[Screen It]


(1997) (John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
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Tense Scenes
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Comedy: A British zoo is taken over by a media conglomerate.
Rollo Lee (JOHN CLEESE), a middle aged genteel man, assumes control of a British zoo that's just been bought by Octopus Inc., owned by American billionaire Rod McCain (KEVIN KLINE). Lee needs profits at the zoo to go up 20 percent or he'll lose his job. Noting that some of entertainment's greatest financial success comes from violence, he orders that only the "fierce creatures" be kept on display. This upsets the zoo workers, including Adrian "Bugsy" Malone (MICHAEL PALIN), the spider wrangler. Lee, however, has more problems as newcomer Willa Weston (JAMIE LEE CURTIS), a smart corporate type who wears tight, revealing dresses, and McCain's greedy son, Vince (KEVIN KLINE), arrive in England to take over the zoo. As Vince turns the zoo into a big advertising circus, both Willa and Rollo take to the animals and help the others fight to keep the zoo open.
If they're fans of any of the stars, of the cast's earlier collaborative work, "A Fish Called Wanda," or of the comedy troupe, "Monty Python," they will.
For sexual innuendo and language.
  • JOHN CLEESE plays a man who takes over a zoo and seems ruthless at first, but turns out to be an okay guy.
  • JAMIE LEE CURTIS plays a smart corporate woman who knows how to use her body and sexiness to move up the corporate ladder.
  • KEVIN KLINE plays a father and a son, neither of whom is a good role model.


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    While the producers of this film have repeatedly stated that this isn't a sequel to "A Fish Called Wanda," it does try to capture the same fun and clever plot of that 1988 production and fails miserably. That's a shame, because we really enjoyed "Wanda" and the cast is filled with likeable, funny people. The problem is that the film just isn't that funny. Perhaps early versions of the script showed promise, but in its final version it simply falls flat. Not that there isn't some humor present, and occasionally you will find yourself chuckling. Most of the humor, however, comes from sophomoric sexual innuendo, the kind you'd almost expect coming from "Beavis and Butt- head" movies. Instead of being clever, we get to see Kline and Curtis snicker in glee thinking that Cleese is in bed with several women, when in reality several zoo animals (that all have female names) are crawling over him. His comments, innocent on his end, are supposed to make us laugh along with the giggling other two. Sorry, we've seen that scene, and Cleese's Freudian slips (while staring at Curtis' curvaceous body), so many times before that it's all become mundane. To top it off, the film makes a stab at humor by placing product endorsements throughout the zoo setting. While it may bring a single grin at first, are we supposed to be blind to the actual flagrant advertising that's being forced upon us? It's a shame to see Cleese and Palin, who used to be brilliant eons ago working with the Python cast, working with such poor material (co-written by Cleese and an uncredited William Goldman). If you loved "Wanda," don't ruin that memory by seeing this film. Go rent the original again. We give this lame, forced comedy a 3 out of 10.
    Probably the most troublesome thing in this movie is that a man is shot in the head and that, and the hiding of his body, is played for laughs. The guilty then set it up to look like the man committed suicide. Sure, this is a comedy and (most) adults will see that it's not meant to be taken as real. Nevertheless, impressionable kids might see the humor coming from it and get the wrong idea. There are also several instances of belching and farting (for supposed humor) from both animals and humans. Sexual innuendo is found here and there throughout the film, but most of it will probably go over younger kids' heads. Profanity isn't too bad (although there might be 1 "f" word that is muttered) and the worst of the violence is the shooting described above. Since your kids may want to see this film, we suggest that you read the scene listings to determine if it's appropriate for them.

