Rating: 1 star out of 5
The stars: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Nick Nolte (voice), Adam Sandler (voice), Cher (voice)
The Story: The animals of Franklin Park Zoo panic when they learn their favourite zookeeper, Griffin (Kevin James), plans to leave the zoo to find another job. They start talking to give him romantic advice to help him win his ex Stephanie (Leslie Bibb).
The Buzz: A star-studded line-up of voices, along with Kevin James, whose previous film Mall Cop was a sleeper hit.
inSing.com says: Kevin James can’t rescue a poorly-written script and a lack of gags in this poorly executed movie. Directed by Frank Coraci and co-produced by Adam Sandler, James plays semi-lovable loser Griffin who gets along better with animals than he does with humans.
It’s hard to accept the idea that Griffin could take advice like peeing to mark his territory seriously, and he doesn’t have the zaniness to pull it off, though even a comedian like Jim Carrey might have a hard time selling it.
The film falls back on pratfalls in order to try to drum up some laughs, but they just come across as rather weak attempts. Nick Nolte voices Griffin’s best friend, a depressed gorilla named Bernie, and if you’ve just seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes, you’ll find Bernie’s facial animation utterly lacking in comparison.
Still, it doesn’t really matter when everything is so signposted, particularly who Griffin should end up with. Even a kid could see through the thin story, and demand a trip to the actual zoo as payment for sitting through this comedy that forgot the laughs.