Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes first reactions are calling the movie "A New Hope for the Apes franchise"

kingdom of the planet of the apes
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The first reactions to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes are here – and audiences are praising the movie's VFX and Wes Ball's direction. 

"With #KingdomOfThePlanetOfTheApes being another great chapter, the series continues to hold strong," wrote GamesRadar+'s Emily Murray. "There are undoubtedly pacing issues (too long), but I loved being lost in that world and the exploration of Caesar’s legacy is fascinating. The ending will leave you wanting more."

"Apes have never been STRONGER in @wesball's MAGNIFICENT #KingdomOfThePlanetOfTheApes!" tweeted FilmSpeak's Griffin Schiller. "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." 

"#KingdomOfThePlanetOfTheApes is a fantastic addition to the series," said The Direct's Ross Milheim. "While it may falter at times in the pacing department, that never keeps the movie from being an absolute thrill. The VFX is astounding and the characters beautifully crafted. Can’t wait to see what comes next!" 

"Between Rise, Dawn, War, and now #KingdomOfThePlanetOfTheApes, this series continues to be one of the very best franchise reboots out there," Collider's Perri Nemiroff tweeted. "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." 

The first movie in the franchise since 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes is set over 300 years later. Caesar (Andy Serkis) is now dead and, instead, we pick up over 300 years later with young chimpanzee Noa (Owen Teague) in a very different world. The ape civilization founded by Caesar has splintered into different clans, whilst humans have regressed to a feral state and a life in the shadows.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes arrives on the big screen on May 9 in the UK and May 10 in the US. In the meantime, check out our guide to the rest of this year's biggest upcoming movies.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.