Zoom (PG)

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The Independent Culture

The users of IMDb.com have voted Zoom as the third worst film ever made. They might think again if they ever watch It's A Boy Girl Thing, but I can see where they're coming from. The sad fact is that the scene in Zoom which works best is the one in the out-takes at the end, when Tim Allen remarks to Courteney Cox that they were both a lot funnier on television.

Allen stars as a disillusioned superhero, now working as a car mechanic. And, to be fair, he's good at seeming jaded and old. His performance is so weary that he seems weighed down by the memory of the almost identical roles he played in Toy Story and Galaxy Quest. Anyway, for reasons which are explained in pure gobbledegook, Allen is drugged and taken to an underground military base by a gruff general (Rip Torn), a mad scientist (Chevy Chase) and a token beauty (Cox). His task is to teach four superpowered children how to save the world. And, you never know, he might even regain his self-respect in the process.

The title is horribly inappropriate for a film which never even breaks into a trot. The shambolic editing leaves it with endless training montages, but no actual superheroics. It's ironic, too, that a film called Zoom should limp along at the tail end of the fad for superhero films, when Spy Kids, The Incredibles, The Fantastic Four and Sky High have already left it far behind.