‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ reinvigorates an aging ‘Apes’ franchise (review)

One of the most underappreciated and longest-running franchises in Hollywood history is “Planet of the Apes,” that imaginative science fiction property which began with the Charlton Heston-led classic from 1968 directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.  

Adapted from the 1963 French novel by Pierre Boulle, the plotline centered around astronauts crash landing on a planet in the far future where intelligent simians rule the world and humans are mute feral creatures subjected to all kinds of cruelties. The twist ending of course is that this is no remote alien world, but actually a post-apocalyptic Earth as unveiled in the unforgettable finale when Heston’s Taylor character discovers a half-buried Statue of Liberty on the shoreline.

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