Why 'A Fish Called Wanda' Fans Should Give 'Fierce Creatures' a Chance? (2023)

A fish named Wandait was a huge success that somehow bridged the gap between British and American humor, a notorious void that separates two cultures with a common language. Critics loved it, viewers wallowed in the aisles and reportedly even died laughing,Rio Phoenixstood up and cheered when he was oustedKevin Klineat the 1989 Academy Awards. Such was its impact that the next project the four stars worked on never managed to win.wild creaturesit was the red-haired stepson: genetically unrelated, but could never be counted on his own, making all his assets go unnoticed.

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Why 'A Fish Called Wanda' Fans Should Give 'Fierce Creatures' a Chance? (1)

the stars ofwild creaturesAccept new incarnations of themVandaCharacters:John Cleeseis an uptight Englishman dying to protect his reputation, Kevin Kline is the eccentric anti-hero,Jamie Lee Curtisit's the pot of sex that forms a love triangle between them, andMichael Palinis the odd comic relief. Octopus Inc. it's the big bad company that '80s and '90s movies loved to use as their central antagonists, and the main characters are in their control somehow. Willa Weston (Curtis) is tasked with turning a struggling zoo in England into a flagship attraction that will grow into a franchise; Rollo Lee (Cleese) is an ex-cop turned warden who oversees the day-to-day running of the place; Vince (Kline) is the obnoxious male heir to Octopus boss Rod McCain (also Kline), and he's been sent to help because no one can stand him. Bugsy (Palin) is a zookeeper who protests corporate cruelty. Their respective approaches to life are guided by their love of work, or lack thereof.

As in any John Cleese play,wild creaturesprovides a rather scathing commentary on certain aspects of society, in this case commerce, and the priority of profit over well-being. Rollo has been sent to the zoo full of corporate nonsense, and instead of getting to know his new employees on a personal level, he introduces himself in a sobering presentation (complete with visual aids) outlining profit targets, percentages and his grand plan to take over the zoo. will make money again: wild creatures. He explains that any animal within the zoo that cannot be considered a danger to humans is evicted, leading owners of smaller animals to amusingly take drastic measures to convince them of the danger they pose. One way or another, everyone is determined that the zoo will stay open and, best of all, thrive.

The company's tactics for achieving its goals deteriorate under Vince's influence. The goalkeepers' khaki uniforms are initially replaced with brightly colored ones patched together like an F1 driver with sponsor logos; then the uniforms are completely replaced by animal costumes - the women are given particularly sensual costumes representing a leotard and a helmet, while the men are dressed in suits of a potbellied penguin. Every surface in the zoo is littered with large, unwieldy billboards, tigers wear Smirnoff vodka jackets, and Bruce Springsteen sponsored a turtle (well, he didn't, but hey, technicalities). Vince even installs animatronic creatures in the enclosures. The bottom line is that he only cares about fulfilling the absolute minimum requirements his father makes of him, so he can eventually inherit a lot of money and steal a little more in the meantime. Customer satisfaction and animal welfare be damned.

Why 'A Fish Called Wanda' Fans Should Give 'Fierce Creatures' a Chance? (2)

Vince's hatred and subsequent rivalry with Rollo is central to the film's success. He's selfish, misogynistic, confident in his own sexual prowess, and ultimately very insecure. When the attraction between Willa and Rollo becomes apparent, he can't handle being rejected in favor of someone he considers "weird and unattractive". During a joke, Rollo accidentally gives the impression that he is hosting wild orgies involving the zoo keepers (and sometimes even the animals); Vince sees this as a personal affront to his manhood, and laments, "How does he get three girls?! And where does the third one go?" Kline slips back into that Otto-like role with ease, bringing with it the same sense of almost charming sociopathy and great physical performance.Maintaining such a funny character is no easy feat, and Kline is up to the challenge.

Willa's romantic intentions are something of a logical roadblock to the film. As inVanda, she flirts with Cleese and Kline without ever convincingly committing to either of them. She will randomly activate the spell on men when what has come narratively before suggests that she should be irritated with them. So when they really win her affection, she distances herself from them. A nice addition to the love triangle, however, is an actual resolution in which the two men briefly voice their differences. Vince promptly drops the feud when it is suggested he walks away with the billions of dollars his father left him and Rollo is dating Willa. This brief exchange lends a good sense of camaraderie to the ending, in which the characters, despite their stark differences and bitter relationships, unite in common cause and leave happily in their own ways.

