Fierce Creatures Movie Review

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'.


Fierce Creatures Rating

" Weak "

Rating: PG-13, 1997


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