Everyone said this was going to be the biggest flop. Then people watched it and everyone said it was the surprise hit of the year.
When you have only CGI apes, even the promise of Andy Serkis donning the motion capture and James Franco being anything other than Spider-man's back-up kept me from hoping this movie would be decent.
Then I watched it on DVD.
This movie is a prequel-like movie to the original Planet of the Apes (with Charleton Heston). It sets up the idea of how the apes took over the planet. There are the honorary nods and winks to Heston's epic: "Get your stinking paws off me..." and "It's a mad house!!" are woven into the movie. Names of the original apes are quickly given and then dismissed. You'll even get a hint at the space vessel that crashes in the future. We're bound to get a sequel with a possible re-telling of the original.
James Franco does a decent job as a scientist who's on the verge of curing Alzheimer's. His character arc is bound to his father who suffers from the disease. Serkis certainly deserves some kind of award or honorary mention for his bringing a CGI creation to such life. Other characters are simply there to fill the void. Tom Felton (Harry Potter's nemesis, Malfoy) continues his mean streak by abusing the apes in his father's so-called sanctuary. Brian Cox is shuttled to the side as Felton's sleazy father. John Lithgow never ages. He looks the same as when he was in 3rd Rock from the Sun.
They leave enough threads open for future films if the studio decides to green-light the sequels.
I enjoyed this movie. If you can deal with easy-viewing, popcorn flicks, you'll sit back and enjoy this one.