| August 17, 2006

Zoom lacks brains, and imagination, and purpose. Its plotline–a pissy superhero trains a ragtag team of kids with superpowers to become… a ragtag team of kids with superpowers–describes an infinity of movies better than itself, and even the movie’s standard-issue blooper reel confirms the sad suspicion that the onboard talent (Tim Allen, Courteney Cox, Rip Torn, Chevy Chase, Kevin Zeger, all for whom anyone with a heart would feel sorry) is clearly embarrassed to be here.
It’s easy to beat up on a bland, self-hating movie like Zoom, created only to rob unsuspecting families during a box-office recession during which kiddie movies and horror flicks are a studio’s only sure bet. (Zoom appears to be both.)
So easy, in fact, that it might be worth throwing it pity points for actors Kate Mara and Michael Cassidy. Mara plays a high school introvert who expresses her hatred for bully cheerleaders via telekinesis (this may be a nod to Carrie). Cassidy plays a smarmy, apathetic teen who can turn invisible whenever he doesn’t give a damn (this may possibly mirror the attitude of the screenwriter, if there was one).
Their character development makes no sense, precisely because the film denied them any character, but Mara and Cassidy, all soulful and committed and maybe even smart underneath all that shiny skin, seem to be the ones making the best of the party.
Kevin Zeger, the movie’s resident villain with the best bad-guy motivation ever (he was hit with a gamma ray… that made him evil), showed hope for teenage actors with last year’s Transamerica, but nine months later, he’s suddenly stuck in this hellpit. Here’s to the prayer that Kate Mara and Kevin Cassidy’s future careers have a less disheartening trajectory.
There’s nothing else to say about Zoom, a movie that knows it’s bad, and depresses us endlessly with the fact. It lives in a dismal inferno that somehow ensnared two accomplished television stars, two accomplished comedians, and two innocent children (mini-thesps Ryan Newman and Spencer Breslin may very well have turned Hollywood-cynical by production’s end). Thanks to its virtual box-office anonymity, their careers will probably all make it out alive, but should karma hate you enough to lob you into Zoom as well, at least let the admirable Mara and Cassidy guide you safely out.

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