The late 90's/early 2000's ended up being a big time for Happy Madison productions. The Animal was released in 2001 at the peak of Rob Schneider's popularity, which is mostly credited to his characters in Big Daddy and The Waterboy. Just to give you an idea of what we were all laughing at then, his characters were a foreign delivery guy who famously struggled with the word "hippopotamus" and a football fan who yelled variations of "YOU CAN DO IT!", respectively.
Anyway, moving on.
Marvin wakes up with no memory of the occurrence and goes about his life, but he is different. He can outrun animals and scary dogs are frightened of him, which he discusses with his best friend Guy Torry. (Side note: it's amazing how Rob Schneider manages to somehow not be the least famous person in his movies.) He sniffs out drugs in the airport and is then made a police officer, because that's exactly how civilians become officers, right?
He meets a woman named Rianna Hummingbird Holmes (paying attention?) and takes a liking to her. It is soon believed he is the cause of nightly attacks, and the scientist who helped him confronts him to tell him about the side effects of the procedure; The animal parts are giving him the abilities of said animals! Which is why I need to stop again.
What!? Having grafts and transplants from animals not only doesn't kill you, it gives you animal powers. What kind of malarkey?
Later, he chases a cat through the house at a dinner party, wrecking the place and losing his job. Then, he saves his job by using dolphin powers to hear the Chief's drowning son and save him. He even swims like a damn dolphin. Why is any of this happening? Because we watched anything in 2001.
A mob forms to find what is attacking folks, and the scientist admits there was another creation that may be on the prowl. When Marvin is cornered, the other beast reveals itself to be Rianna. Surprise. To me, the cool thing would be for them to fight their way out of this. That's not what happens.
Guy Torry takes blame, and complains that no one holds him accountable for things because he is black. That they are discriminating against him by not discriminating against him. The mob basically shrugs and leaves and that's that. Hm. When you think about the year, I see it as commentary on how people were more afraid of being racist than being wrong. Also, sadly, it was right before 9/11 and the country was almost immediately pretty damn racist again.
Marvin and Rianna have a literal litter of somethings with Rob Schneider faces, and see the doctor who invented the procedure win a Nobel Prize. They watch him win it on TV. That might actually be the most unbelievable part of the whole movie, really. Luckily, it's the end. Whew! Not to mention, the movie was less than 90 minutes which still felt much too long.
I won't deny that I probably laughed my ass of at this movie, because I was only a sophomore in high school. I'm sure I enjoyed every second. Rob Schneider movies do not stand the test of time, though. Have you tried watching Deuce Bigalow recently? How about European Gigolo? Exactly. Complex made a list of the 50 most racist movies and "Every Rob Schneider movie" came in at #6. Schneider's run as a leading man was entirely what it needed to be: short.
Rotten Tomatoes: 30%