The movie was very much a departure from the other two planet of the apes movies. Instead of going for the sci-fi build -up to the "Ah-haa" ending the movie is a slow paced character development from birth to the outbreak of violence of Caesar who leads the outbreak.
Set in a Tolstoy-esque world the rambling uneven narrative focus' on the the smallest details of the three main characters lives. Kaufman leaves each character as an enigma instead of developing them the audience is left to guess at there back story through the furtherance of the plot. I enjoyed the excess nudity it is a player in the film but never reaches the point of soft core pron (sic).
The action of the story makes the 3+ hours float by, but it never reach's a level of being totally engrossing. The break between disc 1 and 2 is very natural and watching disc 1 makes disc 2 a cliff-hanger of sorts.
As funny or funnier as the first, however the the similarity in plot really dims down the "Shock and awe" value of the content. Cooper Helms and Galifiankis are the pivotal characters where Justin Bartha is the guy who stayed back at the hotel who talks to them on via cell phones. Galifiankis seems tacked on to the plot and his scenes are so disjoint to the plot its just off. If you really liked or loved the first you will like this also.
There isn't really a character to get invested in in the movie. Tatum starts off has a pompous Roman who transforms to trust his slave. Bell is a slave who honors his commitment to Tatum even after he finds out Tatum's father killed his parent and brother and turned him from a prince into roman slavery.
The two go on a search to recover Tatum's family honor by recovering the Bronze Eagle that decorated the standard of the Roman 9th legion that was lost under his father's command. The bulk of the movie is odd trust building exercises between the two which is not paced well.
The story really goes south when the Roman soldiers who survived a massacre by Britans 10+ years ago leave their tribes and families and find their roman armor to protect a bronze eagle.