Dorian's Movie Reviews

Is it worth seeing? Reviews are presented with no cynicism, no comparisons, no biased standards, no pretentiousness - every movie is reviewed on its individual entertainment value including technical presentation.  
Scale 1 - 5
The Animal
2001, Columbia
Directed by Luke Greenfield
Story by Tom Brady; Screenplay by Tom Brady and Rob Schneider

So a movie director goes into a bar in Hollywood and asks two writers, "What do you get when you cross a seal with a monkey with a man?" Well, you get this movie, The Animal. And this is the similar type of humor you get in the movie: dramatizations of imaginative and crude humor. If you like the crude, "back to nature" aspects of the TV series "Survivor," you will like this movie. And a wise casting decision was made putting Survivor Colleen Haskell in a not-so-small part for her movie debut. She surpassed expectations, displaying an innate charm, and is an appropriate drawing card.

Marvin Mange (Rob Schneider) is severely power challenged to the point of impotence over his path in life. Even a group of eighth graders have more control over his destiny than he does. The best thing that can happen to him is to inherit a little animalistic power... Or is it? If it is hard for most of us to control the animal within, Marvin gets a triple dose of it and he is one mixed up, out of control man/animal. Add to this his attraction to Rianna (Colleen Haskell), lover of all animals and nature. He is attracted to Rianna but the new beasty parts only complicates things. Ya' gotta' feel sorry for poor Marvin - the universe has to give the poor guy a break.

Besides crude action, The Animal delivers quite a few laughs and chuckles. Marvin stays true to animalistic nature, comically marking his territory like a male cat, smelling crotches, and making a few trips to the restroom for obvious relief. The action scenes were well done, making Marvin's animalistic stunts enjoyable and almost believable. The opening sets us up for a small town atmosphere so the comedy can be further enlivened by Deputy Doug Sisk (John C. McGinley) with a role that condenses his part into a small town melodramatic villain. He stops just short of tying Marvin to a railroad track. The entire story stays precipitously close to going "over the top," and this isn't a bad thing. The story is good for a few laughs. It could have used more storyline and a few more laughs, but it isn't hurting.

There are two other debuts associated with this film besides Colleen's. Although Tom Brady is an experienced writer in entertainment, this is his first screenplay. This is also Luke Greenfield's directorial debut. There were no major flaws in either's contribution. With offbeat Saturday Night Live style comedy and several debuts, this movie could have easily slid to a "B" quality film, but it stayed in the good zone. It doesn't hurt that accomplished comedian Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo (Bullet Proof and Happy Gilmore) were behind the film as producers, and Saturday Night Live veteran Rob Schneider helped with the writing and carried the main role.

I give this one three spotlights out of a possible five for general popcorn munching entertainment value. It will appeal to some more than others depending on the type of humor you like. It carries a PG-13 rating. Enjoy!

- Dorian


  • 5 Spotlights: The best of movie making, well worth seeing
  • 4 Spotlights: Good movie for the genre; may have minor technical or story problems but they hardly harm the enjoyment; clearly worth seeing; (most movies)
  • 3 Spotlights: Not bad, but has problems - worth seeing
  • 2 Spotlights: Caution - a "B" movie, probably will appeal only to some
  • 1 Spotlight: Caution - not recommended for any audience (will probably never be given)

Note: No half spotlights are given.

My reviews are not based much on my personal taste, or any standard besides entertainment value. I try to be as objective as possible, keeping in mind that entertainment value is very subjective and individualized. If I'm not interested in a movie I usually don't go see it, so it doesn't get reviewed. Each character, and each position in the production company might be highlighted if the contribution affected the enjoyment of the story as either outstanding or dismal and I noticed it, keeping in mind that many contributions are singularly distinguished by their seamless integration with the story, not calling attention to themselves and thereby escaping attention.

- Dorian Scott Cole

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