Animal, The
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -3

The word "loser" might as well be tattooed on Marvin's (Rob Schneider) forehead. A file clerk in the small town police department, he routinely fails the policeman's annual exam as his co-workers and neighbors ridicule him. Following a devastating car crash, Marvin is rescued by a weird doctor-scientist (Michael Caton), who takes him to his laboratory secretly to restore his fractured body with various animal parts. In one week Marvin is back at work without a mark or limp, but his crude animal behavior baffles his co-workers. From sniffing drugs concealed in a smuggler's rectum to neighing like a horse in a public restaurant to express his primal passion, Marvin soon becomes a marvel and a hero. He even wins the heart of Rianna (Colleen Haskell), an animal lover who has more in common with this strange young man than meets the eye. Young teenagers will chortle at the comical antics and delight in figuring out whether Marvin is a horse, a tiger, a dolphin, or a guard dog. Other viewers may label themselves "losers" and THE ANIMAL a winner for luring them into this mess.

Repulsive, crude, animal bathroom behavior generates most of this film's laughs. Marvin marks his territory by urinating around Rianna's chair in a restaurant and later on her front door after their date. Sniffing and pulling drugs from the smuggler at the airport can only be described as disgusting and shocking. Marvin's nude backside is exposed once, covered with heavy black hair, but THE ANIMAL has no other nudity or sex scenes. Laughing at a man imitating animals by licking his date's face, making sexual advances toward a female goat and wolfing down a huge hunk of raw meat might raise doubts as to the wisdom of our constitutional right to unlimited "freedom of expression." Not surprisingly, plenty of crude expressions and several obscenities further taint the script. One of Marvin's coworkers, a black officer, makes fun of racial prejudice by assuming any recognition he gets is simply because of political correctness. Painful injuries that would kill or maim, especially the car wreck that leads to Marvin's bizarre surgery, prompt big laughs. In all fairness, however, Marvin risks his life to save his nemesis whos hanging upside down in a ravine and also saves a drowning boy. Using inappropriate conduct for laughs, THE ANIMAL needs to be housebroken.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Crude Language: Many (10) times - Moderate
Obscene Language: Many (13) times - S-word 9, other 4
Profanity: Once - Regular (for G sake)
Violence: Many times - moderate (violent car wreck mangles body, gunshots fired, aggresive animal confrontations, man falls into ravine, man shot w/tranquilizer gun, man fights orangutang, attack dogs grab man's leg)
Sexual Intercourse: None, but unmarried couple shown sleeping together
Nudity: Once - male rear; Near nudity - few times (woman on TV in revealing outfit, woman in tight, low-cut dress emphasizing figure)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (man's animal instincts take over, implied attraction to female goat, suggestive sniffing of woman, animal noises and action indicate arousal)
Drug Abuse: Tranquilizer darts used on man
Other: Crude bathroom humor w/flatulence jokes, man urinates to mark territory, man exhibits animal habits of licking and sniffing inappropriately, African American confused about reverse prejudice; man labeled
Running Time: 83 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and young adults

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