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ZOOM: ACADEMY FOR SUPERHEROES: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Jack Shepard (Tim Allen), formerly known as Captain Zoom, comes out of retirement to coach bright young recruits to get the most out of their super powers. It's been 30 years since Jack was a superhero, leading the Zenith team, when his brother Concussion (Kevin Zegers) went over to the dark side. Now Concussion is coming back from another dimension and General Larraby (Rip Torn), supervisor Dr Grant (Chevy Chase) and kooky scientist Marsha Holloway (Courteney Cox) want to make sure there's a new team equipped to handle the situation. The new recruits comprise super-strong spoilt brat Cindy Collins (Ryan Newman), chubby Tucker (Spencer Breslin), who can blow up body parts; telekinetic Summer (Kate Mara) and Dylan (Michael Cassidy) who can make himself invisible.

Review by Louise Keller:
There is nothing that is new or fresh in Zoom, a hackneyed super-hero story that is as derivative as it is disappointing. It is hard to understand why Tim Allen's former super-hero Zoom is so badly needed to train some new recruits. After all, the best he can do these days is whip up a milk shake with his finger. Allen looks bored throughout this sci-fi family adventure, and even Chevy Chase is unable to make us laugh. The four youngsters with super-hero abilities are endearing, but the second grade script allows them no chance to excel. The special effects, too, are less than impressive.

Worse than being predictable, the plot is dull, and it is difficult to engage with any of the characters. Hard to imagine that Zoom was once 'faster than Quicksilver, The Flash and Superman all together' and that there is anything of consequence that he will be able to teach his young team. Courteney Cox's klutzy, stitched-up scientist has a crush on Zoom and the implied romance between the two rings false from the start. The predictable attraction between telekinetic Summer (Kate Mara) and hunky Dylan (Michael Cassidy) is more believable, but none of the relationships are grounded in reality.

Control and execution are the two fundamentals Zoom tries to teach his team, but most of the film is padding. What an anticlimax when Kevin Zeger's Concussion finally arrives, and of course Zoom's discovery that he still has powers. It's all pretty tame and youngsters looking for some good family fun will be disappointed. Special features on the DVD include a making of feature, the theatrical trailer and a superhero guide for kids.

Published June 28, 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

ZOOM: ACADEMY FOR SUPERHEROES: DVD (G)
(US, 2006)

CAST: Tim Allen, Courteney Cox, Chevy Chase, Spencer Breslin, Kevin Zegers, Kate Mara, Michael Cassidy, Ryan Newman

PRODUCER: Todd Garner, Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd

DIRECTOR: Peter Hewitt

SCRIPT: Adam Rifkin, David Berenbaum (Novel by Jason Lethcoe)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Tattersall

EDITOR: Lawrence Jordan

MUSIC: Christophe Beck

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Barry Chusid

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Making of; Superhero guide

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: June 20, 2007







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