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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.
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.
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.
*** This review may contain 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
*** This review may contain 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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