t *love* the ending – but those are minor gripes for an otherwise enjoyable, engaging film.”

ComicBook’s Brandon Davis simply called the new sequel “a classic cummer blockbuster,” praising its performances and noting how it feels “like a start to an epic new saga:”

“‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ is just a classic summer blockbuster. Takes a minute to get going, thoroughly introducing new characters & timeline, then never looks back. VFX are astonishing. Great performances. Feels like a start to an epic new saga. Need the next one ASAP.”

As a big fan of the previous trilogy, Geeks of Color’s Dorian Parks loved the new addition, claiming the Apes franchise has cemented itself as “one of the strongest IPs out there,” according to him:

“Was a big fan of the previous ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy and can say I absolutely loved ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.’ This film cements the franchise as one of the strongest IPs out there!”

Screen Rant’s Caitlin Tyrrell called Wes Ball “the perfect director” to bring this new film to life, highlighting the characters, visuals, and “brilliant through lines” that tie it back to its predecessors:

“Wes Ball is the perfect director to bring ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ to life! A compelling story with complex characters, stunning visuals, and brilliant through lines tying it to the movies that came before. Noa, Mae, and Proximus Caesar are phenomenal!”

The Direct’s own Russ Milheim described Kingdom as “a fantastic addition to the series,” praising the VFX and the characters while calling the outing “an absolute thrill:”

“‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ is a fantastic addition to the series. While it may falter at times in the pacing department, that never keeps the movie from being an absolute thrill. The VFX are astounding and the characters are beautifully crafted. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

Comic Book Resources’ Kevin Polowy also loved the film, using terms like “riveting [and] emotional” as he called the franchise “one of the best” series in existence right now:

“I loved ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.’ How is it as good as the Matt Reeves movies? I don’t know but it’s phenomenal. ‘Apocalypto with Apes,’ as Wes Ball promised. Riveting & emotional. ‘APES’ continues to be pound-for-pound one of the best if not THE best franchise running.”

In a lengthy post, Next Best Pictures’ Matt Neglia shared his enjoyment of the movie, giving specific credit to actors Owen Teague, Kevin Durand, and Peter Macon for their performances. He even said it has “the best visual effects seen in a movie” since 2022’s Avatar: The Way of Water:

“What a wonderful day! ‘KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES’ is yet another strong entry in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise. Relieved & thrilled by how much I enjoyed it, even compared to the last nearly-perfect trilogy. Wes Ball wisely takes his time establishing the state of the planet set many generations after the last film, exploring how the Christ-like legend of Caesar has spread for both good and evil, and introducing us to new characters we grow to care about. Owen Teague, Kevin Durand & Peter Macon all deliver memorable performances. A tremendous visual feat with the best visual effects seen in a movie since Avatar: The Way Of Water while never wavering from its emotional core.”

Digital Spy’s Ian Sandwell teased Kingdom as “a strong continuation of the series,” particularly enjoying the “captivating second act” and the thrilling finale:”

“‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ is a strong continuation of the series. Takes a little while to find its footing, but builds into a captivating second act and a thrilling finale. Excited to see where it heads from here after an intriguing ending.”

What To Take From First Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reactions

Even for the consistency the Planet of the Apes franchise has had critically over the years, seeing reviews this positive for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes can only be a good sign.

Disney has gone so far as to spoil the influence of past franchise characters in this new sequel, giving fans even more reason to be wildly hyped for what’s coming in the fifth Apes movie to hit theaters since 2001.

Following Caesar’s death in 2017’s War of the Planet of the ApesKingdom will start a new chapter to that legacy, complete with plenty of influence from Caesar himself in the story.

Considering how high of praise this new outing is already receiving, the stage could be set for Kingdom to be just the first part of a brand-new franchise that lasts for a few more years.

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