We Bought A Zoo Review: Sweet, Shallow, And Heart Warming

We Bought A Zoo is the latest attempt by Cameron Crowe to pull our heart strings in a way that will have us so overcome by emotion that we forget about the movie we are watching. This man is a master at bringing emotion to the audience. Who can ever forget the words “you complete me” and not just tear up? Crowe makes this true story of a widowed father Benjamin Mee, played by Matt Damon, who takes his children Dylan, played by Colin Ford, and Rosie, played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones, to a dilapidated estate that has a Zoo on it. Of course, Crowe intertwines the saving of this old Zoo with a father saving his family and helping them move on after a tragedy. This film will have you feeling good throughout. There are more tear jerker moments than you can shake a stick at and also a few places that fall flat. You never get a lot of character development here and that is a mistake. Even though we get so much emotion, it is hard to connect with characters that we don’t really know enough about. Crowe makes the mistake of using voice overs in places that need a more visual approach. It was almost as if he was in a hurry to get to the main story that he just brushed aside a lot of little details that would have made this movie great. Scarlett Johansson is underused as the zoo keeper Kelly and I wanted more interaction between her and Benjamin. Thomas Hayden Church plays a masterfully funny role as Benjamin’s skeptical brother Duncan, but again, he needed more screen time.
For all that it is not, We Bought A Zoo is still a great movie. I left in tears and even though there is a lot I wish would have been done better in this film, I still wouldn’t change a thing. We Bought A Zoo is a must see movie for all ages! The You tube Trailer is below.
Poster from We Bought A Zoo

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