Zoom: Academy for Superheroes

Earth and its inhabitants' safety are threatened by the imminent return of Concussion/Connor Shepard (Kevin Zegers – Dawn of the Dead – 2004, In the Mouth of Madness), a former superhero who has gone bad. Scientists Dr. Grant (Chevy Chase – Vacation, Caddyshack) and Marsha Holloway (Courtney Cox – from television's Friends) decide, on the orders of General Larraby (Rip Torn – Marie Antoinette, Men in Black II), to find retired superhero Captain Zoom/Jack Shepard (Tim Allen – Wild Hogs, Cars) so that he can train the latest batch of young superheroes. Jack is hesitant as he has lost all his powers. He is the only person who knows this though.

The four kids that are recruited have superpowers but do not know how to use them. Mega Boy (Spencer Breslin – The Shaggy Dog, Raising Helen) can make himself as big in order to ward off anything, Houdini (Michael Cassidy – from television's The O.C.) can make himself disappear, Princess (Ryan Newman – Monster House) is an extremely strong little girl, and Wonder (Kate Mara – The Shooter, We Are Marshall) can use her mind to control things. Jack is supposed to teach them how to be superheroes but he is anti superhero so it does not initially go well.

The schooling is not going well because Jack no longer believes in the program so his heart in not in it. Dr. Grant ends up 'forcing' Jack into training the kids because the threat is becoming more and more imminent. The four young kids, who are really not ready, will have to try and save the world.

Zoom is the type of film that blatantly 'borrows' ideas and parts from other movies without apologies. You will see things from Spy Kids, X-Men and other spacey/ superhero films throughout. There is also some pretty shoddy acting done in this film and it is not by the young actors (hello, Chevy Chase!!). But to be fair even Judi Dench could not have done much with this script. I will blame the film's problems on the screenwriters, Adam Rifkin (Small Soldiers) and David Berenbaum (Elf), and the director, Peter Hewitt (Garfield, The Borrowers). This is not Hewitt's first film so it is unacceptable that you can see the boom microphone in some of the scenes. Sloppy! The idea of four young people with superpowers who don't fit into the world but find a family with each other does have interesting story potential, but it has been badly mangled.

For the love of all that is holy in this world you have to go into the film that it is intended for young kids or you will lose your mind. Judge it based on this criterion and it won't be the worst film you have ever seen. Do it otherwise at your own risk!

Special Features:
-Academy for Superheroes Guide for Kids
-Bringing Superheroes to Life: The Making of Zoom
-Previews of Open Season, Are We Done Yet?, Daddy Day Camp, Are We There Yet?, Surf's Up, Zathura, Monster House, and RV

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