Today: April 12, 2024

Zookeeper

Zookeeper is the latest flick from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison snooze factory.
After smoking hot Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) shoots down his marriage proposal, perennial man-child

Zookeeper is
the latest flick from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison snooze factory.

After smoking
hot Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) shoots down his marriage proposal, perennial
man-child Griffin Keyes (Kevin James) tries to lose his poor boyfriend status
as a zookeeper and cash in as a high-roller car salesman. Maybe then he won’t
be such a saddo and women will like him. But when the zoo’s star-studded
menagerie of animals hear of Griffin’s potential misadventure they decide to
break their code of silence and reveal *gasp* they can talk!

Cue
questionable set pieces where each zoo animal takes turns teaching Griffin how
to cowboy up and bag a female in the process. Griffin roars like a bear and
scratches his back on a tree. Hee hee, Griffin pees all over a bush like a
wolf. Ho ho. Bernie the Gorilla even gets an evening at TGI Friday’s followed
by a bromantic sesh of lying on a car roof, sky-watching. Puh-leeze.

Cementing her
post-Clerks 2 status as smoking hot gal most likely
to inexplicably find herself saddled with an unlovable fat doofus by the end of
the film, Rosario Dawson plays Kate, a fellow zookeeper and the girl of
Griffin’s dreams. Their obvious
and inevitable romance is clumsily mishandled throughout. One could be forgiven
for questioning why these women are throwing themselves at this loser but don’t
let it worry you; realism and believability aren’t really concerns for this
film. We’re talking about a movie
with talking zoo animals here who, for no discernable reason, are voiced by the
likes of Cher, Sylvester Stallone, Nick Nolte and Jon Favreau. The big cheese,
Adam Sandler himself, also turns up in a cameo role, voicing Donald the Monkey
in the shrill style of Gilbert Gottfried. He’s practically unintelligible.

Everyone’s
favourite camp comedy Chinese stereotype, Ken Jeong, brings a little mild
relief to the yawn fest as the requisite “Sandler Psycho”, Venom. But it’s all
too clear Zookeeper is a paint-by-numbers effort with little care taken for
characterisation, plot development and (most criminally) comedy. We’re
light-years away from the Billy Madison/Happy Gilmore Sandler comedies of the
90s folks.

Sloppy
lip-syncing, thumpingly obvious product placement and bewildering internal
logic make this film funny for all the wrong reasons.

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