Fierce Creatures

Movie review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Fierce Creatures Movie Poster Image
Some funny moments peppered with lots of sexual innuendo.
  • PG-13
  • 1997
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Viewers get much food for thought on corporate greed and the pressure of being profitable at all costs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rollo starts out trying to meet his 20 percent profit margin at all costs, but sees the error in his ways, often with help from the caring and conniving zoo staff. Willa also comes to see the animals as more important than profits. Rod and Vince McCain are caricatures of the distant and powerful mogul and his do-nothing idiot son, and they stay that way.


The audience and a horrified zoo staff are led to believe that five animals are shot by Rollo and then buried. One man is shot by accident and killed, and a number of characters (including a lemur) brandish guns either to falsely subdue animals or threaten others. Zoo staff fakes injuries from animals and Rollo tastes blood of one real injury to claim it's a fake. Plus an accidental stab wound in the leg.


A very, very long-running joke about how Rollo must be having orgies (with zoo staff and, once, a sheep), but each time there's an innocent explanation. Willa is set upon by Vince McCain nonstop, who strips down to his underwear, asks if her breasts are real, and keeps propositioning her. Zoo staffers strip down to their underwear to find a rogue tarantula. Rod McCain is heard behind closed doors shouting "yes! yes!"


One "f--king hell," and a smattering of everything else: "s--t," "hell," boner," "bitch," "t-ts," "boobs," "slut," "dammit," "kick ass," "bastard," "Japs," "a--hole," "dicks," "bloody," and "bimbo."


Plenty on display in a few scenes, but all as part of a joke about sponsorships.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking of beer and champagne in a few scenes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this farce with a likeable cast -- all the same folks behind the popular heist comedy A Fish Called Wanda -- really digs into the sexual innuendo with a long-running joke about the main character's supposed wild sex life. Characters get undressed down to underwear and another gets sexually harassed by the boss' son. Violence is pretty mild, but includes gunshots and one unlikeable character dead. The zoo is plastered with sponsorship banners in a few scenes as a nice send-up of corporate greed run amok. Lots of language, including one "f--k."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8, 11, and 13-year-old Written byRel17 August 23, 2020

A comedy, typical of its time.

There are a lot of sexual innuendos and this film is typical of the time in being quite titillating e.g. lots of men gawping at a bikini-clad swimmer and the im... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

After billionaire mogul Rod McCain (Kevin Kline) acquires a zoo, he sends corporate lackey Rollo Lee (John Cleese) to make it 20 percent more profitable or he'll close it down. But Rollo makes some rather public missteps and Willa Weston (Jamie Lee Curtis) is sent in to help. Unfortunately for her, the boss' son Vince McCain (also Kevin Kline) tags along. He's determined to show his father how worthy he is to inherit those billions by dressing the staff as animals and taking on dozens of sponsorships -- even the lion gets dressed in a banner ad that says "Absolut Fierce." He's also determined to win over Willa, but suddenly she's both interested in protecting the animals and starting to have feelings for Rollo as well.

Is it any good?

A couple of Monty Python alums thought up the funny premise of cuddly creatures needing to take on fierce alter-egos to bring in zoo visitors, and that 10 minutes of the movie is downright hilarious. Also pretty funny: Rollo faking the deaths of the animals to look authoritative, and the tacky things Vince does to the zoo in the name of profits (especially the lion dressed up in an "Absolut Fierce" banner). It goes downhill from there pretty fast.

The father-son mogul storyline is given way too much weight, all the sexual innuendo gets pretty tired, and Vince's sexual harassment is much creepier than it is funny. It's great to see the cast of A Fish Called Wanda reunite, but it should have been for a much smarter script. In this digital era, they could have released the 10 minutes of hilarity on the web and left the rest on the cutting room floor.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea that violence sells. Do you like the cuddly animals as much as the fierce ones? What shows get the most hype on Animal Planet?

  • What about all the sponsorships at the zoo? Do you notice them at your zoo, or at the baseball stadium? Where are they the most plentiful?

  • What are your favorite comedies, and how do you decide which ones to watch? Do you look for funny actors, like John Cleese, or story lines that sound funny?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate