Zookeeper (2011) Poster


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This was a fun, entertaining movie
Ramox Etoch10 July 2011
After reading some of the reviews for this movie, it is absolutely clear that most of the previous reviewers didn't get the point of the movie. It is a FAMILY movie.

You don't go to movies to see what you can pick apart, and then write a review that is already predisposed negatively against it. That's just stupid. Anyone who goes into a movie with the attitude they are going to hate the movie no matter, and writes an extremely negative review is an idiot. The reason to go to movies is to be entertained.

Zookeeper was a movie that entertained. The performances by all the cast members were very well done. There were a lot of laughs, and there was a lot of fun. My son, who by the way is 7, was in the perfect demographic for this movie. It had interesting characters, and situations.

For an adult, a movie with talking animals might not be your cup of tea, but for a small child, it is awesome. Yes, a child thinks it's funny when someone smashes into something or someone. Yes, for an adult, the movie might seem predictable, but truthfully, what movie isn't somewhat predictable? A young child (for whom the movie was made for) isn't going to be scrutinizing every tiny, single thing in a movie, just to say, " A-HA! SEE, I KNEW IT!". A child goes to the movies to be lost in imagination. My son laughed when there was a funny part. Whether it was funny because of the animals, or the humans, I heard a lot of laughter. And yes, I laughed a lot too, and so did my wife.

I believe that anyone who goes into this movie with the understanding that this is a movie targeted towards families with young children, that they will be entertained. This movie hits the mark for the appropriate audience members it was made for.
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Charm and impressive animal animation keeps afloat what could have been a disaster
Stephen Cook12 July 2011
So maybe you hated Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Maybe you're sick of Kevin James in The King of Queens. Maybe you saw the trailer and thought, "Night at the Museum rip-off!" right after you thought, "This is a joke, right?" I will admit that I held all of these accusations against Zookeeper when I entered the theater, but one thing I've learned is that preemptive decisions to not see a comedy simply because you think you have a grudge against it is BAD BAD BAD. I can understand if people can't stand Kevin James's frenetic humor IF YOU WATCHED IT, but over 400 votes of "1 star" a week before the movie is even released shows some shameful attitudes among IMDb voters. Purposeful down-voting is never justified, and is especially a disservice to Zookeeper, which actually turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

Roger Ebert put it best when he said: "Look, a great movie this is not. A pleasant summer entertainment it is." The moments that make an awful comedy awful are the ones when you feel like burying your face in your hands and wishing you never saw a second of this movie. You can all think of those times, I'm sure. Personally, Zookeeper NEVER gave me one of those moments. The plot was a breath of innocent fresh air and managed to keep me interested in the movie. The romantic tensions in Paul Blart: Mall Cop were ridiculously exaggerated, but in Zookeeper were quite low-key. The same goes for Kevin James's boyish, frenetic acting; James has an inherent likability about him that really carries the weight of the film. Be it puppets, animation, or real animal movement, the zoo animals were impressive as well and sported some convincing lip-dialogue sync that you wouldn't expect to find in a movie like this. With a varied cast that will keep you guessing at who voices who, the animals are the second great half of the show. This is a family film aimed at innocent, happy-go-lucky moviegoers and you know it - so if you're looking at a pleasant and light time at the theater, Zookeeper is the one to check out this weekend. But if you want the typical Hollywood explosions, then grab three extra dollars and head down to see Transformers 3 in 3D instead.
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Much better movie then a lot of reviewers give it credit...
aslan-937-28376429 December 2011
After reading some of the unfair reviews this film has received I felt compelled to add my two cents. Yes it's a formula film, yes we've all seen it before, yes you can see the plot coming a mile away.

Honestly, I expected to hate this film... I'm not a big fan of the lead and I normally do not like these types of films, but 30 minutes in I was won over (maybe it was all the animals). This is a light-hearted family film and should be taken for what it is. If you have kids, they will absolutely love it.

The big name actors voicing the animals was a pleasant surprise and the animal animation and "acting" was very believable.

A very enjoyable film.
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Not worth it
Treyroo24 November 2012
Griffin Keyes (Kevin James) is the perfect employee. In addition to being the favorite of all the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo, he's professional, courteous and well-liked by his co-workers. His dedication was only compounded when, five years earlier, he was dumped by his fiancée mid-proposal. But when his fiancée (Leslie Bibb) comes back into his life at his brother's engagement party, his career soon feels like an albatross around his neck.

Fearing the loss of their favorite zookeeper, the animals (voiced by Sylvester Stallone, Nick Nolte, Cher and others) intervene. They reveal the fact that they can speak and always could and then proceed to offer Griffin whatever help they can in winning back his former girlfriend. The attempts and advice vary in detail but what it all amounts to is a slapstick tsunami. It can enhance a storyline when used correctly but the use of it in this film is meant to replace one. It makes for a lot of laughs, but not a lot of originality. Basically, if you've seen the commercial, you've seen the movie. The kids will enjoy it, you might too, but you'd like it just as much if you waited to rent the DVD.
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Severely Underrated.
hotcars178415 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is severely underrated by Critics and some audience members alike. It contains some seriously funny comedy that is suitable for mostly all ages except I would say children under 8. (The "bad word" hell is used a few times).

Apart from this, the movie had great humor and a good heart. The story has been used, but hey, you can say that about almost any movie these days. I think the movie needs more credit than what it is given, and I think after reading this, you should go watch it. You wont be disappointed! Don't listen to those critics on Rotten Tomatoes! Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoy the movie if you have not seen it yet.
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The animals in the zoo
Prismark1030 April 2014
Kevin James retreads his formula as the lovable fat guy left heartbroken when his marriage proposal to a hot blonde (Leslie Bibb) goes wrong as she dumps him.

James is a zookeeper who loves his job cares a lot for the animals, has a sweet relationship with fellow worker Rosario Dawson but is looking for a career change by workings for his brother's executive car dealership.

As Bibb comes back into his life, working in the car dealership and earning big bucks is an attractive option as he hopes this will win her back.

So far so good but then the film throws a curve ball as the zoo animals start to speak as they do not want him to leave. So you have Nick Nolte, Sly Stallone, Adam Sandler, Cher as some of the voices and supposedly to provide some of the laughs.

However James realises that he seems closer to Dawson than Bibb who has another ex boyfriend in tow and is also sad to leave the zoo.

The film has a bright start as James gets jilted while he has made a big effort getting engaged but once again he attracts all the hot ladies and then you have the animals, many of them from Africa who start to speak in English and despite the famous voices, they are not really funny, some of its rather irritating.

The film itself is not very funny, goes a predictable path regarding its romance and comedy. There are a couple of minor bad guys, one of them who abuses the gorilla voiced by Nick Nolte and there is very little there apart from the animals talking that makes it stand out as a comedy.
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Walking and Talking With the Animals.
tfrizzell9 August 2011
The titled character (Kevin James) learns one day that the animals at his facility can actually talk and they make it their mission to help him find love with a somewhat demented ex-flame (Leslie Bibb) while simultaneously we as an audience all know he really belongs with friendly co-worker Rosario Dawson. "Dr. Dolittle" antics for the most part as James talks to the animals with only minimally cute and memorable results. Voice characterizations led by Nick Nolte, Sylvester Stallone, and Cher give the animals personality but really little else. James is definitely a likable comedic force, but he deserves better material. The leading ladies struggle to keep up his mild momentum and really the animals are not even needed as their appearances sometimes distract from what is going on as the plot limps along into development. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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p-stepien24 August 2012
Hidden in the concrete jungle is New York Zoo with Griffin Keyes (Kevin James), its zoo-keeper, the heart of the facility. Meanwhile - unbeknownst to the outside world - the zoo is inhabited by talking giraffes, elephants, monkeys, lions and the like. When Keyes former girlfriend Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) threatens to throw him into a depression relapse the animals decide to make a coming out and assist their zoo-keeper with advice in the matters of the heart.

Overly obscene and borderline disgusting littered with senseless jokes spurted out by gibberish animals, "Zookeeper" fails to deliver in one key aspect: making you laugh. Albeit Leslie Bibb and Rosario Dawson do add some flair to the proceedings with their ueber-stereotypical one dimensional characters James lacks enough comedic flair to pull off the lone hero role, while crude animals with moronic lines hardly help his case. Foreseeably James manages to get his girl with the use of animal advice, but the same won't help him draw in any audience.
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A family comedy that doesn't work
TheLittleSongbird4 September 2011
If you are about to ask me what possessed me in seeing Zookeeper, my answer would be curiosity. At first, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to see Zookeeper. The cast in general didn't appeal to me, apart from Nick Nolte and Rosario Dawson, and the trailer in the cinema when I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had me cringing.

When I eventually dragged myself to see Zookeeper I was overall very unimpressed. Is it the worst movie of the year? Not quite, that would be either Big Momma 3, River of Darkness or Spy Kids 4. But it is low on my "films I saw in 2011" list.

I know Zookeeper is a family movie, I get that. But in my book, just because it's a family movie, doesn't automatically mean it's a good movie. Just for the record, I love family movies, some of my favourites are family movies, such as Disney, Pixar, movies like The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, ET, Black Beauty and The Black Stallion. Zookeeper just isn't my idea of a good family movie that's all.

