A massive corporate conglomerate, Octopus Inc., run by a shrewd and cruel tycoon named Rod McCain, purchases a UK-based leisure company, and also the failing London Marwood Zoo. To bring more business to the zoo, Octopus hires a new manager, Rollo Lee, who promptly comes up with a way to increase profits-do away with all the animals except for the ferocious ones. This new Fierce Creatures Policy shocks the Marwood zookeepers, led by the unendingly talkative Adrian "Bugsy" Malone. Eventually, Rod McCain's son Vince, along with the up-and-coming business executive Willa Weston, take control of the zoo and revoke the Fierce Creatures Policy. Vince instead comes up with many under-handed and vicious schemes to attract customers-unauthorized celebrity endorsements, shoddy, overpriced zoo merchandise, and using robotic animals instead of real ones. However, Vince is also stealing from the zoo's funds, and when his father finds out, he rears to turn the zoo into a Japanese-owned golf course....Written by
Josh Martin <email@example.com>
"Fierce Creatures" was marketed as a somewhat adventurous endeavour in teaming up much of the old team from the highly acclaimed "A Fish called Wanda" to do another film that was completely different and had nothing the same, except much of the cast.
Does this have the same sparkle? The short answer is no, but it is still good viewing. It tells the story of a highly greedy and successful business magnate, Rod McCain (Kevin Kline) who has just taken over a zoo in England. However, business regulations require that the zoo return 20% of revenue or it will be shut down. Put in charge is Rollo Lee (John Cleese), who is then somewhat overthrown by new recruit Willa Weston (Jamie Lee Curtis) and McCain's 'idiot' son Vince (also Kline). Essentially the film deals with the three of the new directors and their different schemes for making money and raising the revenue to 20%, but with plenty of sexual tension and comedies of error along the way.
It's a lot of fun, I think I've made that clear. It's by no means the best comedy put on film but it has a lot of the same laughs as a normal Cleese-written comedy; in some ways the character of Rollo Lee is very much like the character of Basil Fawlty. Kline is brilliantly hilarious as usual, he's the standout, while Curtis, Michael Palin, Robert Lindsay and Ronnie Corbett all give spirited performances. It's also nice for an Aussie to see Bille Brown making his big screen debut as the terrible right-hand man Neville.
Overall, it's an above average piece of writing, directing and performing that gives you a laugh. Perfect for a night in. 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
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