We Bought a Zoo Trailer: Animal Defective

There’s really only one reason why Matt Damon’s grieving suburban dad character in We Bought a Zoo purchases the titular menagerie, at least if the above first trailer from Cameron Crowe’s movie is to be believed. It’s not because Damon clearly still isn’t telling his personal trainer that The Informant! wrapped three years ago. It’s not because he wants to throw his annoyingly precious/precocious movie daughter headfirst into a tiger cage — although we wouldn’t blame him if he did. And it’s certainly not because the animals on hand dispense amusing, world-weary advice in the familiar voices of a host of popular comedians. If only! No, the reason Damon’s widower protagonist Jerry Maguires his job and trades the housewife-ravishing suburbs for some sort of zebra-strewn nature preserve is because JB Smoove is wearing glasses when he offers it to him. If this season of Curb Your Enthusiasm has taught us anything, it’s that a black man in glasses can convince a white man to do anything.

Actually, we’d like to test that theory. Because as it stands now, not even the munificent visage of St. Morgan Freeman himself rocking a pristine pair of Charmant Titaniums could convince us to shell out for this sap-laquered turkey. Somewhere in the morass of learning and lemurs, Crowe lost us and not even the presence of a demure Scarlett Johansson or a dopey Thomas Haden Church — and especially not the soporific score by Sigur Rós’s Jonsi — can bring us back. “I like the animals. But I love the humans.” Really, Cameron? It’s enough to make us wish we were like the ruminants running wild in Damon’s backyard just so we could barf with all four of our stomachs

Filed Under: Matt Damon, Scouting Report, We Bought a Zoo

Andy Greenwald is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ andygreenwald