“Life is an adventure”. A cliché if ever there was one. But for some people, it just so happens to be true. And Matt Damon is portraying one such person in this latest family effort from acclaimed writer/director Cameron Crowe.
Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) is an adventure columnist for a struggling newspaper, if that’s not redundant, and father of two children. His wife recently passed away due to illness leaving him to raise those children on his own. His daughter Rosie (played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones) is regularly losing sleep thanks to the hard-partying college students in the house next door. His son Dylan (played by Colin Ford), is a fourteen year-old artist who’s developed a taste for the macabre of late and who has recently been expelled from school. Rather than keep his job at the paper, which he would’ve held onto despite their financial problems thanks to his editor’s sympathy, Mee decides to sell his home and find more picturesque surroundings for him and his family. After rejecting several houses because they for dull or dime-a-dozen, they find a home situated on the grounds of a struggling zoo and embark on their greatest adventure yet.
It’s cutesy, I’m not denying that. But while Zookeeper had nothing else going for it, this is entertaining and interesting and I enjoyed it very much thanks to Crowe’s screenplay and direction, a typically interesting effort from Damon and an excellent supporting cast in Elle Fanning, Thomas Hayden Church and Scarlett Johansson.