Friday, July 8, 2011

This Week in Why Bother: Zookeeper

“This Week in Why Bother” is an ongoing series in which I question why Hollywood is doing what it is doing, and explain why you need not bother with it. 

I’ll be skipping Zookeeper this week, but those of you with kids may have no choice but to sit through it.  Here are some of the shit bombs are few critics are throwing at it, but first, a little polite numbers crunch.

Zookeeper: By the Numbers
Director Frank Coraci’s other masterworks: 4 (The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Around the World in 80 Days, Click)

Writers it took to pen this gem: 5

Estimated hyperbolic budget: $80 million

Rotten Tomatoes approval rating on day of release: 14%

Look, a great movie this is not. A pleasant summer entertainment it is. I think it can play for all ages in a family audience, it's clever to have the animals advising humans on their behavioral strategies, and besides, I'm getting a teensy bit exhausted by cute little animated animals.

As far as complete wastes of time go, Zookeeper is not especially offensive. Yet it is surprising that everything you might expect to be charming in it just isn't - namely all the bits involving animals.

Did the MPAA accidentally leave off the "13" from its PG rating? Parents will be challenged to explain the urination scene, the size jokes and other penis-related comedy to their kids.

Kevin James remains a potentially appealing movie star — if only he didn't have to be in Kevin James movies.

As a study in insanity, Zookeeper is mildly interesting. But as a kiddie comedy, it’s something to watch only once the little ones have worn out their Dr. Doolittle DVD—maybe even their Dr. Doolittle 2 DVD, for that matter.

The animals aren’t completely to blame for the Zookeeper.  Unless they made it.  Which is possible. It's hard to think of a human finding much to laugh about in this wounded beast.