I love family movies that touch you and reach out to the child within you, and also ones that appeal to a wide audience. Of course Zookeeper isn't that type of movie, but family movies can also entertain. I admit I raised a smile once or twice, mainly because of Bernie the Gorilla, and the movie didn't make me cringe as much as its trailer did, but overall Zookeeper just didn't entertain me.

Firstly, the writing is pretty much a mess. Not only is the script poorly written and a vast majority of the gags predictable and cringe worthy, but to me the humour would go over the heads of most kids and adults would find it childish.

The storyline is also incredibly predictable, and while some of the final act felt rushed a lot of it because of the humour not working felt dull. Not only that, it is very unoriginal, not always a problem, but seriously just how many times have we had the Dr Doolittle/talking animals idea? I did like some of the scenery and the animals do look great. The editing however could've been much tighter. The music is forgettable and doesn't always fit with the mood, and the direction is plodding and unfocused.

I do wish there was better news about the acting, but sadly no. I am not a fan of Kevin James, though I wasn't going to let that spoil the movie experience. However because his character so clichéd and material so weak, James tries too hard and overdoes it, badly. Rosario Dawson is pretty much wasted in a thankless role.

The animals are in a way more interesting than the humans, they look fine and their material somewhat funnier. Voice work is more problematic, some do decently but some grate fast. Adam Sandler and Maya Rudolph are incredibly irritating, while Sylvester Stallone sounds bored. Cher tries her best but her character is not among the most interesting. The best, and the only one I really did like, was Nick Nolte as Bernie.

Overall, messy and doesn't work in my opinion. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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Absolute drivel
chrismsawin9 July 2011
I have purposely tried to avoid Kevin James movies my entire life. That's mostly due to the fact that all of them have looked terrible and make being put in a guillotine look like a welcome form of relief after sitting through such atrocious garbage. But opportunity presented itself and Zookeeper would turn out to be the first Kevin James movie I actually had the displeasure of sitting through. Counter jabbing both my instinct and my gut, I sat there in my seat trying to convince myself that this poor excuse of a family movie might actually be some form of decent. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Zookeeper is really horrendous no matter which way you look at it.

Just from the bits of "The King of Queens" that I've seen and the small pieces of random Kevin James movies I've been subjected to, it's easy to see that James doesn't have a lot of range on-screen. In fact, he pretty much plays the same character in everything and that continues in Zookeeper. He plays the dumb guy, who thinks he's funny, but isn't and spends the entire time falling down too many times and trying to get a girl that's way too hot for him. It's like he's trying to channel Chris Farley, but is failing miserably. Physical comedy has a time and a place, but when it's shoved down your throat it kind of loses what minimal appeal it had to begin with.

You pretty much know where the movie is going to go long before it actually takes place on screen, as well. Griffin's proposal at the beginning of the movie, his bond with the animals at the zoo, and what the animals are willing to risk to help Griffin. Who in their right mind would listen to woman advice from animals anyway? Then there's the whole main character trying to get back a girl he thought he loved when there's a better one sitting under his nose the entire time. There's also something about family movies these days that feel like they HAVE to include two specific things in them to make said movie appeal to the audience it's aiming at. Those two things are urine and a sing-a-long during the credits. This family movie formula needs to be shaken up. They could at least drop the urine since nobody seems to find that funny.

The cast is an interesting mix of talent and has-beens. Seeing Donnie Wahlberg was kind of surprising. The guy couldn't stand coming back for Saw IV, but willingly did something like this. I swear this is like the fourth really bad movie I've seen that Ken Jeong has been in. That guy gets around, but it'd be nice to see him in a project that didn't completely suck. Rosario Dawson was the most surprising though since she has some really fantastic stuff in her resume. She may have been the most enjoyable part of the cast, but still not so good overall. Then there are the animal voices which include the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Judd Apatow, Jon Favreau, Adam Sandler, and Nick Nolte. Nearly all of the animal voices get really annoying really fast; especially Molly the Giraffe and Donald the Monkey. Just imagine Maya Rudolph doing a bad Stitch (from Lilo & Stitch) impression and Adam Sandler doing a bad Al Pacino impression and you've pretty much got the idea of what to expect from that.

It seems like whenever a movie studio comes along and decides to make a live action movie with talking animals it never looks right. Animals talking in Zookeeper looks pretty bad at all times. Certain animals look decent every so often, but you can usually tell it's just a CG cartoon mouth pasted over the digitally removed original mouth of the animal. This is the most noticeable with Donald the Monkey. Bernie the Gorilla seems to be the one animal that used practical effects to be animated and it just looks like somebody in an ape suit with superior puppeteering skills. It's probably about time Hollywood gave up on talking animal family movies. The only time it seems to look right is when the talking animal(s) have a supporting role rather than a main attraction.

