"Monkeying Around with a Python"
Kevin Kline dubs FIERCE CREATURES “an equal, not a sequel” to the 1988 film, A FISH CALLED WANDA. Re-teaming Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese, and Michael Palin in another crazy farce including crime, animals and sex, FIERCE CREATURES keeps the laughs but lacks continuity and focus. The result is not an “equal”, but a lesser movie.
High-powered executive Willa Weston (Jamie Lee Curtis) has just shown up in Atlanta, expecting to run a radio network under the multinational conglomerate Octopus Inc.. She is surprised to discover that the network has been sold by Octopus owner Rod McCain (Kevin Kline), a sleazy tycoon who demands nothing less than a 20% increase in revenues generated by all his acquisitions. McCain wants to put Willa and his son, Vince (also Kevin Kline), on a new venture. The elder McCain has just purchased the failing British Marwood Zoo and has transferred a bureaucrat, named Rollo Lee (John Cleese), to implement some management changes. From now on, Marwood will only display “fierce creatures,” animals who are known to be a menace to mankind.
The keepers of the zoo do not want to implement Lee’s plan, and they revolt. Thus, Vince and Willa go to England to run the zoo together. Lee is given a menial position, and the “fierce creatures only” policy is terminated. The zoo is transformed into a tacky theme park with animal costumes, bright uniforms, invasive advertising, and unauthorized celebrity endorsements. The zoo is going great, but when Rod McCain finds out that Vince is stealing from him, he goes to England himself to straighten out the matter, resulting in confusion, mayhem, laughs, and even fatalities.
Though this movie generates many laughs, it has a ponderous plot and a confusing story line. It has plenty of zany comedy, involving mistaken ideas about sex and lampooning commercialism, but it takes a long time for the story to unfold. Too much of the first half of the movie is used in setting up the brilliant, but very short, ending sequence. All of the players are in top form, including Kline, who does double-duty, but Cleese is looking a little too old to be an object of sexual attraction. Also, Cleese doesn’t do physical comedy. Palin has a reduced role in this movie and doesn’t contribute very much to the main plot. This movie had two directors and the end product definitely shows disjointed, and even conflicting, thematic elements.
Those who were offended by the dark comedy and sexual playfulness of A FISH CALLED WANDA, will also want to stay away from FIERCE CREATURES. This movie creates a whole comedy sequence involving the accidental death of one of its players. Throughout the film, Willa thinks Rollo is involved in all sorts of abhorrent sexual practices, such as group sex and bestiality, even though he is not. In one scene, Rollo does make sexual advances toward Willa, even initiating fornication, but he is stopped by Vince.
This movie is rated PG-13 but it is not for young teenagers or children. The innuendo and double entendres may go over the head of many young people, but what sticks will be too obscene. A FISH CALLED WANDA became popular because it showed smart people doing dumb things in a clever way. FIERCE CREATURES has these same smart people doing dumb things, but most attempts at being clever get muddled in attempts to explain to the audience what is happening. Hence, FIERCE CREATURES will probably not achieve the same box office success as A FISH CALLED WANDA, but it will probably attract Cleese, Monty Python and WANDA devotees.
(Pa, LL, V, SS, N, A, D, M) Pagan worldview of corporate takeovers & sexual farces; 12 obscenities & 2 profanities; mild slapstick violence including falling, throwing objects, punching, accidental shooting death, & implied animal attack; strong sexual themes & references to group sex, bestiality & sexual advances; upper male nudity & women in underwear; alcohol use; smoking; and burping & flatulence.
Re-teaming the cast of A FISH CALLED WANDA, FIERCE CREATURES is also a crazy farce including crime, animals and sex. High-powered executive Willa Weston, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, joins Octopus Inc. and meets its owner, Rod McCain, played by Kevin Kline. McCain wants Willa and his son, Vince, also played by Kevin Kline, to run a failing British zoo. The zoo management, Rollo Lee, played by John Cleese, wants to generate increased revenues by displaying only “fierce creatures.” Instead, the zoo is transformed into a tacky theme park. When Rod McCain finds out that Vince is stealing from him, he goes to England, resulting in confusion, mayhem, laughs, and even fatalities.
Though this movie generates many laughs, it has a ponderous plot and a confusing story line. This movie has plenty of zany comedy, involving mistaken ideas about sex and lampooning commercialism, but it takes a long time for the story to unfold. Those who were offended by the dark comedy and sexual playfulness of A FISH CALLED WANDA, will also want to stay away from FIERCE CREATURES. The sexual innuendo and double entendres may go over the head of many young people, but what sticks will be too obscene.