When I first heard about this movie, there was a little bit of a negative vibe about it. I don't know if that was just me, but I was wrong, because this is a quite delightful film.
Matt Damon plays Benjamin Mee, a man who is looking for a fresh start after his wife dies, leaving him a single father to his two kids. When a run down zoo appears in the estate agent's listings Benjamin thinks "Why not?" and embarks on an adventure with no real idea what he's doing. Thankfully he has some faithful staff, headed by Kelly (Scarlett Johansson) to steer him along.
This really is a feel good movie. It's a celebration of adventure, new challenges, and how everything might not be perfect, but with perseverance and hard work great things can happen. Cliché I know, but it's not so bad. There's a colourful cast of characters, animals and people alike, particular praise to Maggie Elizabeth Jones, who plays Benjamin's sister. Adorable.
The only real issue I had with this movie is the lack of animals. Sure, there are a few key moments involving them, but there seem to be quite a few that are just overlooked or seen for a split second. The main focus is on Benjamin's relationship with his family and co-workers, which is fine, but it seems like the zoo aspect takes a bit too much of the back seat. Still, this is a thoroughly enjoyable movie with feel good vibes, especially as it's wrapped up in a soundtrack by Jónsi of Sigur Ros. Quite awesome.
My rating: 4/5