Zookeeper is leaps and bounds the worst movie I've sat through in 2011. It is 2011's version of Furry Vengeance, which is no compliment. Kevin James plays the same character yet again while abusing physical comedy and the predictable storyline and unnerving animal voices will make you grind your teeth together in disgust. Zookeeper is the furthest thing from funny or entertaining and is about as enjoyable as a bowl of hot diarrhea soup.
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Something Tells Me Nothing New is Happening at the Zookeeper
uncool926-129 June 2011
Went to see Zookeeper last night at a charity screening for the Franklin Park Zoo and I actually had high hopes. I knew Kevin James would provide the usual frenetic, bumbling, stammering but well-intentioned physical comedy, the romantic component would be something only a Hollywood movie could conjure, and the talking/emoting animals would probably get old quick, but I hoped the combination of elements would result in a winning story. Alas, I was only partially rewarded. The animals far outshine the humans in this movie, and the TGI Friday's scene is where the animal/human connection is at its best (I never had a night like that at TGIF!), but the human story is all too familiar and the characters can only try to raise a script that fails to add anything new to the cinematic landscape. Overall a decent effort, a few chuckles, but nothing new. And two people near me commented that Ken Jeong's typically icky character was totally unnecessary for this film.
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Please Decide For Yourself.
georjekc12815 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing all the 1's users gave this movie I gave it a 10 to try to help balance it out. Americans are a jaded lot and we tend to think that every movie has to be a life changing experience to be good. As a result so many good movies become obscure never having really reach the true movie enthusiast.

"Zookeeper" is a funny, well written if not familiar movie that at least tries to throw in a couple of new twists. Before seeing Zookeeper I wondered what magical circumstance would cause the animals to talk. I must admit I did not expect the most obvious approach which was to simply premise that the zoo animals... MINOR SPOILER ALERT... talk anyway and all the time, away from humans. Maybe they learned it from all the people talking in front of them for so many years... to really enjoy a movie of this type suspension of disbelief is required as in any fantasy move.

By now I'm sure you know the plot so I won't take your time other than to say please watch this movie if you go in for this kinda thing, a comedy, romance, fantasy with a good pace and familiar faces. Too much talent was invested to just be shooed away largely by people who have never created any type of art in their lives and who probably have a whole list of movies that you would give a 1 to.

It's worth a look.
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Extremely booooooring !! avoid it !
med77_9910 July 2011
I went into Zookepper with my family not expecting much, as i knew it was a kid's movie and nothing special, but the movie was a failure, even as a family film.

my 3 kids, aged 7, 4 and 3 actually got bored and started to fidget and talk in the theatre out of boredom. as for me, i could not stand the movie at all, there was nothing interesting about it at all.

A few weeks back we also watched Mr Popper's Penguins, which was also a kid's movie, but it was much much better than this drivel. at least the story had flow and Jim Carrey is a much better actor than Kevin James will ever be.

the Zookeepr's story had no flow to it, it was like a bunch of supposedly funny scenes mixed together incoherently rather than a whole connected film. nothing interesting happens in the movie, just talk talk talk, and the dialog was just terrible, and the Animals were really boring and not funny at all, no wonder my kids got bored quickly. not to mention it was obvious that the animals were not really talking, and that it was CGI.

bad story, slow paced plot, boring dialog, bad acting, awful CGIs and ridiculous scenes make this the worst film of 2011 so far.

my 4 years old girl actually asked to leave the theater about 2/3 the way, and i was more than happy to leave with her, while my wife stayed with the other two to finish this awful film. she told me the ending was not good either.

take my advice, avoid this at all costs, not even worth a DVD rental.
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Wonderful movie for children and adults alike...
Paul Magne Haakonsen25 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
When I decided to watch "Zookeeper" it was because it starred Kevin James, and his movies are usually quite good. "Zookeeper" didn't fail to deliver. I found this movie to be a really good one, catchy story and a nice romantic touch to it.

Initially I was a bit worried with the talking animals part, fearing it might have turned into another "Dr. Dolittle" spin off, but "Zookeeper" was nothing of the sorts. The talking animals just added a sense of comedy and a good amount of personality to the movie. So do not dread this aspect of the movie.

The story is very compelling and moving. Zookeeper Griffin Keyes (played by Kevin James) is dumped by his girlfriend Stephanie (played by Leslie Bibb) on a very well-planned and romantic set-up. Years later, Stephanie reappears in Griffin's life, and things are turned upside down. But who is Griffin now, where is he supposed to be, and how will he get there to be with the love of his life? This is the major line of the movie, then there are lots of nice sidelines to the story as well.

"Zookeeper" has a good cast, and the chemistry between Kevin James and Rosario Dawson (playing Kate) is really great. And the animal voices are done by a group of great people as well. Nick Nolte as Bernie the gorilla, Adam Sandler as Donald the monkey (eventhough he sounds like he just had his entire mouth shot full of tranquilizers in this movie), Sylvester Stallone as Joe the lion, Cher as Janet the lioness, and the list goes on and on.

I had feared that Adam Sandler was going to be all-shadowing in this movie, but his role was only a supporting one. Yeah, I am not much of a fan of his work. So I was personally relieved to find that Kevin James was the one pulling the load of this movie.

"Zookeeper" has a good amount of comedy in it as well, and I was laughing aloud a good number of times throughout the course of the movie. And for those of you who like romance, then "Zookeeper" has that as well. I liked the storyline, because it was a, albeit somewhat stereotypical, romantic comedy. But it all worked out well for a greater unity.

This movie will entertain children and adults alike, because there is something in this movie for everybody. If you haven't seen "Zookeeper" already, then get in gear and sit down to watch it.
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Don't Feed The Animals
steve_ford5310 July 2011
Kevin James plays Griffin Keyes, an average guy in an average job. He has a kind heart and an above average ability to relate to the animals in his care as the zookeeper of The Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.

The film opens with Griffin breaking up with his long time girlfriend Stephanie (Leslie Bibb). He weathers the disappointment and we fast forward 5 years where Griffin has now become the head zookeeper. At a celebration of his brother's upcoming wedding, Griffin spots Stephanie and his old feelings for her bubble to the surface. Lost and confused Griffin's animal buddies come to his rescue by 1 - letting him in on the secret that animals can communicate with humans (in English no less) and 2 - teaching him how to win the female of his species (advice that may be better left as that - advice) Some physical humor and not so funny scenes and lines fill out the movie for the long 104 minutes. Rosario Dawson plays Kate, the obvious new love interest for Griffin.

Unless you're between the ages of 8 and 12 leave this one unseen - I don't even think it is worth the matinée price. Maybe catch it some time when it has been "formatted to fit this screen" and "shortened to fit in the time allotted".
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Zookeeper Cages Itself
leecjaster8 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Kevin James isn't without talent. His years spent on The King of Queens were entertaining, and for a certain demographic, provided exactly what the doctor ordered. Translating to the big screen, James had a memorable performance in Hitch, while seeming to pull enough likability and charm out of roles in movies such as The Dilemma and Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

The latter, Paul Blart, was a monster hit, winning the box office in its opening weekend with $32 Million, despite being barely watchable. Zookeeper follows in this same tradition, with James doing his best to act within a poorly directed, poorly executed, lackluster effort that disappoints for both kids and adults.

Kevin James plays Griffin, a zookeeper who excels at his position. Though he loves his work, a failed proposal to Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) in the opening sequence, causes Griffin to consistently wonder what his life would be like with the girl he wants, instead of the job he loves. When Stephanie comes back into his life five years later, Griffin is determined to get Stephanie back, despite the consequences of changing himself, the life he loves, and the job he was born to do.

Leslie Bibb puts a lot of her comedic chops to work in a role with no meat on the bone. Her Stephanie is a one note song, but Bibb manages to make her seem as if he she has motivations that are somewhat sincere, if utterly wrong for Griffin. Despite Bibb's best efforts, the writing never lets her character escape past her cheap plot device: to give Griffin a catharsis that he doesn't have to change who he is to find love.

Where will he find that love? In fellow co-worker Kate (Rosario Dawson) of course. As Kate, a vet who works with Griffin, Dawson also brings loads of personality and charisma to a character that is about as interesting as a dissertation on Guam's current economic import/export climate (no offense to anyone in Guam, or the import/export game for that matter).

Gauging Zookeeper is best done by relating it to its peers. Dr. Dolittle, which carries much more similarities than the talking animal aspect, was a much more concise and well constructed effort than Zookeeper ever has a chance of becoming. While the animals in Dr. Dolittle are able to provide more than canned laughter for adults, their action provided visual stimulus to keep the kids happy throughout the runtime. Dr. Dolittle also lets the animals do most of the physical comedy, which proves to be the most effective method to reach kids (and adults for that matter).

