Sunday, November 14, 2010

Worst of the Worst: #41, Zoom: Academy For Superheroes

When you mix Tim Allen trying to recapture the magic that he found in Galaxy Quest with producers trying to cash in on the success of The Incredibles, the result is going to be predictably bad. Allen plays a washed-up superhero who is ostensibly a drunk, though you only know that because he is unshaven -- not only do you never seen him drink alcohol, he makes a milkshake at some point and what was supposed to be alcohol came from a regular water bottle. When his former archnemesis -- it doesn't matter that it's also his brother, but it goes to show how cheesy the movie is -- threatens to return and do something bad, I guess, though they never say what it is, he is called into action to train a group of misfit kids with superpowers and form them into a team. After the requisite fart and booger jokes, the kids sweetly find acceptance within their own group -- now a family -- and have to fight the bad guy. "Sweetly" was sarcastic there.

This movie was a pure cash grab. The writing is horrible, with Allen cracking non-sequitir one-liner after another -- and practically looking at the camera as he does it. One great example of bad writing is at the beginning when, upon being told about the threat, Rip Torn says, "I speak Greek, not geek!" He doesn't look thrilled to be saying it. With such a bad script, the acting is bound to be weak as Allen and co-star Courteney Cox look as if they're giving almost no effort. Why bother, when what you're saying is going to be so poor?

It's not just the dialogue. They really do never explain why the bad guy is so dangerous and any confrontation with him is over quickly with a we-don't-know-what-we're-doing-so-pay-no-attention-to-the-actual-action flair. As with many kids' movies, the protagonist kids end up playing pranks on the grown-ups that may make them seem cool to kids, but to me it just makes them seem obnoxious. Throw a guy with no powers into a room and hit him with a tornado! Hilarious!

There are maybe one or two one-liners that connect and that, at least, makes this better than many of the other movies on the list. Because this is a kids' movie, I grade it on a lower scale, as well. Would I stick my kid in front of this movie when I need babysitting? I'd probably rather she watch Aladdin, but there are worse things out there. This isn't evil, it's just lazy.

The best example of the laziness comes in a scene when Kate Mara, as the teenage girl hero, comes into some sort of dance that the kids are holding. There are only four kids, mind you. She's supposed to be 17, but she was 23 when this came out. She's wearing a dress that Cox's character gave her and wants to look good for the teenage boy hero. Allen and Cox greet her at the door and when the boy comes over, they leave. As they walk away, Tim Allen absolutely looks back and checks out Mara's ass. They left it in the movie. I googled to see if anyone else had noticed it, but there's no mention in any other review that I could find. It's clear as day; I rewatched the scene three times. The cheesiness of Zoom makes it slightly enjoyable, but something like that is comedy gold.

No comments: