Zookeeper

(2011)

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Review: Zookeeper

Transcript for Review: Zookeeper

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Well speaking of great cinema our next film, ZOOKEEPER, is a drama whose alternately playful and rigorous use of form manages to recall the works of both Tsui Hark and Maurice Pialat. I’m just kidding – it’s a movie where Kevin James talks to animals and falls down a lot.

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James plays a zookeeper who is trying to win back an icy ex (CLIP 6, no sound) with the help of some talking animals, but he has a smarter, more attractive co-worker who’d obviously appreciate him for the sensitive, animal-loving schlub that he is. She’s played by Rosario Dawson.

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Dawson is lovely as ever, but this is for the most part a talking animal movie. Namely, it’s a talking animal movie where the animals’ mouths are unconvincingly animated and their voices sound like they were recorded separately, giving the corny humor an unsettling, disconnected tone. Keep in mind that the following scene took five people to write.

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Produced by Adam Sandler—who, unfortunately, voices a monkey—ZOOKEEPER isn’t content with being just a shoddy comedy aimed at the lucrative “people who find Kevin James falling down funny” demographic. It’s also vaguely misogynistic, ugly-looking and features product placement so brazen that it would make Michael Bay blush. This is just profoundly bad. 

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
It is bad and even Kevin James who has a great deal of likability to him and a great sort of every man sweetness to him, even he can’t make this tolerable. T here is one, precisely one, funny scene in the entire movie, and that is where Kevin James, and the gorilla, voiced by Nick Nolte, who’s pretty good actually, go to TGI Friday’s, cause It’s loony in a way that nothing else is in the entire movie.

IGNATIY:
It’s loony in a way that is so obviously crassly placed there for marketing purposes.

CHRISTY:
Oh, it’s all awkward, it’s horrible, but I laughed that one time, that’s all I can say.

IGNATIY:
Really, the film failed in both respects. I neither laughed nor wanted to go to TGI Friday’s afterwards.

CHRISTY:
Mmmm, potato skins.