Zoom: Academy for Superheroes is Tim Allen's latest comedy, and his latest comedy to fall flat on its face. About a washed-up superhero who is brought in to train a bunch of misfit kids, Zoom is a fluffy little film that is ultimately harmless but completely lacks any sense or purpose.
In addition to Allen, the movie also stars Courtney Cox, Chevy Chase, Spencer Breslin, my future wife Kata Mara, Michael Cassidy, Ryan Newman and Rip Torn. Everyone looks lost. Here they are, stuck in a superhero movie with no plot, no originality and no excitement. Allen delivers 95% of the funny jokes, but they are few and far between. Cox is just an annoying klutz from beginning to end, and Chase is left playing an idiot who is hardly used to potential. The four "children" (although some are in their twenties) do their best, but have very little to work with. At least Mara looks pretty.
Zoom is about an ex-superhero named Zoom who is brought to a secret facility to train four gifted children to become a superhero team within a week, so that they can battle his evil brother who is projected to return from another dimension. The youngest (Newman) looks like a little princess (because she dresses up as one), but is the strongest person on the planet. Bresslin plays a fat kid who can expand his body at will. Mara and Cassidy are the two older ones, and of course are attracted to one another; Mara's character can control things with her mind, whereas Cassidy's can turn invisible.
While superhero movies always have potential, Zoom wastes it with every passing second. Obviously made for children, the movie lacks any edge or excitement. The only interesting superhero moment is at the end, where Zoom and the team take on the super villain, but even the climax is short and hardly momentous. Each teammate only gets to use their powers once, and then everything is over. The rest of the movie is spent showing the audience random sequences of powers, flirting between Mara and Cassidy (sir, keep your hands off her!) and Allen acting bitter. Oh, and Cox tripping or slipping or falling over.
Zoom is a one-note comedy, and it's a shame because with the right screenplay and a little more action, this could have been a fun family film. As is, you'll be zooming to the eject button.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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