Kevin James’ latest film “Zookeeper” stinks almost as much as the animal droppings in the cages at the Franklin Park Zoo. The combination of physical humor, animals with attitude, and simple jokes falls completely flat and makes for a painful experience for any parent accompanying their child.
Though “Zookeeper” is packed with familiar faces and voices like Adam Sandler, Cher, Joe Rogan, and Sylvester Stallone, star power can’t save this dreadful excuse for a family film.
Starring: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb
In “Zookeeper,” Kevin James plays Griffin, the head zookeeper at the Franklin Park Zoo who realizes that his career choice may be the one factor holding him back from succeeding with the ladies. Panicked at the thought of losing their beloved zookeeper, the animals at the zoo decide to help Griffin by breaking their no-speaking-to-humans code and offering him dating advice. As Griffin does his best to win back the affections of a lost love, he (shockingly!) discovers that true love is much closer than he thought.
Today’s family movies need to offer more than just cheap gags for the kids – they should have material that adults can appreciate and some kind of substance too. “Zookeeper” has neither. Plenty of time is spent watching Kevin James run into poles, trip over himself, and crash into innocent bystanders. The rest of the comedy comes from the zoo animals making obvious jokes, from the monkey advocating poop throwing to the wolf advising Griffin to mark his territory by peeing on everything. And the plot is as boring and expected as the humor.
It’s movies like “Zookeeper” that make people so incredibly thankful for Pixar’s comparatively wholesome, well-crafted films. This bomb of a family comedy tries to get by on celebrity power and fails miserably. For those people who might want to check out the scenes shot locally in Boston, wait until you can rent it on DVD. Otherwise, don’t bother wasting an hour and 44 minutes of your life watching this movie in any capacity.