Director: Frank Coraci.
Cast: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb, (voices of) Nick Nolte, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Adam Sandler.
FIRST, the plot. Kevin James plays Griffin the zookeeper. He wants to get back with his old flame Stephanie (Bibb) despite her rejecting his marriage proposal and being superficial. The animals of the zoo decide to help Griffin pursue Stephanie.
Let's get the positive aspects of Zookeeper out of the way. Firstly, Rosario Dawson is good as James' co-worker and the other love interest. She's the only person in this film who can hold their head high, giving a good performance in spite of how badly her character is written. She deserves to be in better movies than this. And Clerks 2. And Seven Pounds.
Secondly, James has good chemistry with a gorilla (and occasionally with Dawson).
Now the negatives:
* You know you're in trouble when the most believable aspect of a film is the fact the animals in it can talk. It's certainly more believable than Griffin's character arc or that two attractive women would fall in love with him.
* The talking animals aren't funny.
* Neither is Kevin James.
* Neither is The Hangover's Ken Jeong as reptile keeper Venom, who appears to have wandered in from another movie.
* The film makes little sense. For example: the animals say early on they don't let humans know they can speak because of "the animal code" - an ancient law evidently passed down from generation to generation and shared across both prey and predator. They then decide that helping Griffin getting back with Stephanie is worthy of breaking the code, even though Stephanie dumped Griffin because being a zookeeper wasn't good enough. That makes no sense.
* And since when is "zookeeper" a job that's not good enough? Zookeepers are awesome!
* Unfortunately for Dawson, her character falls in love with Griffin, despite Griffin having few, if any, positive character traits.
* Adam Sandler voices a monkey and uses one of his more annoying voices to do so.
* The plot is rubbish and flows strangely. Griffin spends about 70 minutes of the running time chasing Stephanie. He then undergoes a personality change. He then changes back. The end.
* Part way through the film, he decides to take the gorilla out to a restaurant. For no reason.
I could go on, but the sad fact is this comedy is not funny. And as a romantic-comedy, it has no spark or proper chemistry. As a family film it's too romance-centric. As a romance it's too kidsy. Who is this film aimed at?
And why is Kevin James a top-billed movie star? When did this happen? Why is it happening?