Deuce Buffalo?
The Animal
Review by Ross Anthony

Having found "Deuce Bigalow" so bland that I couldn't even bring myself to write a review, I expected little from "The Animal." Surprisingly, "The Animal" has a lot to give - comedically speaking.

Rob Schneider plays the underdog. In fact, relying entirely on his fumblingly cute card, nearly completely devoid of whit, a better word for him would be "underpuppydog." But that's okay, because 99% of the humor here slaps its stick on the screen - and yep, it's funny.

Breaking like a circus ape from the cage, this production swings from one sight gag to the next. Nearly every single one of them bustin' a gut somewhere in the audience. In fact, a smashing Schneider vs. Orangutan sequence had the woman seated to my right nearly in tears. She was giggling and jiggling so much she needed a couple of minutes just to dry her eyes and catch her breath.

The story ... do your really care? Screw-up Schneider is a new cadet on the force. Seeking to improve his abilities, he tries a body-building-energy drink: badger milk. At about the same time, he survives a rather funny car crash scene. In any event, the next day he awakes with animalistic powers of scent, hearing, and groin. Obviously, this paves the way for many skit-like minuets. (Sort of a stripped down "Monkeybone" without all the hoopla and animation.)

The integration of real animal sounds and a few "Predator"-like visuals add nicely to the visceral visual humor. Those of you who have seen the recent "Dolphins" (large format film) will just love the crane shot of Schneider breaking the surface of a pond in a swim-jump even Flipper would envy. And of course, the inclusion of Adam Sandler's tribute, "You can do it!" will tickle the tummies of "Waterboy" fans everywhere. (Btw, "Waterboy" makes a great rental!)

All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, "The Animal" had no idea how. A well-paced bundle of laughs to the hour mark, the film stumbles like "The Blair Witch Project" through the forest in search of a strong ending. None are found. High in production value and christened with an impressive score, this short anticlimactic and sloppily scripted Animal is still very very funny.

  • The Animal. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Rob Schneider, Colleen Haskell, John C. McGinley, Guy Torry, Michael Caton.
  • Directed by Luke Greenfield.
  • Written by Tom Brady, Rob Schneider.
  • Produced by Barry Bernardi, Carr D'Angelo, Todd Garner at Columbia/Revolution.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:21:28 PDT