Zookeeper [Blu-Ray] Frank Coraci
Published Oct 21, 2011Rather than question the collective narcissistic psychology behind the American preoccupation with anthropomorphizing animals, making them sassy and wise, I'll choose to interpret the latest Kevin James comedy as a subtle allegory for the onset of schizophrenia. It seems logical, as it's about a man displeased with his station in life, having been dumped by dippy socialite Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) for not striving beyond his career as a zookeeper. Being of a certain age, humiliated and limited only to co-worker Kate (Rosario Dawson) and indifferent brother Dave (Nat Faxon) in his social circle, his alarming discovery that the animals in his zoo can talk is consistent with mental illness exacerbated by depression. His response to this similarly proves disturbing, since he takes advice from the various animals on how to get Stephanie back, urinating in public places to mark his territory and making ape noises at other men to signify dominance. These behaviours could get someone committed, or at least escorted out of social functions and public spaces for lewd conduct, but in the vacuum of Zookeeper, secondary characters tolerate these erratic actions, accepting his self-involved destruction of his brother's wedding and random insults as acceptable and unproblematic, suggesting a subjective reality specific to someone with a deluded perception of self. I choose to believe that this is actually an allegorical work of brilliance, rather than interpreting it at surface value as an exceedingly unpleasant children's film with endless toilet gags, since I'd like to think the answer to the question, "What is my motivation for this scene?" is more than, "You're sitting with a talking gorilla at a TGI Friday's eating a rack of ribs. And action!" Included with the Blu-Ray are special features on creating the gorilla costume, along with discussions about the voice talent (Cher, Sylvester Stallone, Nick Nolte, etc.) and a brief look at the visual effects. The gag reel included is actually more fun to watch than the film, mainly because it looks like Kevin James and Rosario Dawson had a blast shooting scenes together. And it's nice that something supplemental is enjoyable, since the Movie I.Q. feature and Ratchet & Clank videogame features didn't work on my PS3.