The Animal

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:17 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Animal
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Rob Schneider
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Not too young.
Date Movie: Let her go see “Moulin Rouge.”
Gratuitous Sex: The movie set was a little cold at times, but that’s about it.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Toilet humor mostly.
Memorable Scene: None.
Memorable Quote: “Is it true you can smell what’s up people’s butts?”
Directed By: Luke Greenfield

I hate to sort of bash a movie when the kids that were leaving seemed to enjoy it so much, but I just thought “The Animal” could have been a much more funny movie if it were geared towards the younger-youngins rather than the just getting to the puberty-youngins. Sure, it had the toilet humor you might expect, and sure it had Colleen Haskell, the little cutie from the first Survivor, and sure it had a fun cameo by Norm MacDonald and Adam Sandler, but I think it just missed its calling.

Rob Schneider plays Marvin Mange. Basically he’s a loser stuck as a clerk in the police evidence room. His dad was a great cop and his dream is to become a great cop like his dad. The problem is that he has neither the instincts nor the aptitude to be a cop. One day his car careens off a cliff and Marvin is next to death. Well, Marvin is rescued by a cooky doctor (Michael Caton) who saves Marvin by replacing his body parts with animal organs. As miraculous as that is, well, it only takes a week for Marvin to recuperate and he’s back on the job unaware of his surgery except that he begins to notice some changes in his actions, you know, things like being able to sniff out drugs, run faster than a horse, dry himself off without a towel, and unless he doesn’t shower I’m sure the had to have noticed the excessive hair on his butt.

While getting his shot on the police force by catching the drug smuggler in the airport, well, Marvin also begins seeing Riana (Haskell) who is an animal and tree lover. There is also a couple of other things that Marvin is noticing, namely his voracious appetite for raw meat and his sexual urges. Finally Marvin hooks up with the cooky doctor who tells him about his surgery and tries to help Marvin deal with his urges. I think that’s enough of the story.

I had a couple of problems with the movie. One was that the jokes basically relied on Marvin’s new-found sexual urges, even to the point of him trying to get it on with a goat and him peeing to mark out his territory, and the other was the stupid sub-plot of Marvin’s friend Miles (Guy Torry), a black guy who thinks he is just getting special treatment because white people feel bad his ancestors were slaves. Not that they weren’t funny at times, and other times they just seemed stupid, but for a movie that could have really been great for kids, well, they even made me a little uncomfortable.

I think they should have kept the movie clean, geared it more towards the fun things Marvin could do now that he had animal instincts and abilities, and just let it be a good family film. Schneider did his best with what he had to work with and Colleen was cute (although I think she’s too squinty), but the movie just went for the cheap jokes instead of really trying to be creative.

Sometimes you get what you pay for or expect and for your hard-earned dollar you get an hour and a quarter of jokes for thirteen year old boys. I can appreciate those jokes as much as the next guy, so I’ll give the movie 2 1/2 stars out of 5 for being what I expected (actually, I’ll make that 3 stars for the scene where the set must have been a little chilly), but in all honesty, you should really just wait for this movie to hit cable.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!