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'Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes' Has Solidified The Apes As Arguably The Best Running Franchise In Cinema

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Many years after the reign of Caesar, a young ape goes on a journey that will lead him to question everything he's been taught about the past and make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike

Last night, I was lucky enough to see an early screening of 'Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes'. I say lucky because, if you ask me, the reboot Apes trilogy (Rise, Dawn, and War) is one of the best and most consistent trilogies in recent memory. Maybe second only to John Wick. When you consider how silly the premise is and the fact that the 2001 reboot was one of the worst movies ever made, you might think that's impossible. But Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, The Batman) turned it into something incredible alongside the king of motion capture, Andy Serkis. 

I bring those two up because they were at the root of my skepticism. Reeves was not directing and Serkis was not starring or involved. That means new cast, new characters and new director. Basically a semi reboot! So how does Wes Ball, who had only directed the very meh Maze Runner trilogy, step in and capture that same magic? 

Well, I don't know how he did it but I am happy to report that he did, in fact, do it. I want to focuse on a few, spoiler-free, notes.

1. It does a great job establishing a new world. It's no spoiler that this movie takes place a while in the future from the events of the trilogy. The new characters, lore & dynamics were awesome, combining elements from the trilogy with some of the iconic features from the original movie. 

2. This is a benchmark movie for CGI. Of all the movies i've seen that use it at this scale, I think this had the most realistic looking creatures I've ever seen. And it worked perfectly in both daylight and nighttime which is very rare. 

3. The MoCap actors absolutely crushed it. Teague was a great lead, Peter Macon was a major highlight and Kevin Durand was an amazing villain. The main human actress, Freya Allan, is just ok but she's also not the focus. 

Overall, I loved it and would stack it up against any movie in the trilogy. Only two gripes would be that Allen wasn't anything great and that it takes a bit to get going. I can forgive the latter, though, because they had to essentially set up and reboot the entire world.

This releases wide on the 10th.