Another production of similar value is Night at the Museum (which I personally hated). At least Night at the Museum had the decency to get into the meat of the action within a few minutes. Part of the real issue with Zookeeper is how long it takes to actually get to the animals talking. Then, once they do, they don't do much else except talk. Then, when they talk, most of the humor is above the kids, and embarrassingly devoid of anything adults will find of value. The dialog as bland and pointless as it gets.

For example, Adam Sandler plays the monkey who essentially screams, "Throw poop at her!" for minutes at a time. Other animals don't provide much else, except for horrible dating advice, which proves to be the shtick for the middle act. While James is able to get something out of these gags, even his physical comedy can't save the bits from being dry and without a point or reason. Zookeeper doesn't use the crux of the entire movie-- the animals talking -- to actually further the plot or advance a character, proving to be one of the cardinal sins it commits.

When Zookeeper finally wraps up the first grade reading level of a plot (honestly, Curious George books feels like a convoluted thriller compared to Zookeeper), there's really no point to have gone on the journey. Zookeeper is a sloppy and apathetic effort in every aspect, including cinematography, costume design, set design, and, oh yea, plot, humor, and message.

Overall: For the adult in the audience, Zookeeper will provide a few grins, interlaced with moments of disengagement, irritation, scoffing, and finally sleep induced drooling. For kids, Zookeeper takes nearly thirty minutes to get the animals talking, and once they do, they don't do anything but attempt to entertain the adults.

Despite concerted efforts from Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, and Leslie Bibb, Zookeeper cages itself from the outset.
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A Nutshell Review: Zookeeper
DICK STEEL8 August 2011
Director Frank Coraci seemed to have dumbed down his filmography, bring responsible for comedies like The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy and Click, all starring Adam Sandler, to relative duds like Around the World in 80 Days, and somehow Zookeeper straddles closer to being much of a miss, though it follows the standard formulaic procedure of a romantic comedy where the guy tries ever so hard to woo that girl of his dreams, only that the girl, well, is seriously not worth it.

Kevin James once again plays a self deprecating role as Griffin Keyes the titular zookeeper, and opens the film with a disastrous proposal to his girlfriend Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) who rejects him outright because of his profession. How anyone can do that is beyond me, because it's not as if it's the first day of knowing that fella, but so it goes, and painted the picture of someone after wealth and status, which according to Griffin's soon to be married brother Dave (Nat Faxon) is something a woman like Stephanie would prefer. A job offer at his brother's exotic car showroom would mean Griffin leaving a job that is his calling, and the animals of the zoo have to plot to ensure Griffin stays to care for them.

And that meant an accidental revelation that they can all speak English, fluently, and possess a keen sense of humour, sort of, spending plenty of time bickering than to come up with concrete plans to help our protagonist, and even then, offer tips more suited for the animal world, which allows for some pretty awkward moments, though firmly kept in family friendly territory. In some ways it's similar to Night at the Museum, with the museum pieces coming alive at night, and in the same vein, the animals gather in town hall like fashion when the last patron and caretaker leave the premises to partake in some idle chatter.

Voiced by recognizable folks such as Nick Nolte as the emo Gorilla Bernie who might be more suited in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Adam Sandler as Donald the Monkey Sylvester Stallone as Joe the Lion who fantasizes about being king of the jungle, Cher as the Lioness, Jon Favreau and Faizon Lowe as a pair of Bears, and Maya Rudolph as Mollie the Girraffe, and a whole host of other voices, you'd come to expect that there would be at least some wisecracking animals to liven up the mood and add to the sporadic laughter caused from a rather tired narrative, but tough luck, there was too little of that.

Instead, what we got are the usual rote narrative development where Griffin painfully tries so hard to regain the affections of someone so undeserving and shallow, though some may argue it's natural selection like in the Animal Kingdom where the mate will choose from the strongest of her suitors, with Griffin being in competition with yet another braggart ex- boyfriend (Joe Rogan) of Stephanie's. In some ways it touches upon contemporary strategies usually involving another hot woman, and Griffin's choice to induce jealousy is that of his fellow zoo co-worker Kate (Rosario Dawson), whom you can stay 10 steps ahead to know how what should be role-playing, would turn out to be.

