Film, Comedy
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Barely five minutes of this barrel-scraping anthropomorphic farrago have elapsed before Kevin James performs the first in a predictable litany of pratfalls. Still, some of the kids at the screening laughed a smidge, which is more than one can say for this summer’s other family fodder. But I digress…

‘Zookeeper’ is a kiddie romcom about Griffin, an affable, portly fellow (James) who loves his job caring for the animals at an unspecified city zoo. But there’s something missing… If only he could somehow re-woo Stephanie (Leslie Bibb), the flash, flakey floozy who dumped him five years earlier, his life would surely be complete. At this juncture, one of the zoo’s lions (voiced by Sly Stallone) suddenly cracks a quip, and the rest of the animals follow suit, including a monkey (Adam Sandler) you’ll soon come to despise. In one of the most ridiculous scenarios to have ever soiled the screen, the unfeasibly cunning creatures hatch a plan to reunite the couple… but not before Griffin has been coaxed into learning a few basic animal instincts.

The film’s amusing opener shows some promise but the moment the animals start mouthing off and uttering bum-sniffing jokes, we know which way it’s heading. With the exception of Nick Nolte’s likeably gruff gorilla, all the voice cast are poorly matched. But that’s just one foible in a catalogue of errors driven by a script that falters at regular intervals and a structure that encompasses a jumble of scenes seemingly cast at random. Still TGI Fridays will be happy with one of the longest product placement scenes in history. Funniest moments? The outtakes during the closing credits. I rest my case.

By: Derek Adams


Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday July 29 2011
Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Frank Coraci
Cast: Kevin James
Rosario Dawson
Leslie Bibb
Ken Jeong

Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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This is a McDonald's of a movie. You know what you are going to get before you go in. Kevin James plays the same role as he always does of the aweet but bumbling underdog who against the odds gets the girl who is way out of his league. It is equally amusing rather than funny and embarassing but not quite cringingly so. The outtakes and Boston more than a feeling end credits is the best part of the film. Its ok but not good. Not quite a 3 star but maybe a little more than a 2.

the stunning Rosario Dawson should be the leading lady in Hollywood. time out's review (above) doesnt even mention she is in zookeeper

The review moan's about "ridiculous Scenario's" in a film involving talking animals! This from the same mag that gave the latest (and not at all bad, it must be said) Potter an EXCELLENT 4* rating. Well, this isn't bad either and contains enough charm (bar one misjudged gag) to ensure it will become a family favourite for some time to come. Nice to see it didn't feel the need for 12a rated smut...well done. 6+/10