Fierce Creatures - Movie Review

  • 15 January 2007

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

One of the moviegoing experiences I'll never forget is seeing A Fish Called Wanda at Mann's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles in 1988. It instantly became one of my all-time favorites, and I greeted the arrival of Fierce Creatures, a follow-up from the same four principals almost 10 years later, with heavy anticipation.

While the experience of seeing Fierce Creatures at the Highland 10 in Austin, Texas will be a considerably less memorable experience, the film is certainly full of entertainment and is worthy of an audience.

The plot concerns London's Marwood Zoo, which is purchased by cutthroat media mogul Rod McCain (an unidentifiable Kevin Kline). In Rod's employ is Willa (not Wanda; Jamie Lee Curtis), who is charged with making the zoo a profitable chain of theme parks. She turns to Rod's unloved son Vince (also Kline) for help, and hires ex-cop Rollo Lee (John Cleese) with making some big changes. Rollo seizes upon the public's love of violence for his direction, and enacts a plan to stock the zoo with only "fierce creatures" -- no more boring sloths, lemurs, or turtles.

The story gets murkier from here, involving rebellious zookeepers (including Michael Palin), a plan to sell the zoo, and lots of sex jokes, but basically the movie floats, thanks to liberal doses of humor from the principals.

On the other hand, the film does get a bit heavy into the fart jokes, making this whole experience seem more like Benny Hill than Monty Python, but hey, now that Benny's gone, what are we supposed to do for crude British humor? Cleese and Kline are the acting standouts -- no big surprise. Rather, it's Curtis who proves to be, well, boring, wearing the same expression throughout the film as if she's constipated (hence the potty humor, I suppose).

It isn't Wanda, but it is funny. Any fan of the former will like this one as well. Barely.

Brought to you by the letter 'T'.

Image caption Fierce Creatures

Facts and Figures

Year: 1997

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th January 1997

Box Office Worldwide: $9.4M

Distributed by: MCA Universal Home Video

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Robert Young, Fred Schepisi

Producer: Michael Shamberg, John Cleese

Screenwriter: John Cleese, Iain Johnstone

Starring: John Cleese as Rollo Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis as Willa Weston, Kevin Kline as Vince, Kevin Kline as Rod McCain, Robert Lindsay as Sydney Lotterby, Michael Palin as Adrian Malone

Also starring: Michael Shamberg, Iain Johnstone