Did we mention that things just go better with Kevin James? Well-trodden comedy hooks become strangely more amusing. Goofball physical shtick elicits broader smiles. The bumblingly stupid is made endearing.
Ultimately, it's a marketing pitch in search of a movie that proves punishingly flat, with even the slapstick so sparsely delivered as to replicate a long slog through the zoo, surrounded by fidgety kids, on a suffocating summer's day.
James hurls himself into this sad scenario with energy and teddy-bear charm that makes him impossible to hate. But it's easy to hate "Zookeeper." If we could talk to the animals, they'd probably hate it, too.