Animal film is a turkey

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 January, 2012, 12:00am


I've never been a huge fan of talking animals in films. But in Frank Coraci's comedy Zookeeper, animal dialogue goes beyond the believability factor - it's downright annoying, even creepy.

Zookeeper Griffin (Kevin James) has always had a way with animals. His best friend comes in the form of a gorilla named Bernie (voiced by Nick Nolte). In fact, other than his ex-girlfriend, Stephanie (Leslie Bibb), his life has been intensely devoted to the animals of Franklin Park Zoo.

Griffin is desperate to re-connect with Stephanie. He enlists the help of vet Kate (Rosario Dawson), but it might not be enough. The animals, who are all fond of Griffin, decide to help - even if it means breaking their sacred code to never speak with humans.

Zookeeper is low on laughs. If you're put through such senselessness then you expect at least a little fun for your troubles. Not here, though. The best scene in the film involves Griffin on a night out in the town at TGI Friday's with his best bud Bernie, who's going through issues of trust with humans.

No doubt Zookeeper is going for cute. (Not cuddly cute or aww-inducing, adorable talking pets cute). Instead, you get something not unlike Stupid Pet Tricks (YouTube it) minus the amusement factor. And, yeah, there's not much in the department of surprises either - the entire film is predictable from credit to credit.