Tommy Conlon, a brooding drifter (played by a seriously bulked up Tom Hardy) returns to his hometown in the seedy streets of Pittsburgh to attend to the demons of his past, his formerly abusive alcoholic father Paddy (Nick Nolte). After a chance fight in the rings of a local gym, Tommy proves his strength and agility in mixed martial arts and decides to take it further and enter into a 5 million dollar tournament. Tommy is unwilling to forgive his father, but he seeks him out as a trainer for the tournament.
Meanwhile on the other side of the tracks, Tommy’s brother Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a retired UFC fighter, who is striving to provide for his family and live the American Dream, loses his job as a physics teacher and decides to enter the same tournament. However, the brothers are unaware that they are about to take the same path.
It’s the Shakespearean set-up of the century, two brothers going head to head though perhaps the outcome is less expected than usual. The recycled and predictable storyline often convolutes the action of the film, but the fight scene’s are dark, visceral, and mesmerizing.
A classic tale of a man seeking love, Zookeeper is the story of Griffin Keyes (Kevin James) on his quest to win back the love of his life, Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) with the help of his talking animal friends over at the Zoo. However, among the twists and turns along the way, Keyes realizes he might be running after the wrong girl and does everything he can to make things right. Keyes even finds a lifelong friend in Bernie the gorilla (voiced by Nick Nolte).
Going in with absolutely no expectations, Zookeeper was actually a quite enjoyable movie. While it is incredibly cheesy noticeably geared towards a younger audience, adults could enjoy it as well and could make for a fun family outing. There were many times when you will laugh, and many times when you will cry – I won’t tell if you don’t!
Personally, my favourite part of the movie was the guessing game you get to play, trying to figure out wich famous celebrity voices what animal. And with a cast like Cher, Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stalone, and Judd Apatow, just to name a few, I can assure you that it was extremely fun!
While it might not be winning an Oscar anytime soon, Zookeeper is not all that bad a movie, and I would definitely recommend it to parents who want to entertain their kids for a couple hours with a wholesome, cute, and enjoyable film. For everyone else, wait until it comes out on Netflix.
Zookeeper is out in theaters everywhere July 8.