The critics are wrong. They fall into their own cliches. They think they are sophisticated. But they don't always think. ZOOKEEPER was wonderful. I read more than one review that dissed the movie because the animals talked. The implication was that that is corny, and you don't want to go there. Hello? So THE LION KING and the millions of other popular talking animal movies don't count, because they're animated, and thus geared toward children? In other words, an adult isn't allowed to watch and enjoy a work of art in which animals talk? Goodbye ALICE IN WONDERLAND, WINNIE THE POOH, CHARLOTTE'S WEBB, not to speak of my favorite, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT.
The premise of ZOOKEEPER works, and the animals, particularly Sandler's monkey, Bernie, the gorilla, the two bears, the lion and his wife, were perfect, and made the movie. Cher, as the giraffe, wasn't particularly a stand-out, but that may be because she didn't get the best lines.
The concept was more than a comedy. It was a true ROMANTIC comedy. And the romance was pitch perfect and refreshing. As for Kevin James, he is so good, and so often under appreciated. Why did the King of Queens never win an Emmy?
This movie is better than MALL COP and didn't have a wasted or corny moment, as far as I'm concerned. Even the so called crude moments--like a urine contest between Griffin (James' character) and a wolf, make perfect sense in the context of the story.
James has the ability to be very funny and sweet at the same time. I don't think his buddy Sandler, or many other comics, say Will Ferrell,or Jim Carey, could pull this off. Most comics have a hard, razor edge. But James is loveable and cute, and he's also a riot.
I'm sick of the phony "sophistication" of a critic who would rave about BEGINNERS and then put this movie down. I saw BEGINNERS and it stunk. The premise was interesting, but the movie went nowhere. The hetero romance was catatonic. There was no there there. It was aimless. Yet, the critics are still raving. I mostly see Foreign films and Indies because most popular fare is cliched and dumbed down. But this movie was truly charming, and certainly beats Tom Hanks' latest attempt at an old fashioned romantic comedy.
A larger question is PETA's objections to the film. They object because zoos are prisons for animals. I do not disagree. But this movie actually SHOWS how the animals suffer, especially in the case of Bernie, the gorilla. The difference between a caring person, who loves animals, like James' character, and the sadistic zookeeper, who is his nemesis, is clear. I can't help but think that an average person seeing this movie, who may have taken zoos for granted, will realize for the first time, that a zoo is not a place for a wild animal to be. I would not be surprised, if there is a ZOOKEEPER 2 in which Griffin and his love, Kate, the vetenarian, free their animal friends, and start an animal sanctuary somewhere. It would definitely be plausible, given the way the scene has been set.
The movie has a lot of fun with male machismo, as well as the importance of following your bliss. Five stars for ZOOKEEPER and Kevin James, from this "critic". There's nothing wrong with a tender movie that makes you laugh while at the same time feeling empathy for man, woman and animal. Glad I listened to my own animal instincts, rather than the banal ravings of a bunch of pedantic critics!