Based on Jason Lethcoe's illustrated children's book, Zoom (Columbia) is basically X-Men for the Nickelodeon set.
The lively but lightweight family comedy stars an appealing Tim Allen as Jack Shepard, a washed up superhero who went by the name Captain Zoom. After his crime-fighting “Team Zenith” was annihilated in a battle against his brother, supervillain Concussion (Kevin Zegers), Jack hung up his cape and called it quits. That was 30 years ago.
But now he's dragged out of retirement by a hawkish general (Rip Torn) and two bumbling scientists (Chevy Chase and Courteney Cox Arquette) who head the same top-secret Zenith project behind Jack's former team.
They've put together a new superpowered squad consisting of four young misfits: Dylan (Michael Cassidy), a long-haired loner who can turn invisible; telepathic teen Summer (Kate Mara); expandable Tucker (Spencer Breslin); and Cindy (Ryan Newman), a superstrong small fry whose costume of choice is a pink ballet tutu.
And they want Jack to train them, though they keep him and the youngsters in the dark about the team's intended mission: They must stop Jack's sonic-blasting sibling who has escaped his other-dimensional imprisonment and is headed back to earth in a matter of days with a world-destroying chip on his shoulder.
Directed by Peter Hewitt, the film, with its zippy action sequences, is entertaining if your expectations are kept low, though its kid-friendly themes of family and teamwork are handicapped by bland performances and a skeletal, only fitfully funny script, padded with strained slapstick humor and tedious musical montages.
The film contains some mildly crude humor and unnecessary gross-out sight gags, a few rude expressions and some comic-book-style violence. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
(This review appears courtesy of US Conference of Catholic Bishop's Office for Film and Broadcasting.)