rating: 2.5When will Kevin James learn that just because Adam Sandlers producing and appearing, it doesnt mean a film is going to be a comedy classic? The animals at Franklin Park Zoo love their kind hearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get the girl of his dreams back in his life is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job. In a panic, the animals break their time-honoured code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! To keep Griffin from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship animal style... Its official: Kevin James needs his head checking! The former funny man has yet again put his name to something that should never have even been green-lighted. Its a shame, as once upon a time James proved that he could be the lovable, tubby comedian in a series of films that were actually tolerable. Unfortunately, it seems his steady slide into pure drivel has finally ended in what can only be described as the shoddy, not-very-funny comedy, Zookeeper. Perhaps this is a slightly harsh examination, as there have certainly been worse films released than this, but Zookeeper is severely lacking something. For a start, those responsible for it could obviously not make up their mind as to whether it was going to be a family film or a romantic comedy. What this results in is a bland blend of rom com tropes and a seriously unsophisticated tone. The film explores adult themes (the idea of having to change your personality for a relationship to work), yet plays these out amongst a distinctly immature set of characters (predominantly the talking animals). Through this indecision the film proves too ridiculous to work as a rom com that would appeal to adult viewers and yet isnt really silly or outrageous enough to fully exploit the kids film genre. There are so many moments where opportunities have been missed to create something ridiculously hilarious. When Griffin befriends Bernie the gorilla and takes him out of the zoo to explore the city a little, the two sing along to Flo Riders hit single Low which is slightly humorous but fail to put the characters into a genuinely comical moment such as being pulled over by the police, for example. The only genuinely hilarious sequence is when Griffin mounts an adult tricycle to chase former love Stephanie and her new feller Gale. Griffin and Gale face off on the bikes with hilarious consequences that find Gale coming a cropper on numerous occasions and Griffin weaving his way through busy traffic! However, this short lived moment isnt enough to save the film from being anything other than pretty dull. The majority of comic sequences fall flat and adult viewers will find at the end of the film that they can count the number of times theyve laughed out loud on one hand... Ultimately, Zookeeper feels as if it should have been an animated family adventure along the lines of a Disney/Pixar or Dreamworks release: something just doesnt quite gel as a live action feature. Plus, its very depressing when an absurd film such as Brendan Frasers Furry Vengeance is actually far funnier! Despite boasting a cast of well known talent, Zookeeper remains a rather sorry affair. James brings his usual brand of slightly pathetic but ultimately rather likeable personality to the proceedings and the film is by no means a stretch for him in the performance arena. Despite pretty much playing a cardboard cut out of nearly every other character hes been in all his previous features, theres something a little bit irritating about Griffin. James proves adept at playing the luckless in love character, but viewers will find it hard not to wish hed snap out of it a little, grow a pair and tell Stephanie to take a running jump! Griffin is a pretty pathetic character and whilst James nails his portrayal, its nothing but a mediocre performance. Rosario Dawson proves shes a talented actress that is just as capable of playing comedy and being a romantic lead as she is of being the badass tough chick. However, despite her abilities she still seems sorely miscast here. She certainly has the intelligence and warmth in her performance to portray a veterinary doctor, but just like with the narrative, something isnt quite right. Theres certainly enough chemistry between Dawson and James to convince viewers that theres an attraction between them, but there would undoubtedly have been a more suitable choice for the part. Leslie Bibb as Griffins former girlfriend Stephanie is the right mixture of emasculator and heartbreaker. Bibbs performance blends bitchiness with delusion and audiences know immediately that Griffin shouldnt be chasing her. Despite her abilities to give a performance with the right characteristics, Bibb remains rather stilted and wooden in her performance, lacking adequate comic timing or proficient delivery of dialogue. The voice talent behind the talking animals is a similarly mixed bag, with some comical performances and others that fall as flat as the majority of the jokes. Adam Sandler provides the voice of Donny the monkey and he brings his usual strong sense of comic timing, but borders on the irritating with his stupid put on voice. Sylvester Stallone gives Joe the lion a voice and exhibits the right characteristics of a stubborn, alpha male. However, his monotonous drone makes the character less than exciting and utterly unmemorable. Cher provides the vocals for Joes wife, Janet the lioness, and gives a similarly drab performance to Stallone. Neither really give the impression that they possess the wisdom to assist Griffin in his pursuit of Stephanie. Nick Nolte breathes life into Bernie the gorilla and is the only voice talent that gets any major screen time. He gives a solid enough performance to humanise the character, but his permanent drunken sounding Southern slur begins to grate very quickly. Admirable support comes from Joe Rogan (as Gale), Maya Rudolph (as Mollie the Giraffe), Faizon Love (as Bruce the bear) and Jon Favreau (as Bruce the bear), but unfortunately they are all underused.