Bomb Rating: 

Here's how bad this film is: The outtakes are seriously painful. Usually, after sitting through some total piece of crap, we'll be relieved when the outtakes come up because, while redundant, they can be mildly cathartic. Well, the outtakes for "Zoom" are just as bad as the film. As if we needed more evidence that Chevy Chase is no longer funny, and may have never been funny, there's an outtake of him singing a song about poo.

Let's see, there's "The Incredibles" and there's "Sky High" and then there's all the stuff left on the cutting room floor from "Sky High" and then there's "Zoom." "Zoom" is one of the most startling combinations of incompetence and minimal effort in cinematic history. It's one of those films that, whenever a character laughs, you can see the end of each actor's career flashing right before their eyes there's so little sincerity involved. Apparently the concept for the film was this: "Let's combine superheroes with Tim Allen's normal schtick, Chevy Chase's tired clowning routines, Courteney Cox slipping and falling whenever possible, product placement, and as many musical montages as we can fit into 82 minutes and still tell a story.

Apparently culled by bad ideas dropped from other films like it, "Zoom" features an aged superhero named Captain Zoom (Tim Allen) recruited to train a group of new superheroes to fight off the impending arrival of Zoom's semi-evil brother, Concussion (Kevin Zegers). For whatever reason, Concussion is arriving via some kind of dimensional portal at an exact time, so everyone knows exactly where he will show and when, which doesn't do a whole lot to explain why Zoom needs to train these kids. The film goes through the machinations of a genre that's barely established, which makes its tired riffs even more annoying. To constantly ask oneself "is this the best they could do?" becomes so tiring after awhile that the film feels more like a brainwashing.

Anybody associated with "Zoom" should be quarantined for a few years until they apologize for being in this thing. Director Peter ("Garfield") Hewitt should never, ever be allowed to direct again. Anybody responsible for writing this film should be banned from Hollywood. Among the complete head-scratching moments include a baseball game inside a tiny room that looks like a secret Prozac experiment gone bad. Then there's the robot buddy of Zoom, called Mr. Pibb, who's a cross between R2D2 and the robot from Short Circuit. Then there's the paintball trainer that fires thousands of paintballs at the kids per minute while never getting paint on the walls. Then there are the regular musical montages where you'd swear the intent of the filmmakers was to give the audience regular bathroom breaks. Then there's some of the horrible dialogue, like when the bad General (Rip Torn) hears an internal alarm and exclaims, as if he had never heard the alarm before, "What's that? What's happening?" Or when the film resolves itself and Zoom exclaims, "I got my brother back." Then there's the puppy love between the two older kids: Summer Jones (Kate Mara) and Dylan West (Michael Cassidy) that plays out like something from a "Promise Keepers" seminar.

I could actually go on for quite some time with this because every, single scene in "Zoom" begs to be ripped apart. The nuke is a rare rating, but I don't think there's ever been a film more deserving than "Zoom."

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