USCCB’s Review of Zoom

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 &#0151 adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG &#0151 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.)

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