The grandson of the world's most famous chimpanzee Ham (the first American in space) has become a circus star who does a death defying act - being shot out of a canon. He's called Ham III (voice of Andy Samberg
), after his famouns grandfather. When an expensive space probe goes missing, a surly senator (voice of Stanley Tucci
) who's in charge of the space agency's funding, wants it found and quickly.
It's decided that, instead of the expense and danger of a manned mission, a trio of chimps will be sent to find it and bring it back. In a public relations stunt involving Ham's historic grandfather, the first chimp-stronaut ever, they decide to send Ham III along with the macho Titan (voice of Patrick Warburton
) and the level-headed Luna (voice of Cheryl Hines
) on the dangerous mission.
After navigating their way through a black wormhole, our heroes find themselves on a distant alien planet ruled by the evil dictator Zartog (Jeff Daniels
). He is using the lost Earth satellite to control his unhappy subjects. It's up to the chimps to find a way of defeating the villain and getting back home before it's too late.
Sadly, the movie consistently goes for cheap laughs, making far too many jokes out of puns, pratfalls, and the occasional reference to poop. Most of the adventure is aimless and the feel-good message is mired in hokum. Extraterrestrial monkeys should have been really entertaining, but these guys simply are not.