The end of the movie offers a really fun conclusion to the story, if not entirely believable. Vince has been stealing money from the zoo and his old "Rod Almighty" comes to personally fire him, with the police soon to follow. In the meantime, a totally unexpected accident results in Rod's death and the others look for a cover, knowing that the authorities are only minutes away. This gives way to a rather implausible exchange where they disguise Vince as his father using paraphernalia like cotton wool and flea spray and he has to improvise his way out of a sticky situation. His act culminates in a staged suicide that would explain the corpse; It's all very smart and fun, except for the three uniformed officers who just keep exchanging glances as Vince repeatedly declares his intention to end this and locks himself in a tool shed. When they finally break into the royal corpse, they explain, "Sorry, we didn't notice."A new weapon.

Why 'A Fish Called Wanda' Fans Should Give 'Fierce Creatures' a Chance? (3)

Of course, the reality of this situation is overlooked: wouldn't it only take a brief examination to find the discrepancy between the wound and the angle of attack? Would these officers be reprimanded for doing nothing to combat suicide plans? After all the falls, pushes and pulls on Rod's body, wouldn't an autopsy find these additional injuries and ask questions? In the great tradition ofMonty Python, this film requires a certain suspension of disbelief. SelfVandait required this to some extent: George's violent outburst in the courtroom, Otto's survival of the robbery, the ability to find a parking space outside the front door of Heathrow Airport.

There are some parts that feel young and don't really land. One of Rod's signature little tics is that when he stops talking, a burp is immediately followed by a fart, or vice versa. While it does show what a gruff and ruthless fellow he is, it might come across as a bit too gruff to people as a Cleese script. Likewise, Rollo's irrepressible crush on Willa causes a series of Freudian slips that any student would scream against, usually centered around tits and nuts. This can be forgiven, however, given Vince's antics and the accurate shooting by some of the goalkeepers, most notably Palin like Bugsy andRobert Lindsaylike Lotterby. Combines the characteristics of several of his previous characters, such as Ex-Leprosybrian's lifeand the Yorkshire Protestantthe sense of life, Palin is the overly savvy maverick always lurking in the background to attack Rollo and lecture him on his cynical business tactics. Lotterby, on the other hand, is a quarrelsome cockney who performs various manipulations, including a stern warning about meerkats' ability to strip a human carcass and calling them desert piranhas.

In fact, the full cast completes the world of the zoo and reinforces the knock-on effect of Rod's cruel attitude and Vince's selfishness. Each of them is given enough development to become real characters whose individual reactions to scenarios audiences can anticipate. Little Reggie (Ronnie Corbett) is an irritable sea lion guardian; emotional pip (Cynthia Cleese) takes care of small mammals and often sports a cuddly creature, like Hannibal Lecter's portrayal of Starling with her beloved lamb; Cub (Bond Girl)Carey Lowell) easily leans into Rollo's emotional blackmail.Maria Aittken, who gave a wonderfully sober performance as WendyVanda, is Rollo's repressed secretary. The various collaborators provide plenty of personality for the main cast to play with and are given good material to have fun with and make your own.

Why 'A Fish Called Wanda' Fans Should Give 'Fierce Creatures' a Chance? (4)

As great a writer and comedian as John Cleese is, he's just part of the machine that is a movie.Vandawas directed by the legend of Ealing StudiosCharles Crichton, a renowned comedy director whose portfolio includes such classics asDer Lavender Hill-Mob.wild creaturessuffers a bit from futility and bluntness: TV directorRobert Jungmade the film, but when reshoots were needed, it was unavailable, which resulted inFred SchepisivonRoxanneEHerr BaseballFame takes over. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the ending - directed by Schepisi - is the funnest, if somewhat nonsensical, part, and feels like a solid conclusion to a story that's been sitting on a bit of idle.

wild creaturesand notA fish named Wanda, that's sure. But all the other factors that contributed to takeVandagreat, four brilliant comic actors are at the center. These people have been close friends for decades, as evidenced by the talk show appearances they gave intoVandain 1988. Even when the script falters, the dynamic team of Cleese Curtis Kline & Palin gives the film the heart and chemistry it needs. It's not as strictly written and staged asVanda, nor has it captured the zeitgeist of its era or culture, rather it has a family business quality that exudes passion, fun and joy. It almost seems like a long lostMonty PythonMovie or TV special: Not the best of the bunch, but fun nonetheless.

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