Who said animals can’t talk?
No monkeying around, Kevin James is the man, or rather “the zookeeper” in his the appropriately named new movie release.
After Griffin Keyes (James) is dumped by Stephanie, played by Leslie Bibb, because she feels he has still not reached his potential by remaining a zookeeper, he becomes upset and considers leaving the zoo to work with his car salesman brother, Gale, played by Joe Rogan.
He talks about his relationship problems every day to the zoo animals he encounters at work. He does not realize the animals can talk: once they have had enough of him moping around they decide to risk it all and talk to Griffin. They agree that the best way to keep Griffin at the zoo is to help him win Stephanie back so he can see that he is capable of having the best of both worlds. With their help, Griffin learns how to successfully attract the opposite sex animal-style. With all the finesse of grunting, sticking your stomach out, and using a tree as a restroom, Griffin makes a difficult situation even more complicated.
With a predictable outcome and the familiar instance of animals talking to a human, “Zookeeper” lacks complete originality. There is a scene where Bernie, a gorilla, climbs a bridge, which was obviously derived from “King Kong.” The one and only thing that sets this movie apart from all other animal movies is the raw humor that can be quickly identified as a product of Adam Sandler. As a producer of the movie, Sandler definitely had a hand in the comedic lines and slapstick scenes. He was even the voice of the Donald the monkey. It is the typical Adam Sandler humor that one either loves or is repulsed by; it makes one question if this a Kevin James film or an Adam Sandler one.
At its heart, “Zookeeper” is a comedy about relationships and reality, amusing from start to finish. Even though it has a standard theme, it is definitely filled with bizarre moments and even teaches important lessons: no one is perfect and lying is not the best thing to do, although it does provide laughs. It is difficult for a movie to appeal to and entertain a range of audiences, but this movie definitely accomplishes that feat. Within the first minutes, you will instantly find yourself rooting for the animals and becoming a fan of the zoo. Featuring the voices of Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Don Rickles, and starring Ken Jeong and Rosario Dawson, the zoo has never been this hilarious.
Perfect for all ages, save the zoo for a cooler day and instead take a trip to the theater to experience the zoo at its finest.
Catherine Chidiac can be reached at email@example.com.