The Animal (2001)

Rob Schneiders head appearing from behind long grass. A red feather is sticking out from between his lips.It stars Rob Schnieder, you know what to expect

Marvin Mange is a man who, after being critically injured, is unknowingly put back together by a mad scientist who transplanted animal parts, resulting in strange permanent changes to his behavior.

It's film's like these that remind you of the spoofs animated shows like South Park and Family Guy make that manage to be better than the actual film. I say this because, immediately after finishing this film, I watched the South Park spoof clip where he's a carrot and a stapler, and laughed more times in those seconds than I did in the 80 minutes I spent watching this film.

Rob Schneider does nothing new here, he just plays the typical character he always plays, an awkward guy who gets nothing but shit from life, until one day something happens that changes him forever, while John C. McGinley pretty much plays a poor imitation of Dr Cox, his character from Scrubs.

The jokes in this film are pretty much in the same tone as any other film containing Schneider or Sandler, they're obvious, unsubtle, lame, sometimes overlong, played in a heavy handed manner and, for a comedy film, this is the most important one, not funny.

The thing I find interesting about this film is how it manages to do different things at the same time. On the one hand, it manages to be utterly predictable, so that no matter where the story goes, you pretty much know where the story will go next and how the film will end. On the other hand, the film manages to be too weird and logic defying for it's own good. This is evidenced many times in the film, as Dr Wilder offers to take care of Marvin's sexual needs, by presenting a chimp in a dress that appears ready and willing to receive.

The biggest defiance of logic I found this film gave was when Marvin, in his car, kept falling down a cliff twice and then had a boulder crush him while in his car, and yet there was still enough of him for Dr Wilder to salvage. After the boulder, he surely should be dead, or at least in a liquid form.

Ones qualified to do no more than throw his poo,
the other's a monkey.

The film also manages to have the two different things it does overlap, so that you have logic being defied in order make way for the story structure to play out in the same predictable way you expected it to. The prime example of this is how the nature girl manages to fall in love with Marvin, despite his constantly weird nature that would put off any like-minded female. Or have I got it wrong, and just need to catch a Frisbee in my mouth to woo a girl?

While I do like Rob Schneider's cameos in Adam Sandler's films, with my personal favourite being The Waterboy, it does not work with the roles reversed, and Sandler's cameo just comes across as a weak imitation.

I know you must be asking yourself, "But after all that, why did you not give it a 0?". Well I felt that a few actors managed to give moderately good performances, despite being given very little to work with, the most notable of these being John C. McGinley. Also, the first scene where they showed off the Reverse Racism rule, I found it to be mildly chucklesome. Only the first scene of it though, I did not care for how they stretched that joke along like a Stretch Armstrong toy.

With jokes that aren't funny, characters who aren't developed, a predictable story structure, a sense of the film being too weird for it's own good and a lame resolution, The Animal is not a film i'd recommend, unless you find Schneider and Sandler hilarious, in which case I will give you a prescription for Anchorman, stat!


Unknown said…
God this looks like a piece of shit. I need to review some truly horrendous films, just for the sake of it. All this greatness flowing is too much. Would be good to rip on a film in a review. Excellent review!
Hate Rob. I think he's a terrible actor. I can't even imagine him making some awesome career turn in a dramatic role; although you never quite know. Good job, man.
H.A.K. said…
yeah it doesn't look good just from the poster and the name alone. good review Rodders.
James Rodrigues said…
Well i'd say your best bet would be any film with Rob Schneider in the lead role, it's like they're made for ripping into.
James Rodrigues said…
Yeah, you do never know, but lets face it, after so long in the "comedy" business, he won't suddenly pull out a dramatic performance. Got a better chance of seeing a sequel to The Animal.
James Rodrigues said…
You are correct, my friend.