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KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

"Can’t We All Just Get Along?"

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What You Need To Know:

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES focuses on a young adult chimpanzee, Noa, who must rescue his kidnapped mother, friends and friends from a gorilla army led by a power-mad king. Along the way, Noa meets a wise orangutang and a human female who can talk. The wise orangutang inspires Noa with talk of mercy, compassion and peaceful unity. However, the young woman has some hidden reasons for her opposition against the selfish king.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is the best of the recent APES movies. Despite some plot points, the movie is thrilling. The special effects are wonderful, with grand set designs. The acting is also excellent. KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has a strong moral, redemptive worldview which promotes family, mercy, compassion, and liberty from oppression. Also, KINGDOM has two moderate obscenities, clear references to Caesar as a Moses type and to the Book that can give speech to those who cannot speak, strong action violence, and an implication that the apes and monkeys are more trustworthy than humans. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.

Content:

(CC, BB, ACAC, PP, Co, H, Ev, PC, Ho, L, VV, N, M): 

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
  Strong moral Christian worldview overall with morally uplifting, redemptive values promotes family, kindness, mercy, compassion, and the hope, though slight, that apes and humans might someday be able to get along, with clear references to the Book that can give speech to those who cannot speak, thus presenting an underlying biblical storyline with historical Roman elements such as references to an Emperor (one character mentions the Roman history elements), plus the hero clearly honors his mother and father though his father is depicted as a little tough and hierarchical, and father’s pet eagle doesn’t like the son, but the son eventually earns the eagle’s respect (you have to really see the movie to understand the character development here because it is a little bizarre), a beloved ape leader in the past is overtly venerated as a “lawgiver” who brought other apes to a “promised land” (previous APES movies had also compared this character to Moses), Noa delivers his family and friends from the flood and the movie strongly opposes the tyranny of the ape villain in the story and promotes liberty from oppression, but mixed with a light communal aspect appears in the movie, which sometimes supports the idea that apes should work together for utopian goals, an opening scene shows apes lifting their arms in the air at the funeral pyre of their beloved and benevolent ruler, the villain makes a self-aggrandizing reference to ape “evolution,” and there’s a very light politically correct connotation when a supporting ape character says the bad apes killed his close male ape companion (nothing further is said or revealed about this relationship other than this one comment, however) as well as a politically correct humanist implication that the movie’s apes and monkeys and primates are still more trustworthy than humans (the ending, however, offers some hope, though perhaps small, that apes and humans someday will learn to get along);

Foul Language:
  Two “s” obscenities and no profanities;

Violence:
  Strong and light action and conflict violence includes apes climbing tall trees and a high cliff sometimes fall and slightly injure themselves, chimpanzee hero comes across some dead ape bodies showing that a scout sent by his father and his community’s elders died during a battle with a small army of gorillas, the army of gorillas carrying cattle prods with tasers on the end hunt for the hero and then ride horses to his village, hero runs after them, and the gorilla army are torching his village and carrying off captives while battling the chimpanzees who resist, the gorilla army tasers and beats up and kills the apes who resist, hero watches his father being killed, large gorilla tosses hero off one of his village’s eagle towers (the villager bond with and train eagles to hunt for fish for them), but the hero survives though he’s left for dead, the gorilla army harasses a small tribe of non-talking humans, a final battle occurs, a large explosion happens, tons of sea water invades a hidden human facility, and there’s some fighting during this, and human woman deliberately breaks the neck of an older human who was prepared to rat her out to the villain;

Sex:
  No sexual content, but it’s clear in one scene that the hero has romantic feelings toward a female ape friend;

Nudity:
  Apes sometimes have their chests exposed naturally, but nothing salacious or explicit is shown;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
  No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
  Villain has his gorilla army kidnap other apes, moneys and primates to work for him and bow down to him in obeisance and apes find a beginning reading book for human children with drawn pictures of humans visiting the zoo with animals, a gorilla and monkeys in cages.

More Detail:

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is about a young adult chimpanzee who meets a wise orangutang and a human female who can talk and comes up against a small army of gorillas led by a power-mad gorilla who wants to get his paws on advanced human technology. KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is the best of the recent APES movies and promotes some positive moral, redemptive values like family, mercy and compassion with clear references to Caesar as a Moses type who gave the law and led his people out of bondage, as well as a reference to the Book that can give speech to those who cannot speak, thus presenting an underlying biblical storyline with historical Roman elements such as references to an Emperor (one character mentions the Roman history elements), but it has two moderate obscenities, and an implication that the apes and monkeys are still more trustworthy than humans.

The movie opens with the funeral of Caesar, the beloved ape leader in the previous three APES movies. A crowd of apes lifts their hands in the sky as an ape lights Caesar’s funeral pyre.

Cut to “many generations later.” Noa, a young adult chimpanzee, lives in an isolated chimpanzee village where the apes raise young eagles to become pets who can hunt for fish to help feed the village. Young Noa and his two friends, who include a male chimpanzee and a female, arouse some unwelcome outside interest while hunting for three eagle eggs to raise.

Soon, Noa and his village are surprised by a small army of gorillas. They kill Noa’s father and other chimpanzees who resist. They also knock out Noa, leave him for dead and then kidnap Noa’s friends and fellow villagers.