With an ensemble such as the underused Ken Jeong as Venom the reptile house zookeeper and Donnie Wahlberg as the token keeper with a sadistic streak, both of whom should have seen more screen time, Zookeeper is what you would label as an average family entertainer, playing it very safe just like how one would view a zoo exhibit, encased behind a rigid structure that provides plenty of the same, and none of the surprises.
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worst movie of the year!
james swartz17 July 2011
my ten year old daughter loves animals so this one at first glance appeared to be her cup of tea, but fifteen minutes into the film she said rather convincingly, "dad, this movie is stupid." yeah. no kidding. this zoo keeper could not stand erect for more than ten minutes at a time, the other characters in the film were totally absurd, and even the animals could not save it.

after seeing Mr. poppers penguins skillfully employ a similar theme line this one fell flatter than an IHOP pancake. gotta be the worst film either of us has seen in several years.

and they invested 80 million bucks into this bomb? wow.

avoid this stinker at all costs.
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Good Family Fun Movie
pnx-23 October 2011
Me and my family just watched this and it is a great family fun movie. I ain't no hater like some people and just see things for what they are. I laughed, the missus laughed and hey my parents laughed as well as the kids. Yes it's a silly premise, but it is fun. Some people need to just chill sit back and enjoy these movies, and not take movies too seriously. Just have fun, like the guys who made this movie, cause these kinda movies take me back to being a kid. Kevin James is his usual funny self, Joe Rogan is hilarious in places, but only a few of the animals are really hilarious. It was an enjoyable movie. I don't understand people hating on these type of movies. I do understand the hate for 'vampires Suck', and 'Epic Movie' and 'Disaster Movie'. those are horrible movies that shouldn't never come to fruition. So, I would say go and watch this cause it's fun.
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"Man Vs. Gorilla : Pointless Infatuation"
jonnyhavey9 July 2011
Kevin James ("The Dilemma") is in his element in "Zookeeper" portraying a very familiar character and is even more likable than before. Therefore, Director Frank Coraci ("Click") centers the film around Smith's slapstick comedy to salvage a poorly written script by Jay Scherick and David Ronn ("Norbit"). Horid scriptwriting commences as James's character Griffin Keyes proposes and rejected by his girl friend Stephanie (Leslie Bob, "Iron Man 2") solely on the basis that he was a zookeeper. Five years later, he is more dedicated than ever to the zoo animals, but is still trying to get over her. He has a new woman in his life named Kate (Rosario Dawson, "Unstoppable"), an animal doctor at the zoo, but is too infatuated with his past to read the signs. Meanwhile, Griffin is trying to connect with the zoo's Gorilla Bernie, but is having no luck. Stephanie then reenters his life looking to change Griffin once again. Griffin is determined to do anything to win her back. However, she is in a complicated relationship with a man named Gale (Comedian Joe Rogan) causing Griffin to have to compete for Stephanie's attention. He has no idea where to start until the animals at the zoo give him advice after breaking their biggest rule of not talking to humans. With a little added help from Kate he gets very close to changing his personality for good, but realizes in the end that he is meant for bigger and better things. Ken Jeong ("The Hangover: Part II") and Donnie Wahlberg (CBS's "Blue Bloods") also star as zookeeper in this film.

James has the clear stand out performance, but is strongly supported by an all-star comedic voice cast including Nick Nolte (Bernie the Gorilla), Adam Sandler (Donald the Monkey), Cher (Janet the Lioness), Sylvester Stallone (Joe the Lion) Judd Apatow (Barry the Elephant), Jon Favreau (Jerome the Bear) and Faizon Love (Bruce the Bear). Each animal is personified entertainment in their own way; however, the pair of bears conjure the most laughs. Kids will enjoy the childish predictable plot while older viewers will only be interested in the unlikely friendship that forms between Griffin and Bernie the Gorilla creating a hint of sentiment in the film.

With two of the worst scriptwriters in Hollywood responsible for its screenplay it is not a surprise that after the exposition of the film there isn't any reason to pay attention to the story. Henceforth, the conclusion is inevitably predictable, but Director Coraci evidently wanted to telegraph it even more. Leslie Bob's poor acting and portrayal of Stephanie as a horrible human being make it completely obvious that Griffin will never be with her. The biggest indicator of mediocrity comes in the form of "The Hangover" and "Community" favorite Ken Jeong as he skates through the movie on the track to pointlessness.

First "Mall Cop", now "Zookeeper" brings up the question of what odd profession James will tackle next. What ever it is James will do a solid job, lets just hope horrid writers aren't following him around in his next kids story adventure.
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Very cute movie!!!
Leslie Boeck29 July 2011
I'm not sure why this movie got a 3 out of 10 and neither does my 13 year old daughter who can be the biggest critic of them all. It was a very cute movie that was funny and goofy and just down right entertaining. Made me remember we all need to laugh and be silly more often than we do. OK so I like goofy movies but I like the shoot 'em and kill 'em and gory ones too. The movies are about entertaining and forgetting the REAL life crap we deal with on a day to day basic. Very much well worth the cost to see. I feel a little more light hearted that I took the chance and didn't go by the 3 stars and read the reviews instead. I was not disappointed. By the way, it does say PG so yes it's aimed at kids.
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Seen it all before, don't want to again...
tylermoore10 July 2011
Kevin James is a hilarious and very talented man. But his recent choices for films are absolutely horrible. Paul Blart= Stupid Grown Ups= Great as a concept but turns our horribly stupid.

