About one year ago, Twentieth Century Fox sued the company releasing Zoom, claiming that this film infringed upon the copyrights to the X-Men franchise.  Fox claimed that Zoom was too similar - both stories were about groups of young superheroes brought together to train as a team.  There was even a room that simulated dangerous conditions where they could train in realistic environments.  Well, Fox and Marvel have little to worry about - Zoom is a piece of junk.  The aim of the film, based on the novel by Jason Lethcoe, is more along the lines of Sky High, both in terms of story and quality.  Zoom aims more towards a younger audience, and doesn't focus on action, special effect, or story.  It's more of a family friendly movie with an ooey-gooey moral.  After all, it does star Tim Allen (The Shaggy Dog, Christmas with the Kranks), who does seem to gravitate towards these projects.
Allen is Jack Shepherd, also known as Captain Zoom.  Shepherd was a member of a supergroup formed by the government years ago, until something went terribly wrong.  He went into retirement, until Marsha Holloway (Courtney Cox, Barnyard, The Longest Yard), tracked him down in order to help train a new generation of superheroes.  Shepherd is initially reluctant, swayed only by the promise of a lot of money.  What he doesn't know is that seven days from now, a danger from his past is coming, and that he is training the new group, composed of kids, to combat and hopefully defeat this danger.
Zoom is a bit too obvious, which is a problem.  Pete Hewitt (Garfield, Thunderpants), who directed and adapted the story with Adam Rifkin (Night at the Golden Eagle, Small Soldiers) and David Berenbaum (The Haunted Mansion, Elf), throw together a thoroughly predictable story.  It's not a surprise that the four kids, Dylan West (Michael Cassidy, The Girl from Monday), Summer Jones (Kate Mara, Brokeback Mountain, Tadpole), Tucker Williams (Spencer Breslin, The Shaggy Dog, The Princess Diaries 2), and Cindy Collins (Ryan Newman, Monster House) will come together as a team, convince Zoom to don his uniform again, and save the day.  And it's pretty obvious what Hewitt is foreshadowing when he says that Zoom's brother died years ago.
In addition to being predictable, Zoom is also boring.  It's hard to figure out what audience this film was going for.  It is obviously too simplistic for older viewers, and probably too not engaging enough for younger ones.  Things move pretty slowly, causing the filmmakers to rely on slapstick humor or lame jokes.  The first time they show Newman throwing heavy objects is kinda funny.  The tenth time isn't.  Allen often mugs for the camera, and Cox seems to fall down a lot.  The film takes place over the course of a week, and feels like an extended montage, with pauses for boring conversation.  Worst part?  The superpowers aren't that interesting, and the ending plays out with no logical sense whatsoever.
Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 23 minutes, Rated PG for brief rude humor, language, and mild violence.

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