Now I will admit I love Tim Burton and most of his work but I too was shocked and fearful of his agreement to take the helm of this sci-fi action flick revamp/re-imagining. Many directors were considered and to be honest I think many of them would have been perfect for the film but Burton does add his usual unique artistic style which can be glimpsed throughout the film in armour design, landscapes sets etc..
So straight to the point I actually liked this Burton version of 'Apes' mainly because its a fun romp which is both silly entertaining cheese and has that classic semi serious sci-fi element to it. First up the visuals in the film are tremendously good and really make the film stand out, total kudos to Rick Baker and his team, the man totally nails the ape look for all the characters to a tea. The best clearly being Roth as 'Thade' with a fantastic makeup job, next up must be Duncan in his gorilla makeup but how about Shadix and Giamatti in their orangutan (I think) makeup..amazing!
The film wins with the look for sure, not only is the makeup excellent but the sets are nicely worked, location is well suited, the apes costumes and battle gear is well designed and the space sequences also look and work well, all in all it pretty much like a top class Star Trek film hehe I mean a good Star Trek film by the way ;)
Casting choices were good accept for Wahlberg who wasn't quite right for me, thankfully we had no Depp to endure here but the use of many solid character actors such as Warner and the imaginative use Tagawa really help lift the film, who could imagine Tagawa as a gorilla.
I really enjoyed the film on my second viewing, my first was on release at the cinema, and I believe its because the 'Apes' classic plot can be made many ways and is open to interpretation from different angles, its not a case of it only works one way like allot of classic films, 'Apes' is a franchise that you can seem to mould and recreate without upsetting the originals. This Burton vision is simple yet highly enjoyable as a fun sci-fi romp, not too heavy, not just copying the original, touch of artistic license and the attempt at a twist ending which was brave but rather illogical, trying to equal the original but failing there I'm afraid. Still the little use of cgi for much of the film is always nice in my book.