The Animal

A mild-mannered nebbish gets in touch with his basic instincts in this dopey comedy. Lowly evidence clerk Marvin Mange (SNL alumnus Rob Schneider) wants nothing more than to be a policeman like his late father. But even by the relaxed standards of small-town Elkerton's Police Department, the stumbling, asthmatic Marvin isn't up to snuff. He's failed the...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

A mild-mannered nebbish gets in touch with his basic instincts in this dopey comedy. Lowly evidence clerk Marvin Mange (SNL alumnus Rob Schneider) wants nothing more than to be a policeman like his late father. But even by the relaxed standards of small-town Elkerton's Police Department, the stumbling, asthmatic Marvin isn't up to snuff. He's failed the physical three times — old men jog faster than he does — and is regularly terrorized by dogs and small children. Then fate intervenes: Marvin has a terrible automobile accident, and is pulled from the wreckage by a mysterious figure. When he returns to work, he learns he's been gone for a week, and quickly discovers that he's gained some unusual talents. His sense of smell and hearing have become inhumanly acute; he can swim like a dolphin and outrun horses without breaking a sweat. If only he didn't feel compelled to dig food out of garbage cans, hump mailboxes and mark his territory with urine... Still, his newfound abilities earn him the coveted police job of his dreams. He's even making some headway with pretty environmentalist Rianna (Colleen Haskell, of reality-TV show Survivor) — that she's a free-spirited nature lover helps her overlook some of his odder behavior. There are various complications, mostly involving ambitious Sergeant Sisk (John C. McGinley), who wants Marvin off the force, and mad Dr. Wilder (Michael Caton), who doesn't want the world to know that he saved Marvin's life by surgically repairing him with animals parts (what became of the inevitable horse-dick joke is anyone's guess). But the plot is irrelevant: The movie's selling point is Schneider acting goofy, chewing on worms, making goo-goo eyes at a she-goat and licking his private parts ("You'll have to teach me how to do that," mutters his crusty boss, played by comedy veteran Ed Asner). Fellow former SNLer Norm MacDonald and executive producer Adam Sandler make cameo appearances as members of an angry but not especially focused mob, and Haskell makes a surprisingly charming acting debut as the tree-hugging Rianna. Anyone who can make you believe she thinks a baby turkey vulture (surely one of nature's more godforsaken creatures) is cute as a button has a future in the business.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: A mild-mannered nebbish gets in touch with his basic instincts in this dopey comedy. Lowly evidence clerk Marvin Mange (SNL alumnus Rob Schneider) wants nothing more than to be a policeman like his late father. But even by the relaxed standards of small-to… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »