I thought that the bits with the animals (the central thread of the film) were actually pretty weak; it was mostly them stood round having long, so-called funny conversations about Kevin James’s character’s love life. And that thing that animators do where they superimpose a fake mouth onto a real animal… that NEVER works. It doesn’t even work for the kids because characters standing around talking is boring to them even if those characters are cute and furry.
The good parts were when Kevin James was allowed to take centre stage. He may not exactly be cutting edge or fashionable but I just think he’s naturally funny. He makes me laugh even when he’s got weak material because he doesn’t come across as trying to be funny. Too many comic actors are basically ordinary men trying to be funny. James is a funny man trying to be ordinary, which is far funnier (did you follow that?!!).
Critics have been very sniffy about this film but I don’t think it’s that bad. You’ve seen the storyline a million times: under-confident bloke tries to be something he isn’t in order to win the girl. In other words… if you want to be liked you just have to learn to be yourself (not sure this holds true for serial killers). The film doesn’t go within a million miles of the question of whether animals should be kept locked up in zoos at all. Provided you can accept all of those imperfections and keep your expectations as low as a snake’s arse you might actually enjoy it.