Yesterday I watched the latest release, without subscription on blinkbox.com of We Bought a Zoo.
Films with zoos and animals are generally quite good. The cast from A Fish Called Wanda returned to make Fierce Creatures, a film about trying to save a zoo from closure by the hands of an insane billionaire (it really is very good despite the way I just described it) all the way to something more up to date like Madagascar where a group of zoo animals get marooned on Madagascar and have to come face to face with nature. The premise of a zoo is quite a funny thing and taking it from a writer’s perspective open up a barrel of ideas and storylines from the animals and subsequent characters within.
…slightly side-lined by a soppy and heart-warming tale of love lost and found…
The problem with We Bought a Zoo is that, although it’s a lovely film, the zoo feels slightly side-lined by a soppy and heart-warming tale of love lost and found. Benjamin (Matt Damon) has recently lost his wife so to help out his relationship with his children Rosie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) and Dylan (Colin Ford) he decides to buy a house which comes with a zoo attached. The head Zoo Keeper, Kelly (Scarlett Johansson), helps Benjamin to start renovating the failing zoo and through financial troubles, an inspection, a very big flood and some animal fun things turn around.
The problem I had with this film is at its heart it means well, but it strays away from the comedy elements and makes the story focus on Benjamin’s dead wife, his new love with Kelly and the children falling in love and finding out about how their parents met. This is all fine; however I feel that the title and idea of the film is swept away by a romantic mush.
…the comedic situations needed to be more frequent and pivotal…
Perhaps I expected more, but the zoo was downplayed and I think the comedic situations needed to be more frequent and pivotal to the storyline of the film. Otherwise why not call the film Getting over My Dead Wife?
Overall the cast are quite solid, but the film lacks in comedy and animals. Something, I think, you would have from owning a zoo.