Animal Release Date: 2005 Genre: Drama | Action Director(s): David J. Burke Writer(s): David C. Johnson (Woo, Drop Squad) Starring: Ving Rhames, Jim Brown, Terrence Howard I’ve heard some praise for Animal, but I really don’t see what’s so great about it. First off, it’s very much a rip-off of 1992’s South Central, a enjoyable […]

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Animal
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Drama | Action
Director(s): David J. Burke
Writer(s): David C. Johnson (Woo, Drop Squad)
Starring: Ving Rhames, Jim Brown, Terrence Howard

I’ve heard some praise for Animal, but I really don’t see what’s so great about it.

First off, it’s very much a rip-off of 1992’s South Central, a enjoyable indie film that starred Glenn Plummer. The parts of the plot not inspired by South Central are nothing but the usual jailhouse scenes that everyone’s grown tired of by now. Especially in an age where one can watch “Prison Break” every week for free, Animal’s story would have had to be really striking for it to be worthwhile. It’s not.

From the very start there’s a stupid mistake on the part of the filmmakers on display. James “Animal” Allen (Rhames) is supposed to be a ruthless thug whose reputation precedes him. That’s barely touched upon before Animal is sent off to a maximum-security prison (the polices of which are very lax) for attempted murder ad armed robbery. Once he gets to prison there are random sequences where, with guards watching, Animal brutally pounds on other prisoners in what look to be scheduled fights. The reasons for the fights are never explained. Animal eventually meets a jailed revolutionary (Brown) who teaches him the ways of men like Malcolm X. Animal comes to realize that killing men of his own skin color just further enslaves his race, and sets out to do right as he’s granted parole.

His son Darius (Howard) has been following the examples set by the gangbanging father that the cops hauled away years before. He’s committing the same illegal acts that his father is preaching against. Darius isn’t willing to listen, though, leaving a reformed Animal to figure out on his own how to save his son.

From the very start Animal is utterly directionless, and it continues on that route all the way to the mundane ending.
DVD: Some cast interviews.

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Animal, 3.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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