Noa wakes up and takes a horse to follow the army and rescue his mother and the other apes. He eventually discovers that the gorilla army is led by a power-mad gorilla with a kingdom by the sea. The King, calling himself Proximus Caesar, uses other apes as slaves to help him get his paws on advanced human technology to rule everyone. Along the way to the villain’s kingdom, Noa meets a wise orangutang and a human female who can talk. The wise orangutang inspires Noa with talk of mercy, compassion and peaceful unity. However, the young woman has some hidden, complicated reasons for her opposition against the selfish king. She’s also very adamant about being opposed to the apes getting their hand on any human technology.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is the best of the recent APES movies. Despite a few questions about some of its plot points, the movie is thrilling and engrossing. The computer-generated and motion capture special effects are wonderful, with grand set designs that create a realistic, incredible new world. The acting is also excellent. All the performances are really good, with Peter Macon delivering a heartwarming performance as the orangutang, Raka, who becomes the moral heart of the movie. The movie’s chimpanzee hero, Noa, is not only affected by the situations, obstacles and challenges he encounters during his journey on the story; he’s also inspired by Raka’s words about mercy, compassion and peaceful unity.

The story in KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has a strong moral worldview with morally uplifting, redemptive values, with clear references to Caesar as a Moses type who gave the law and led his people out of bondage, as well as a reference to the Book that can give speech to those who cannot speak, thus presenting an underlying biblical storyline with historical Roman elements such as references to an Emperor (one character mentions the Roman history elements).

First, the story promotes family. Although the young hero is a little bit intimidated by his father, he honors his father and especially his mother. His goal is to rescue his kidnapped mother, friends and fellow villagers and bring them home. This theme is an international, archetypically human one that transcends communities and nations. However, it’s also an archetypal American theme where American heroes associated with the wilderness, as in many literary and cinematic westerns (or even an urban jungle in more modern tales), must protect and/or rescue a woman or a child from dark forces surrounding them or invading their homes or communities. That’s exactly what happens when King Proximus, who fancies himself a Roman emperor, sends his gorilla army to kidnap the people in the eagle clan and bring them back, for all intents and purposes, to be his slaves.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES also promotes moral, redemptive values like kindness, mercy and compassion. As noted above, the hero’s new friend, Raka, inspires the hero with such positive words. Raka also inspires the hero with words about working together in peaceful unity to create a better world for apes, including a world where apes and humans can get along better. The movie’s ending holds out some hope for such a better world, even though it leaves viewers with some doubt about whether apes can really trust any humans and whether humans really have it within themselves to work with apes.

The movie repeats clear references to the deceased Caesar as a Moses type who gave the law and led his people out of bondage, as well as a reference to the Book that can give speech to those who cannot speak, thus presenting an underlying biblical storyline with historical Roman elements such as references to an Emperor (one character mentions the Roman history elements). Also, Noa delivers his family and friends from the flood. Furthermore, in Christianity, we are all one in Christ, and the Bible sometimes mentions a messianic utopian age, in the Psalms and the Book of Revelation, for instance. 

Also, the benevolent hierarchy in the hero’s village is contrasted to the oppressive hierarchy in the villain’s kingdom. For example, the hero’s village seems more like a bottom-up hierarchy where the villain’s hierarchy is clearly a selfish top-down hierarchy. As clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has noted, human beings and even the animal kingdom seem to have an inbred inclination toward establishing hierarchies and even dominance of one human or animal over another human or animal. This doesn’t mean that establishing hierarchies or levels of dominance are totally bad, much less totally evil. However, Paul instructs Christians in his letters to be humble, be generous and unselfish, and regard other people as more important than ourselves. “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests,” he writes in Philippians 2:4, “but also for the interests of others.”

All that said, KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES also opposes the power-mad villain’s selfish, big government tyranny and promotes liberty from oppression. The hero’s goal is to rescue his mother, friends and fellow villagers from the villain’s tyranny and bring them home.

In the previous APES movies, the character of Caesar is depicted as a kind of Moses who frees his fellow primates and leads them to a promised land. KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES continues this theme when Raka the orangutang calls Caesar “the lawgiver.” The movie makes other references to law and ultimately concludes that there are good laws like the ones Caesar created and bad laws like the ones the villain creates. In fact, the villain cites Caesar as even an inspiration for himself, but his idea of what Caesar stood for is distorted in an evil, oppressive, self-serving way. He also uses Caesar to rally his army and his primate slaves. As such, he’s like a demonic version of Caesar, just as the later kings of Israel and Judah and Rome were.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES contains some negative content, however. Although it has no sex or explicit nudity, or gory scenes, it does have two “s” words and strong action violence. Also, the villain makes a reference to evolution. For example, the villain says he thinks that advanced human technology can assist the “evolution” of apes. Of course, he sees such an advancement in an evil way, to give himself more power and more dominance over everyone else. Finally, when the hero and the woman meet Raka the orangutang, Raka tells them the villain’s gorilla army also killed his male friend, a close companion. Raka says he considered his friend “family.” This statement lightly implies that Raka might have had more than a friendship with this “companion.” Nothing further is mentioned in the movie, however, about Raka’s friend. So, who knows?

Ultimately, KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is an exciting, emotional movie with morally uplifting, redemptive, inspiring, heartfelt, and even profound values. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older pre-teenagers and young teenagers and rates the movie a Minus One, with four stars in storytelling, entertainment and artistic quality.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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