Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Reviews: Zookeeper & Horrid Henry: The Movie

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Reviews: Zookeeper & Horrid Henry: The Movie

Article excerpt

A MODERN day Dr Dolittle takes advice from the animals in his care to win the woman of his dreams in Frank Coraci's surprisingly endearing comedy.

Kevin James isn't known for subtlety in front of the camera and the script completely loses the plot when the eponymous hero takes a gorilla out of his cage for a night on the town, persuading the patrons of one swanky Boston bar that the hulking primate is a friend in costume.

Away from the silliness, we grow fond of the characters and the script manages the occasional moment of silver-tongued tenderness.

Griffin Keyes (Kevin James) is humiliated when his sweetheart Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) rebuffs a marriage proposal.

"I know it shouldn't bother me that you're a zookeeper, but it kinda does," she responds sadly.

Five years later, Griffin is head keeper at Franklin Park Zoo, treating all of the animals with compassion and earning the respect of co-workers Kate (Rosario Dawson) and Venom (Ken Jeong).

Stephanie walks back into Griffin's life and throws him into an emotional whirl.

The animals, led by Joe the lion (voiced by Sylvester Stallone) and Janet the lioness (Cher), decide to break their silence to help Griffin win back Stephanie.

Once the keeper recovers from the shock that the beasts can talk, he follows their conflicting advice about how to woo Stephanie.

Zookeeper makes Griffin the butt of the jokes as he tries to be someone or something he isn't to find true romance.

Of course, he eventually realises that he only has to be himself to win the fair lady's heart while his animal accomplices screech, growl, trumpet and whoop with delight.

RARELY has a film title been more fitting than Nick Moore's woefully misjudged caper based on the mischievous character created by award-winning author, Francesca Simon. …

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