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The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

“The Kingdom of The Planet of The Apes” doesn’t enhance the trilogy

Kingdom+of+the+Planet+of+the+Apes+earned+%2472.5+million+at+the+international+box+office+in+its+first+weekend+of+release1.+The+film+also+notched+No.+1+in+North+America+with+%2458.5+million%2C+bringing+its+initial+global+tally+to+%24131+million.
Photo Credit: movie poster via Fox entertainment under creative commons license
“”Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” earned $72.5 million at the international box office in its first weekend of release1. The film also notched No. 1 in North America with $58.5 million, bringing its initial global tally to $131 million.”

War for the Planet of the Apes was released in 2017 and the final installment to follow Ceasar as the lead. 7 years later the series is back. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is a continuation of the previous trilogy. It jumps 300 years into the future in the Ape’s own Bronze Age. The protagonist is a Young adult Ape named Noa. He and his village live peacefully until another group of apes, raid and destroy their village taking everyone away with them, Killing Noa’s father and leaving him to die, Noa survives and ventures off to save his people and bring them home. On the way he meets an orangutan named Raka who informs him about the time before apes reigned supreme, of how humans were once the ones in control, Noah (who only knows humans as “echos”) finds this hard to believe but can’t deny it’s truth once he’s shown portraits left behind in rotting buildings. They’re followed closely by a human who they believe is like the rest but smarter, Raka tries to get Noa to show compassion and help her. Eventually, the Human (named Mae) reveals that she can speak and they begrudgingly work together after Raka is killed. 

 

The two are taken captive and brought to the base of their enemy, Noa is reunited with his tribe as Mae is taken to another human. Nearly an hour into the movie the main antagonist is finally introduced, Proximus Ceasar. While he has fairly little screen time his presence for the time he is there makes up for it. Proximus (which means next) is a complex character, he knows the history of humans and is both fascinated and terrified of it. He keeps smart humans like Trevathan (played by William H Macy) around to read to him and teach him more human history, his base is located around an old government vault. He reveals that his goal is to break open the vault so that they can take the knowledge stored within it. In his mind the knowledge of the human inventions such as planes, radios, and most importantly, guns are the most valuable things and he’s willing to do anything to get it. It’s revealed that Mae’s intention was to get there the whole time in order to obtain something for herself, of which she keeps vague.

 

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In the end, Noa begrudgingly works with Mae only because he knows that helping her will help him in the process of freeing his tribe, as Mae gets what she needs she also comes across a gun and takes it.

 

Given the large time jump all the previous characters are long gone and we’re introduced to a new cast of characters. As opposed to repeating character tropes from the previous trilogy or ignoring them entirely this film makes the history of Ceasar a fundamental part of the societies in this world and the conflicts made because of it. 

 

In the film, we see 3 groups of apes. Apes like Noa who know nothing of their origin or of who Ceasar was, some like Raka who have followed closely to the truth of who Ceasar was and what he stood for. And others like Proximus twist the words of Ceasar for their own benefit.

 

The decision to keep the previous characters relevant through their legacy and impact is a great one, in it Ceasar is treated more like a legend than an actual person.

While making Noa a rehash of Ceasar would have been easy they inside chose to make him a character nothing like him and one that (currently) has no connection to humans, Noa cares for his family and their safety however that is where the similarities end. He’s not a born leader, he’s compassionate but not towards humans for he has no reason to be. 

 

The ending of the film makes a solid conclusion for the story while very clearly being more of a setup for future sequels. It was more deliberate than the past movies which left room for the next one while letting the ending feel stand-alone. 

 

In the end, I feel that Kingdom oTPoTA is a step down from the previous films, despite that it’s still an entertaining continuation that pushes this series onward, while it doesn’t match the impact of the Caesar trilogy it doesn’t waste its time attempting to be that. 

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About the Contributor
Joao Julca
Joao Julca, Reporter
Joao Julca is a 17-year-old senior at Colonia High School. He enjoys writing about topics he’s passionate about. He is an avid movie-goer and has a passion for film and music. Julca hopes to gain more experience through Journalism 1 as he wants to be a writer one day. In his free time, Julca enjoys going to movies with friends and listening to music he hasn’t heard before. Some of his favorite artists include Interpol, Tyler the Creator, The Beach Boys, Childish Gambino, Daft Punk, and The Smiths. He’s excited to get to write about current and trending topics and looks forward to the future as his high school years come to an end. 

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