Film Review: Zookeeper

2011– 102mn – PG

Directed by Frank Coraci. Starring Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Donnie Wahlberg. Review by Walter Nichols.

No film has ever epitomized the words “embarrassingly unnecessary” better than Zookeeper. Here is what Columbia Pictures would like you to spend your hard-earned cash: a film in which B-list television actor Kevin James plays a zookeeper who is helped by the talking animals of his zoo (voiced by Adam Sandler, Cher, Sylvester Stallone, Nick Nolte and others) to find love with the beautiful Kate (Rosario Dawson).

As you’d expect, the film is lazily sentimental and packed with uninventive slapstick (read “people falling over as animals slapping their foreheads”). It’s agonisingly charmless and synthetic, and no one comes out of it with their dignity intact.

Zookeeper isn’t especially offensive, but the truth is quite simple: popular movies shouldn’t have to be as bad as this.

Star rating: 0 out of 5 stars