Mr. James is not the only one we should be shaking our head in disapproval at. What about Adam Sandler and his horrible recent films. Not only the ones he stars in, but the ones he produces.

Let's face it. Talking animals and obvious slap stick doesn't work. Oh he ran into something, that's so funny! Ha ha! Oh the gorilla has heard of TGI Fridays! I've heard of TGI Fridays too! I'm so fat and stupid! Ha ha!

The PG-13 comedies that come out these days with the same exact premise just in a different place every time have grown very dull. They aren't funny. My advice to these people would be step out of the box and do something really good now! Or, quite while you're ahead. We love you Adam and Kevin, but not your recent movies.
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Silly, warmhearted folly. Delightful bit of goofy fun!
bopdog10 July 2011
Anyone that goes into a summer movie from Adam Sandler's production company, with talking animals and a comedy actor star simply has to take responsibility for their own actions, and their own reckoning process if they are not satisfied. They must stop moaning in public immediately, that a formula movie followed its formula, as it is unseemly and illogical to do so.

My goodness! This is not "Syriana," nor an Ingmar Bergman movie, nor something Sir John Gielgud would have been tempted to act in. This movie is a perfect example of its genre- a silly, warmhearted folly with a moral at the end. This much should be obvious to anyone who has ever entered a cinema before.

I noticed a few rather grumpy audience members writing that they were "shocked, shocked!" that the talking animals were not real, and the jokes were puerile. One viewer even complained that the relationship between the zookeeper character and the gorilla was not realistic (Huh? It's a talking gorilla! It's a guy in a gorilla suit while another guy voices the words from a recording booth. Of course it's not "realistic" Hahahaha!).

Kevin James has not been my favourite actor, I will admit. But I thought he did a fine job here. Much better than I had expected, after having seen his "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" (In my humble opinion, that was lame). James does seem to be a decent bloke in real life, and a lovely man. We all know a few comedians who have a veneer of a smile, but bad vibes underneath. Those few can give off a snarky or malicious vibe on the chat shows or even DVD commentaries- a bit of the weasel rumbling around in the real actor just underneath the character on screen --- but not James. I was not in the least repulsed, and actually liked him in this.

The animals were a hoot. I only could guess two voices out of the 15 nor 20 in the zoo scenes. The others were a surprise, but completely logical when I read their identities on IMDb.

You can safely ignore the self-righteous nay-sayers to this bit of fun. That is, if talking animals are to your taste in a lighthearted and goofy summer comedy.
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Surprised... Much Better Than I Expected
thefallsatnewyork30 July 2011
Some basic background about me and this movie: I honestly did not want to see this movie. I walked out of Eddie Murphy's Dr. Doolittle years ago, and thought this would be about the same. I'm also not a big Kevin James fan. Then, my Niece (who is in her 30's) told me she took her three young children (all under the age of seven) to see this movie a few days ago. She told me that the kids seemed to basically like the movie, but that she "loved it"... finding it an over-all fun and fast-paced-humor movie. Despite my serious doubts, I went today with a friend. Look... this is not a top ten comedy of all time movie. However, I left having the same feelings about it as my Niece (which surprised me very much.) The bottom line for me: Really loved getting to see and hear so many fantastic movie stars! Cher! Adam Sandler! Don Rickles! Well... there are tons of stars in this movie. And... what a great treat to have about two hours with good natured humor, back to back jokes and humor that gives you lots of giggles - but not a crack-you-up laugh-till-you-cry movie. Not meant to get an Academy Award, but it made me smile and feel good about going to the movies again (at age 42.) Look, this movie was worth the $8 to see in a theater. Really glad I went to see it. I'm a bit shocked to read to many bad reviews, and I really didn't want to see this movie. Lot's of memorable lines. And, there were a few heart-warming moments, too.
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Stupid and Dumbest Movie ever made
shaper_xnot17 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is the dumbest movie i have seen so far in 2011. I wasted my time and money. If anyone of you really want to kill some time do anything else in the world but to watch this movie.

I wasn't expecting such a crap from Kevin James. My advice to Lesli Bib, Please quit Hollywood. you are better off in modeling. I am not going to any Kevin James movie anymore.

i can give you details of why this movie was so bad but i really don't wanna waste any more time on this disaster movie.

Simply GARBAGE.....

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