Zookeeper review

Frank Coraci
Kevin James
Rosario Dawson
Leslie Bibb
Joe Rogan
Rated: PG

Yes, this movie is just as stupid as the trailer makes it out to be.

Zookeeper follows around, not surprisingly, a zookeeper named Griffin (James), a man who is dedicated to his job but also wants to marry his long time girlfriend Stephanie (Bibb), however when she turns him down and breaks up with him, he is left heartbroken and continues his day to day routine for the next five years.

Cut to the present and Griffin is the lead zookeeper and very well liked by the animals and the staff, so things seem to be alright. However, we find out that Griffin may want to leave to work at his brother’s car dealership. As this happens Stephanie comes back into the picture, so the animals of the zoo come around breaking the code that they have to not talk to humans and help Griffin get the girl he’s been wanting. but things get complicated when Griffin starts changing who he is.

The story of this movie is dumb. It’s everything we’ve seen before in talking animal films like “Dr. Dolittle 2,” just instead of ‘save the forest’ it’s get the main character a girlfriend. Every second of the film is predictable and there is never a moment that truly surprises.

However despite it’s premise being ridiculous and unoriginal, at the same time it’s harmless. It’s just that there is no real conflict going on here except for some romantic drama that doesn’t seem to fit with this story.

Kevin James himself is partially what hurts this movie since he is dong his same old schtick as always being the big guy taking falls. It’s repetitive and looking back it’s hard to think of any really clever jokes that James or any of the other characters deliver other than him crashing into things, ripping his pants or talking to animals with funny voices.

These “funny” voices include Adam Sandler doing his best Gilbert Godfried impression as a monkey or Nick Nolte playing the giant gorilla who sings to Flo Rida. There were some moments in the movie that the animals gave me a chuckle, but most of the attempts at comedy were just giving an animal a funny voice.

One part of the movie that was alright was Rosario Dawson who really seemed to be trying here, however it just seemed that the rest of the cast seemed like they knew exactly what kind of film it was and didn’t bring their A game. For example Joe Rogan who probably wishes Fear Factor was still going on, playing Gale who is after Stephanie’s heart as well. He plays the competition of the love interest like every other film and there is a sense that he really doesn’t want to be there.

Overall, Zookeeper isn’t the worst movie of the summer or the year. It’s a simple family movie that’s made to play to the lowest common denominator. It will entertain the kids and maybe give the parents a few chuckles but nothing more. Low 2 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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