Tuesday, November 29, 2011
11-26-11: Please curb your zoo animals.
WE BOUGHT A ZOO (2011) *** 120 mins. D: Cameron Crowe. Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Angus MacFadyen.
After the loss of his wife, Benjamin Mee moves his family to the countryside and despite not having any experience whatsoever buys a local zoo.
Cameron Crowe's latest, based on a true story, is a somewhat generic family drama. It has an air of predictability that the whole film simply goes through the motions from point a to point b.
Beyond Damon there really aren't that many memorable characters with the exception of MacFayden's MacCready. He's the drunken groundskeeper who can hold a grudge and has a way with the animals.
The only character interactions with some authenticity are between Damon and his kids and Damon and his brother. Mee is in the same situation as Clooney's Matt King from "The Descendants" but as written they aren't on the same level. When the film focuses on the family it's fine, everything else is pretty much cookie-cutter family fare and obvious.
It's harmless family entertainment just don't expect "Almost Famous" or "Jerry Maguire."