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"The Animal"

Directed by Luke Greenfield.
Written by Tom Brady and Rob Schneider.
Starring Rob Schneider and Colleen Haskell. 
Release Year:  2001 
Review Date:  6/21/01


"Why did you see this?", you ask?  Well, I am a sucker for almost any sight-gag comedy, so "The Animal" fit the bill.  (Well, it was partially that, and the fact that my friend Terry had already seen "Tomb Raider" and refuses to see anything animated, so "Atlantis" was out.  Ironically, Terry can't wait to see "Final Fantasy", so I called him a big eff'n hypocrite.)  And besides, after the low point of the year, "Moulin Rouge", I figured that things had to get better from there.

And, like its obvious (for dozens of reasons) counterpart "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo", "The Animal" is almost devoid of story but features mostly Rob Schneider's serviceable sight gags.  And, if you go into this movie thinking that it will be about the same quality-wise, you are going to have yourself a decent time.

What little story there is involves a police clerk (Schneider) who is nearly killed in a car accident but brought back to existence by a mad scientist who inserts animal parts into the clerk's damaged body.  From there, the clerk becomes a superhuman (animal?) cop that saves the lives of innocents everywhere...while also eating every meat product in sight, fighting with other animals, and sniffing lots of animal and female ass.

Yeah, I admit that it does sound pretty damned stupid.

But, for whatever reason, a few of these sight gags really worked for me.  The dialogue, partially scripted by Schneider, is horrendous and you can almost hear the crickets in the theater when characters read hollow one-liners clearly written with laughter in mind.  Ed Asner, where art thou?  Asner plays a police chief in this film and you can almost envision his reaction while he was watching this film at the premiere party:  "Where is my career going?"  Adam Sandler and Norm McDonald make funny cameos, but not until the very end of the picture.  In the meantime, you are kind of stuck with a poor cast of characters...including that girl from "Survivor", and she couldn't act her way out of a high school play.  And, are her eyes naturally that sleepy looking?

Catch this one on video or when it makes its inevitable debut on HBO next year.  In the meantime, see something else!!

Rating:  Rental


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09