The Animal


Directed by: Luke Greenfield
Written by:Tom Brady, Rob Schneider
Starring: Rob Schneider, Colleen Haskell, John C. McGinley, Edward Asner, Michael Caton
Released: August 2, 2001
Grade: C

I expected nothing and yet was still disappointed.  The newly formed Happy Madison film company has now made four films - The Animal, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Joe Dirt and Little Nicky.  Aside from a few chuckles in Nicky, what is clearly a comedic vehicle for a few Saturday Night Live folk, has produced little more than cheap crap.

In The Animal, Rob Schneider is Marvin, an idiot who wants to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a police officer.  However, for the past four years, he’s failed the obstacle challenge which forms part of the examination.  Out of pity, he’s given a job as the evidence clerk at the station but is constantly mocked by other officers for his incompetency.

When the whole force is playing in a softball game, Marvin answers the phone at the station and hears a report of a shooting in progress.  He races to scene only to drive off a cliff en route.  He awakes beside his car eight days later but he’s not quite the same Marvin that he used to be.  After the accident, his body was damaged beyond repair and mad scientist Dr. Wilder (Caton) kept him alive with the use of his experimental animal parts.

Since the operation, Marvin’s been showing animal tendencies - licking himself, peeing under the table and getting turned on by goats.  Enough said but he’s also found the affection of an animal owner named Rianna (Haskell) and keeping a grip on his wild animal urges will test his powers of endurance.

This is one of the stupidest films of the year and the only laughs from my cinema were coming from the back where four guys (probably drunk) laughed at every minor sexual reference regarding the other animals.  That says it all I think.

Australian Michael Caton (The Castle) finally gets a chance to prove himself in Hollywood but The Animal may be both the beginning and the end of his Hollywood stint.  It’s ironic that the best aspect of the film comes in the performance of Colleen Haskell.  This is her first film role having burst into stardom as a contestant on Survivor.  For someone with no experience, she has a subtle ability not to overact and I hope she gets the opportunity to impress with more rewarding future projects.

You can write-off everything else about The Animal because it’s a beast that should have been left in its cage.