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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 2.33%
Average: 16.28%
Pretty Bad: 9.3%
Total Crap72.09%

5 reviews, 13 user ratings

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by brianorndorf

"Lose Tim Allen, and they could've had something here worthwhile"
3 stars

“Zoom” has some enjoyable ideas that are in search of a more entertaining film. A lethargic performance from Tim Allen doesn’t help matters, but once the story gets rolling late in the flick, there’s some fun to be had.

When his evil brother heads back to Earth after a long exile for revenge, retired superhero Zoom (Tim Allen) is reluctantly brought back into action by a secret government program at Area 52. Zoom’s mission is to train a new generation of mutant-like heroes (including Spencer Breslin and Kate Mara) for battle against this new threat, yet he can’t give himself over to the task. With the urging of Marsha (Courtney Cox), his biggest fan in the complex, Zoom has to look past himself to remember why he was so special to begin with, reaching out to his new family for help.

Director Peter Hewitt seems like a decent guy. With “The Borrowers” and the boy-who-propels-himself-into-space-with-his-flatulence UK hit “Thunderpants,” the filmmaker has demonstrated a pleasant ability to ease some spirit into material intended for families. Sure, he made “Garfield,” but Hewitt is capable of vivacity few of his colleagues care to explore.

I chalk up the minor failure of “Zoom” mostly to Tim Allen. The entire film seems to perceive him as a burden; a foot-dragging comedic presence the film wasn’t intended to have, and the only name actor the producers could talk into starring. When Allen’s heart isn’t into the material, there’s no mistaking his sleepy delivery and lack of comic snap. Allen is intended to anchor “Zoom” as the father figure/source of adult comedy. He fails on both ends, and you can sense Hewitt straining to work around the actor to get his film up and running.

While still unexceptional, if you can overlook the snot and fart material that litters the screenplay, the grotesque product placement, along with the rancid Smash Mouth soundtrack, “Zoom” actually has a faint ability to please. If you feel as though you’ve seen this story before, you have, in the “X-Men” films and last summer’s disappointing “Sky High.” “Zoom” doesn’t have anything to offer the superhero genre, but Hewitt steers the film away from cynicism and the crippling teen angst that made “Sky High” such a chore to sit through. Throw in some lightly amusing supporting turns from Courtney Cox and one good joke from Chevy Chase (for that alone, there should be a national holiday), and the film starts to idle nicely; however, you do have to wait for it.

After an hour of training montages and pratfalls (not Cox’s forte), “Zoom” gets to the teamwork portion of the story, and the energy kicks up considerably. The plot’s nothing to pay close attention to, but Hewitt knows how to use these characters and their special powers to entertaining lengths.

It’s rare to see any film improve as it goes, but “Zoom” seems to get more comfortable in its skin by the third act. It’s a shame so much time is wasted getting there.

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originally posted: 08/12/06 10:33:47
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User Comments

11/03/07 Tiffany Losco I liked it, But I like movies like this. 4 stars
8/07/07 Charles Tatum Allen's good for some laughs, but watch Sky High instead 2 stars
5/17/07 ES This makes the Fantastic Four look like Spiderman in comparison 1 stars
3/10/07 Jenn Stupid, pointless, lacking in emotion, character development, and plot. 1 stars
2/09/07 Donald It could of been really awesome -the kids -the script 1 stars
10/21/06 Jenna Furr Heck no, brianorndorf -- Tim Allen's no worse than the rest of it! 2 stars
10/20/06 Gretchen Seitz Mostly a random collection of annoyances. 2 stars
8/27/06 Jonah Holy crap this one sucked. 1 stars
8/19/06 ggg Gross and stupid, characters are empty, misses the magic of Sky High 1 stars
8/18/06 KAREN MATLOCK yuck ! 1 stars
8/15/06 Wilber Post Fire the Director & Editor!! 1 stars
8/12/06 KingNeutron Director rates a D-Minus, Cox is looking OLD - but "Cindy" is adorable. Wait for the DVD. 2 stars
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  11-Aug-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 13-Feb-2007



Directed by
  Peter Hewitt

Written by
  Adam Rifkin
  David Berenbaum

  Tim Allen
  Courteney Cox
  Chevy Chase
  Spencer Breslin
  Rip Torn
  Kate Mara

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