Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: We Bought A Zoo [2011]

The Background:
Release Date: 22 December (Malaysia), 23 December (USA)
Directed By: Cameron Crowe
Written By: Aline Brosh McKenna, Cameron Crowe, Benjamin Mee
Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Colin Ford, Elle Fanning, Thomas Haden Church, Patrick Fugit
In A Nutshell:
 A story inspired by true events. After the loss of his wife, Benjamin Mee decides for a fresh start and takes his to two kids to live in the countryside. The only catch is that the house they bought also comes along with a rundown mini zoo. With the help of the staff headed by Kelly (played by Scarlett Johansson), they try to restore the zoo for a grand re-opening. At the same time, Benjamin's 14 year old son, Dylan (played by Colin Ford) strikes up a relationship with 12 year old pixie dream girl and Kelly's cousin, Lily (played by Elle Fanning).
Thumbs Up:
+ Light, feel-good tone to the movie
Thumbs Down:
- Too much cheesy stuff going on near the end of the movie, especially on the grand re-opening day
- For a movie about a zoo, the animals aren't really involved with anything interesting in the story
The Verdict Is In:
There's plenty of drama on display mainly regarding the issue of loss as both Benjamin and his son struggle to adapt. But generally this is a very light-hearted movie with the laughs mainly coming from Benjamin's brother, Duncan who's played very aptly by Thomas Haden Church (they really do physically resemble siblings too).

"You know sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come out of it", Benjamin tells his children in the movie. Unfortunately the film shows no such bravery because everything is done safely. Nothing out of the ordinary or unexpected happens. That is perhaps why nothing great came out of it, because while it does has a few charms, it will probably be forgotten by the audience in a few months time.
6 out of 10

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