Movie Review: We Bought A Zoo

One thing I learned from being a Movie Blogger aside from not giving out spoilers (which is a the ultimate rule!) is to not judge a film by its trailer or poster.

I have proved this a lot of times and it’s the same with what I feel for “We Bought A Zoo” when I first saw its trailer. Though I predicted already that this could be a family drama but I never realized how outstanding this film was when I saw it during its press screening last January 12 at the Powerplant Cinema 2.

We Bought A Zoo Poster
In “We Bought A Zoo”, Matt Damon plays Benjamin Mee, a widower who buys a rundown zoo with 200 exotic animals, hoping for a fresh start with his two children. The plot essentially follows the path of a courageous family and tells the story of the incredible risk they take that transforms their lives.     While Matt Damon’s Benjamin Mee forms a close friendship with the rest of the zoo keeping personnel, a strong bond also develops between Lily (Elle Fanning), a home schooled country girl and Dylan Mee (Colin Ford), a city boy adjusting to country life.

What I love about this movie is the right amount of humor and drama and the natural acting of all the cast. Matt Damon, as what I keep on saying with my reviews from his previous films, delivered another awesome performance. You can really feel his emotions. Somehow, I feel he is more effective now as a dramatic actor just like what he did for “Contagion” and “Here After”. He also have a comic timing and can really make you laugh with just simple acting or how he delivered his lines.

We Bought A Zoo
Matt Damon’s on-screen children, Dylan (Colin Ford) and Rosie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) are also natural actors. I love most Maggie Elizabeth Jones and she reminds me of then child superstar Dakota Fanning. She is just too cute and you’d love to hug her every time she smiles and butt in to the conversations. Elle Fanning is also promising and I suspect that she will be a big star as she grows older.

Scarlett Johanson is also good in this movie and they clicked together with Matt Damon. Although I prefer it without the love angle because honestly, the movie is great enough because of the not-so-good father and son relationship that many can relate with. I love their argument in the movie and how I wish I can react that way to my own father.

One actor that also stands out in this movie is Thomas Haden Church who is ridiculously funny as Matt Damon’s accountant brother! The last time I saw him was at Spiderman 3 playing the villain Sandman. I didn’t realize how versatile he is and that he is actually great with punchlines. When you see this film, you will surely enjoy every scenes with him.

Also, I wont be ashamed to admit that I did shed tears while watching “We Bought A Zoo”. It’s just so good that its message will really strike you straight to your heart. I specifically like the “20 seconds of insane courage” line and how they ended up the movie.

If you’ll ask me why you should watch “We Bought A Zoo”, my only answer is, “Why not?”

“We Bought A Zoo” is directed by Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous) and will be shown in theaters starting January 18 under 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

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