Like cigarettes, some films ought to come with a health warning.  Zookeeper, in which a down-on-his-luck schlub gets romantic advice from talking animals, will give you a migraine, and is likely to invoke a lifelong hatred for simians.

This idiotic film stars Kevin James as a caring zoo attendant who wants to get back with his old flame when he runs into her five years after she dumped him for being in a job that wasn’t good enough. He loves what he does, but he can’t decide if he must change his personality in order to woo her. To help him make the right decision, the four-legged residents of the zoo break their code of silence, and tutor him in the art of courtship.

These animals are voiced by the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Maya Rudolph, Jon Favreau, Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler in particular as an annoying monkey. But what’s even more implausible than the sight of these talking critters is the suggestion that at some point in this film, not one, but two attractive women would fall for our loser hero. Kevin James spends the most part of this film running into things, falling flat on his face, and basically making an ass of himself. In the film’s most lazy, ridiculous portion, he sneaks a grumpy gorilla (voiced by Nick Nolte) out of the zoo, and takes him for a night out on the town, pretending it’s one of his buddies dressed for a costume party.

For a comedy, this film just isn’t funny. For a romance, it’s entirely predictable, and has no spark or chemistry. For a kids’ film, it’s too focused on the love story. I can’t understand who this film is meant for! I’m going with a generous half out of five for Zookeeper. By the end of this awful film you’ll wish the animals had eaten Kevin James. Or each other.


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