12 July 2011 | neji107
Charm and impressive animal animation keeps afloat what could have been a disaster
So maybe you hated Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Maybe you're sick of Kevin James in The King of Queens. Maybe you saw the trailer and thought, "Night at the Museum rip-off!" right after you thought, "This is a joke, right?" I will admit that I held all of these accusations against Zookeeper when I entered the theater, but one thing I've learned is that preemptive decisions to not see a comedy simply because you think you have a grudge against it is BAD BAD BAD. I can understand if people can't stand Kevin James's frenetic humor IF YOU WATCHED IT, but over 400 votes of "1 star" a week before the movie is even released shows some shameful attitudes among IMDb voters. Purposeful down-voting is never justified, and is especially a disservice to Zookeeper, which actually turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Roger Ebert put it best when he said: "Look, a great movie this is not. A pleasant summer entertainment it is." The moments that make an awful comedy awful are the ones when you feel like burying your face in your hands and wishing you never saw a second of this movie. You can all think of those times, I'm sure. Personally, Zookeeper NEVER gave me one of those moments. The plot was a breath of innocent fresh air and managed to keep me interested in the movie. The romantic tensions in Paul Blart: Mall Cop were ridiculously exaggerated, but in Zookeeper were quite low-key. The same goes for Kevin James's boyish, frenetic acting; James has an inherent likability about him that really carries the weight of the film. Be it puppets, animation, or real animal movement, the zoo animals were impressive as well and sported some convincing lip-dialogue sync that you wouldn't expect to find in a movie like this. With a varied cast that will keep you guessing at who voices who, the animals are the second great half of the show. This is a family film aimed at innocent, happy-go-lucky moviegoers and you know it - so if you're looking at a pleasant and light time at the theater, Zookeeper is the one to check out this weekend. But if you want the typical Hollywood explosions, then grab three extra dollars and head down to see Transformers 3 in 3D instead.