  • Vince opens champagne for himself and Willa.
  • People are seen drinking in a bar.
  • Champagne is served in a hotel suite.
  • Several zoo workers fake bloody injuries to make it look like they were attacked by passive animals that they claim are "fierce." Later, Rollo sees a woman with real injuries and tastes her blood to prove (he believes) that it's not real. He then licks her slightly bloody wound twice.
  • There's a tiny bit of blood on Vince's leg after he accidentally stabs himself with an ice pick.
  • There's a small bloody bullet wound in a man's head.
  • Rod buys companies only to strip them down, make them profitable and then resell them. By doing so, he doesn't care about the companies nor their employees.
  • Vince doesn't like animals.
  • Vince says that the zoo will be sold to some Japanese people who plan on building a golf course. He then mocks a Japanese accent saying "Hole in run" (for "hole in one").
  • Some viewers may get tense as a tarantula walks across a desk top and nears Rollo's hand. Another scene has that same tarantula walking along a shelf in a closet above several people.
  • The zoo workers hear gunshots being fired after Rollo has threatened to kill the non- fierce animals. He acts like he shot them, but he really hasn't.
  • Rifle: Fired by Rollo in the direction of other zoo workers after they've faked animal injuries.
  • Ice pick: Gestured by Vince as if to stab his father, then slice his own wrists, and then he ends up stabbing himself in the leg with it.
  • Handgun: Retrieved by Vince and then pointed at Bugsy to shut him up. He then points it at Rod and then at his own head. It's wrestled away from him, but Bugsy ends up accidentally shooting Rod in the forehead, killing him.
  • Handgun: Accidentally fired by a lemur.
  • Phrase: "Shut up," "Bastard," "Fart," "Pervert," "Idiot," "Pissed off," "Screwed up," "Moron," "Wuss," and "Spineless tw*t."
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • 1 possible "f" word, 1 "s" word, 1 slang term each for male and female genitals (the "d" word and "tw*t"), 1 slang term for breasts ("tits"), 7 hells, 5 "ass" words, 5 damns, 1 crap, and 3 uses each of "My God" and "Oh my God," 2 uses of "For God's sakes," and 1 use each of "Christ," "God damn," "My God," and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • Vince asks Willa if her breasts are real, and she says that they are. He then tells her that she should be careful wearing revealing clothing. "People will think you're sleeping your way to the top," he tells her. She responds that it's better than sleeping one's way to the middle.
  • There are three scenes where mistaken situations lead to Willa and Vince thinking that Rollo is having sex with several women at once. The first is over the phone where they hear Rollo telling several animals (by name) to "get off the bed" and "don't do that" and "what are you doing down there?" The second is where they think he has numerous women in the bathroom when it's really the same animals. The third is a scene too complicated for full detail, but suffice it to say, Rollo and another woman are in their underwear, and another woman and a sheep are there too. But nothing sexual occurs in any of the scenes.
  • Vince, referring to the above (thinking Rollo was with 3 women) asks him, "Where's the third go?"
  • Vince thinks that he and Willa are going to have sex. He removes his clothes down to his underwear, but she's surprised to see this. She then bends down and a pleasured look crosses his face, but it leaves when he realizes she's pulling up his pants.
  • There's a very quick glimpse of a woman in a skimpy bikini and part of her bare butt is seen.
  • Vince mentions the word "boner" (erection) when chastising Rollo for what he believes he was doing with two women.
  • Willa says (about some animals, but Rollo is looking at her breasts), "Aren't they gorgeous? They make you just want to fondle them." Rollo then gets tongue-tied and utters the words, "tit bits," "boobs," and then says that was a "Freudian slit, slut...slip."
  • Rollo reaches back to grab a book but instead accidentally grabs a hold of Willa's breast.
  • Rollo and Willa begin making out and removing clothing, but Vince interrupts them before anything happens or is seen.
  • None.
  • None.
  • That being shot with a gun and then trying to hide the body isn't funny in real life.
  • Rod has an associate punch him in the stomach.
  • Rollo repeatedly fires a rifle in the direction of zoo workers who have faked animal injuries (but he's not trying to hit them).
  • A woman hits Rollo with her large handbag after he accuses another woman of faking her injury.
  • Vince stomps down on a cart carrying champagne and smashes it to bits with his feet.
  • Vince gestures (with an ice pick) as if he's going to stab his father, but ends up accidentally stabbing himself in the leg.
  • Rod punches Bugsy in the gut, doubling him over.
  • Bugsy accidentally shoots a gun (wrestled from Vince after he was pointing it at several people) and hits Rod in the head, killing him. Vince, happy over his father's death, later punches the body several times.
  • Vince knees an assistant in the groin and then punches him.

  • Reviewed January 24, 1997

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