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2006-12-31 11:12

A washed out former superhero named Captain Zoom (Tim Allen) must prepare four gifted but truculent young superheroes (Spencer Breslin, Kate Mara, Michael Cassidy and Ryan Newman) to face his evil brother and former arch-nemesis Concussion. The only problem is that Zoom doesn't want anything to do with the kids or the superhero business. It's up to the lovely but geeky Marsha Holloway (Courtney Cox) to convince Zoom to help, before her boss Dr. Grant (Chevy Chase) and his boss General Larraby (Rip Torn) lose patience and zap the kids with a possibly deadly gamma ray designed to bring their powers to maturity immediately.


If you need proof that advances in technology aren't always a good thing, just look at Zoom. Superhero movies used to be the preserve of big budget productions which, though they weren't always good, were at least dignified. Now, thanks to increasingly cheaper CGI effects, any idiot can be a superhero. And these super-mooks don't need to do anything as grand as stop tsunamis or deflect asteroids, oh no, they use their powers for more worthwhile feats. Like fart and snot jokes.

And if you need more incentive to avoid the film just look at the cast. Topping the bill is that albatross around the neck of any comedy, Tim “The Tool” Allen. How this guy keeps getting roles is quite remarkable. He wasn't even that funny to begin with on TV's Home Improvement, and, apart from one or two films (Galaxy Quest being the prime example), he runs every movie he touches into the ground. Joe Somebody? The Shaggy Dog? Who keeps employing this nitwit?

Not to be outdone, Allen's supporting cast seem eager to match his tired buffoonery with their own. Never has Courtney Cox overacted with such vigor. Perhaps someone should check her dosage of uppers. And never has the (once mighty) Chevy Chase been weirder or more disconnected. Perhaps he and Cox need to switch pills, since he is clearly floating somewhere near Moon Unit Beta. Even the normally marvelous Rip Torn is rendered unlikeable by the proceedings.

As for the kids, they are appropriately cute and/or cuddly and/or hot. Whether they can act or not seems irrelevant to the filmmakers – as long as they look the part. Ryan Newman is the only one who stands out at all, playing a spirited little girl with super strength. She has got the adorable-blonde-poppet act down pat, but it wears thin eventually. The other three are generic at best, with Spencer Breslin putting in the worst performance of the lot. Like Allen, you have to wonder what casting directors see in this guy. Is it a coincidence he has been in half of Allen's films?

Then there's the plot, if it can be called that. Like the humour, the storyline is pure cinematic polony. It's made entirely from the leftovers, the snouts and ears, of a dozen better films all ground up, squeezed into a new shape and dyed a pretty colour. The result is as bland and predictable as you would expect. Nerds and geeks triumph over adversity? Wow that's original. A team of misfits come together to save the world? What is this, 1987?

Perhaps we should dwell upon the movie's small graces. There's no swearing and only a minimal amount of mucus. There's little real violence, and none of the cast are ugly enough to induce nausea. In fact if you're in the mood for a movie that is very little of anything at all, that will just slip right past your brain and land with a plop on the cinema floor, then Zoom is your movie. Even if you don't enjoy it, don't stress, you will forget it before you even get to the parking lot.

- Alistair Fairweather
Dumber than a bag of hammers! More predictable than cold oatmeal! Clumsier than a drunk bear! It's Zoom, the most unnecessary film of the year.


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Bruce 2006-09-25 10:25 AM
you are entitled to your opinion Tim Allen may not be the greatest actor out, but he has great comic timing, and you have your opinion, but personally attacking someone you have never met is childish, He is a good entertainer, and there are a lot of people out here that enjoys his stupid antics, and light entertainment, the movie may be bad, even De Niro has done some really bad movies, they have to make money some how.
Rob 2006-09-25 04:14 PM
Bruce... I tend to agree with Alistair I agree. Home Improvement was no great shakes. I haven't seen a good movie staring Allen, EVER! As for Chevy Chase... he really has gotten old and stale. Just looking at the cast would put me off. The plot sounds old and mouldy - perhaps as a cheese or wine this would be good. But not for a movie. I won't bother to see this one myself. And for the record, I am a massive superhero fan :)
Colin 2006-09-25 11:37 PM
What's wrong with a little superhero fluff? What, with all the serious stuff flying around these days, (and not only in the movies!) I think a little cinematic 'fluff' is exactly what people need. There are plenty of serious, thought provoking and well acted plots out there. If that's what you expected, review one of those... and leave the 'fluff' for others to laugh, groan and roll their eyes at!
Quinton 2006-09-27 08:14 AM
Come on... Is it just me or does there have to be some sort of sensationalism in everything that a reviewer does? Is it not possible to review a movie and just state the facts. I refer to Alistair's attack on the cast and crew of the movie. Ok, it may not be what could be called a B-Grade move, but come on. Facts please. I don't care what you think of Tim "The Tool Man" Allen, or Chevey Chase. I am a big fan of both. They aren't the greatest actors around, but if you want great acting don't go see a movie with these guys in it. If you have to see the movie so you can review it, keep the insults to yourself. Ok, so these people made a bad move. So what, who cares about your personal rants. Just tell us about the movie. Any asshole can insult someone else, but can you put a review together without it, or do you not have the talent yourself to come up with something real to say?
PhilBilly 2006-09-27 10:13 AM
What is with the terminology..... "More predictable than cold oatmeal! Clumsier than a drunk bear!" ???????? What's with the American terminology Alistair ???,have you been "borrowing" from websites again ?? We're in South Africa you chop,so when in Rome........write in the local lingo. Moron.
Allymeg 2006-09-27 10:14 AM
Why so mean??? The review sounds bad, but its good to watch a predictable movie once in a while. Makes you feel physci.PLus Tim is in it so it cant be that bad. Cummon.
warren 2006-09-27 01:06 PM
how about this as entertaining as a taxi full of vuvuzelas
baron 2006-09-27 01:39 PM
Keep it clean BOZO I must just say that I agree with most of the comments..... why all the personal attacks on the cast...can you act hmmm Alistair... some of us like Tim "the tool man".... I'm sure he'll make us laugh...
portia 2006-09-27 08:24 PM
Zoom Zoom
Dee 2006-09-27 10:39 PM
How would you like it... ...Mr Alistair Fairweather if Tim Allen had a go at you? Did you take your uppers and downers together? Hmm, I wonder...
StoneHenge 2006-09-27 11:54 PM
Zoom I don't think i've read a review by Alistair Fairweather where he has anything good to say about either the movie or the cast...Frustrated wannabe-actor / writer / director turned movie critic?
Squire 2006-09-28 02:43 PM
People please This is a review written by someone who has seen the movie. I wish people would actually watch the movie before passing such angry comments to the reviewer, he too is entitled to an opinion. Hell, it's your comments on the review that will make Mr Fairweather a household name. Go you're more right than Ronge.
Melody 2008-07-28 12:14 AM
Zoom Well as low budget as it seemed, my sister, and brother even, and I sat down to watch this (again) yesterday and enjoyed it (again.) Tim Allen is always funny, and the movie itself, although overdone, was funny and cute. Now, if I could actually FIND the DVD, I'd have it. :D And why do all movie critics rip on the good movies? Like "Wall E", now there's a movie that the movie critics gave 4 of 4 stars to! Yuck.

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