The desired effect of sympathising with the CGI apes is more than achieved (and they only feel distancingly CGI on a few occasions) and Andy Serkis' performance as Caesar is outstanding. This is very much from the apes POV, meaning there's long, well-sustained sequences without dialogue and nary a human in sight.
The set pieces are well-conceived and the joining the dots to where a Heston-type movie begins manages to be quite convincing (if a bit 12 Monkeys); there was some criticism of those I saw this with that pushing the film to the point of the sequel was overly schematic, although I didn't feel that way about it except maybe the climax/credits sequence. Also that the use of Alzheimers as a device was a bit poor taste, but again (although it's a fair comment) I thought Lithgow's performance was typically sensitive and engrossing.
Minus points most definitely for bland Franco, though. And Pinto was even less of a presence, if that's possible. The need to have characters mouth famous lines from the original was a distracting and unnecessary.