Cameron Crowe director of great films like Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous returns to big budget films for the first time since 2005 to bring a subject a bit different than his normal films. Could a film about a family buying a zoo be anything more than another average family movie or could he possibly bring something special to this film like his others?
We Bought A Zoo is based on the true story of a widowed father who moves his family into an estate he purchased only to find out that it’s on the grounds of a dilapidated zoo in desperate need of care to re-open. On the surface this movie seems like it’s just an average family film, but in reality it offers so much more. This isn’t just a story of a family and a zoo, but of a family in desperate need of something to help bring them back together after a tragedy has pulled them apart. Everyone in this film gives great performances, especially Damon who has to reach down deep a few times to pull that emotion to the surface. Crowe really did a great job with this film with not only the actors and story, but also the overall look and feel. There are some emotional moments with the animals as well, that really come across well with nothing more than just a shot at the face. This true story is a great example of the importance of animals to the human spirit whether this was intended or not. The emotional and sometime humorous journey of these people and animals takes you further than you would have expected and totally worth the visit.
Crowe has done it again creating a great film, but this time for the whole family without sacrificing content and depth just to cash in on the family aspect. Not many films come along that are great for everyone, but this one delivered on every level.