(Rating: PG, 104 mins) Written by Zen Terrelonge
Starring - Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Ken Jeong, Leslie Bibb.
Voices - Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Jon Favreau.
The latest flick from the Sony Pictures team is about Griffin the Zookeeper (James).
He can walk with the animals.
Talk with the animals.
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals.
So as you may have guessed, the film is comparable to Dr Dolittle.
A. Griffin doesn’t have a PhD.
B. The gift he’s been blessed with to talk to the animals isn’t actually a gift, in fact, animals can talk to any human they choose.
C. There’s no Eddie Murphy.
If you’re now looking at your moggie wondering why you’ve never heard it utter a word, the reason is because animal to human communication is expressly forbidden.
It’s an unwritten rule like ‘Thou shalt not steal’ or ‘Fasten your seatbelt’.
Taking stage at the Franklin Park Zoo, Griffin is a big-hearted bozo that’s unlucky in love.
The animal handler is single and nowhere near ready to mingle, but as Stephanie (Bibb) the girl he’s mad for is completely superficial, he rashly decides a change of career may be in order to win her affections.
Griffin is seen as a God, okay demigod, all right, really nice guy, to the residents of the zoo so when they discover his impending departure, they decide to reveal their secret of speech to the disbelieving carer who swiftly thinks he’s gone insane.
With Adam Sandler making the monkey vocals, I’m not too sure what he was trying to accomplish because his character Donald sounds like he needs a sharp gargle with some salt water to clear his throat.
Sly Stallone is in a very fitting role of Joe the Lion and ‘leader’ of the pack, though it’s actually his partner Janet the Lioness wearing the trousers in the form of Cher.
Comparable also to Night at the Museum, the film is a watered down version, lacking the adventure and variety of characters found in the film starring Ben Stiller.
This is replaced with the power of love, something the animals make their mission to help Griffin find.
At this point I’d like to state what an unusual name Griffin is but I’m hardly in any place to judge.
There’s not an overwhelming amount of laughs but they are there at times, particularly from comedy cameo King, Ken Jeong of The Hangover fame.
Lacking in killer instinct but with a focus on wooing the opposite sex, animal style, it works as a light introduction to the world of romantic comedy for children.
Zookeeper is in cinemas from 29th July.
View the trailer right here.