1. When Fox sends me review copies of first-run movies, they show up at least a few days after the release – that means no timely scoops for yours truly.
2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is totally mediocre plot-wise – no surprises, and a lot of clichés. Scientist recklessly experimenting with wonder drug for personal reasons? Check! Greedy big pharma guy who gets his comeuppance? Check! (He also, incidentally, wins the stupid line award: "This is a business, not a petting zoo!" Someone please tell the writers that a petting zoo is a business) Predictable ape revolt/killer virus outbreak? Check and check! Which brings us to ...
But more than that, the motion-capture phenomenon is emblematic of the tired, safe prequelitis that's been rampant in Hollywood since the 1990s. The Economist pooh-poohed the recent Tintin motion-capture movie, and rightly so. But if it's done well, where some kind of mimetic realism is appropriate, the technique is no different than a very complex form of mask. And just ask the ancient Greeks about how useful masks were for drama.
You might as well enjoy the technical and performance aspects in such films, because no one spends as much effort on the story. On one of the Blu-ray bonus features, one of Rise of the Planet of the Apes' writers talks about how he had an idea about making a movie about chimps attacking their owners, and that it suddenly occurred to him: he was thinking of Planet of the Apes! So why not just make the "idea" an actual Planet of the Apes movie? 'Cause securing the rights is a lot less work than coming up with a good script that has some sort of reason to rehash the Apes premise.
So that's why this is the Andy Serkis show.
The Planet of the Apes series in a nutshell: the original novel was a tidy piece of French Sci-Fi; the original movie version was an iconic adaptation; the spate of sequels ... well, let's be charitable and say they were ahead of their time in how they wrung a franchise out of what was best left as the premise for a Twilight Zone episode. Wonder how the Terminator and Matrix series got to eat their own tails? Well it all starts here.
Where does that leave Rise of the Planet of the Apes? To show you just how retrograde it is, I think Kirk and Spock from the Mad parody of Star Trek I (that's right, all the way back from 1979!) nailed the underlying phenomenon years ago: