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Fun with the animals
With school holidays approaching, we receive an influx of light hearted comedic attempts that serve as a few hours of entertainment and distraction for the younger audience.
Often, these films are just as fun for adults, littered with aspects understood only by the parent. Such efforts include Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3.
Zookeeper isn't animated and doesn't reach the heights of the aforementioned titles, but does its job, and serves up typical "Adam Sandler generated" humour through enjoyable characters.
The story revolves around a middle aged Zookeeper named Griffin (Kevin James), a man that loves his job and the company within. After being rejected by his girlfriend (Leslie Bibb) during a wedding proposal, Griffin focuses on his work, ensuring the animals and co-workers (Rosario Dawson, Ken Jeong, Donnie Wahlberg) are content with life in an American Zoo. While hosting a celebration for his brother's wedding at his workplace, Griffin is shocked by the arrival of his old flame, and the fact that she wants to resume a relationship, provided he leaves his job and the furry companions within, who eventually speak up and offer advice.
The plot is fairly simple and predictable, moving at a linear pace towards an awkward finale, though this is constantly interrupted with scenes involving the talking animals, which becomes a positive.
The voice actors are identifiable early on, with notables including the monkey (Adam Sandler, equipped with low brow humour), the leading lion (Sylvester Stallone), a depressed Gorilla (Nick Nolte) and a helpful lioness (Cher). These additions provide enough banter and play to entice kids and make them smile, provided everything isn't taken too seriously.
While many reviews have been negative, they fail to see the purpose of Adam Sandler's latest production. While his touches are everywhere (especially the music and humour) the movie takes a unique approach, focusing on a man's relationships with those closest to him, no matter the species. Many may wait for the DVD release or discount tickets, though it will only delay an enjoyable hour and a half for the children.