Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Hewitt|
|Story by||Adam Rifkin|
|Based on||Zoom's Academy
by Jason Lethcoe
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Edited by||Lawrence Jordan|
Todd Team Productions
Boxing Cat Films
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Zoom (also known as Zoom: Academy for Superheroes) is a 2006 American comedy superhero film. It is based upon the children's book Amazing Adventures from Zoom's Academy by Jason Lethcoe. Directed by Peter Hewitt, the film stars Tim Allen, Kate Mara, Spencer Breslin, Michael Cassidy, Kevin Zegers, Courteney Cox Arquette, Chevy Chase, Ryan Newman, and Rip Torn.
The film's release was delayed due to a lawsuit filed by Fox and Marvel Comics. Zoom was initially intended to be released on May 12, two weeks before X-Men: The Last Stand, but it was alleged that the script for Zoom was too similar to the X-Men film franchise and would "confuse" viewers.
Decades prior to the start of the film, the American military sponsored a superhero group called "Team Zenith." Its leaders were Jack Shepard (Tim Allen), a.k.a. "Captain Zoom", who possessed super-speed, and his brother, Connor (Kevin Zegers), a.k.a. "Concussion", who could project sonic blasts. The military tried to increase the team's powers by exposing them to an experimental form of radiation called "Gamma-13". This caused Concussion to become more powerful, but it also reversed his personality and turned his eyes red, thinking zoom and the team betrayed him and went insane. Concussion killed his teammates Marksman (Wilmer Valderrama), Ace (Alexis Bledel), and Daravia (Devon Aoki). Concussion was believed to be killed by Zoom in an explosion, but he had been sent into another dimension instead. Zoom lost his powers, and his brother.
Thirty years later, Dr. Grant (Chevy Chase), the scientist behind the original Zenith Project, discovers that Concussion is making his way back into their dimension. General Larraby (Rip Torn), the military officer in charge of the Project, decides to form a new Zenith Team to fight him.
Jack finds himself dragged back into the Project, this time as an instructor. He is told that a new team is needed to battle a great menace but is not told what it is. He is also told that if natural training does not prepare the new team in time, they will be exposed to Gamma-13. In their secret base, Area 52 (a reference to Area 51), he meets Marsha (Courteney Cox), who is a beautiful but clumsy psychologist, a big fan of Zoom's, and knows of him only through the comic book propaganda adaptations of the team's adventures.
The project holds an audition of would-be members, most of whom possess useless or disgusting powers. In the end, four auditioning kids are selected:
- Dylan West (Michael Cassidy), a boy possessing invisibility and clairvoyance.
- Summer Jones (Kate Mara), a girl with telekinetic powers and empathic senses.
- Tucker Williams (Spencer Breslin), a boy with body enlargement abilities.
- Cindy Collins (Ryan Newman), a girl with super strength.
All of them are shown as having problems adapting to normal life because of their powers. At first things do not go well. Jack is bitter about the past, and his sarcastic attitude disappoints Marsha. Dylan keeps trying to escape, Tucker has self-esteem problems and trouble controlling his powers, and the kids are annoyed by Jack's attitude. The team eventually forces Jack to face the fact that he's not really putting his heart into their training. Slowly things begin to come together. As the new team's abilities improve, they adopt superhero identities.
Eventually, just as Concussion is about to arrive on Earth, it is discovered that Dylan also possesses a kind of clairsentience that allows him to discover not only Concussion's location, but also the project's true purpose: the team is meant merely as a distraction from the military's plans to capture Concussion in a special net to send him back into another dimension. Marsha also reveals that she secretly possesses a superpower of her own: "super breath" which appears as clouds of rainbow-colored wind. She uses this power to aid the team in their escape. Using a malfunctioning flying saucer stored in the base, Jack escapes with the team, including Marsha. He is dropped off at a point in a desert where Concussion will arrive, planning to try to talk to him. Jack tells the team to avoid, but they refuse.
When Concussion arrives, he refuses to listen to reason and starts firing sonic blasts at his brother. The rest of the team takes him on. Larraby orders the net to be fired, but Concussion blasts it away, and it almost lands on Cindy. This causes Jack to react and recover his speed, and he saves her. He then runs back to the base (tripping over in the process), puts on a new costume, and returns to battle his brother. Working together, the team (plus Marsha) guide Concussion into a high-speed vortex that Zoom creates by running around in a circle at super-speed. Dr. Grant yells to Zoom that if he closes the vortex, they can save Concussion. The vortex ultimately removes the Gamma-13 from himself and restores his powers and personality to normal. The two brothers are happily reunited.
At the end you see that Dylan is dating Summer, who is on the cheerleading team, using her telekinetic power to help build the pyramid. Tucker is the goalie on the soccer team, and Cindy is in a play adaption of Rapunzel, using her strength to pull the "prince" up the tower. In addition they still work together with Zoom as the new Zenith Team.
- Tim Allen as Jack Shepard/Captain Zoom, once a member of a superhero team known as Zenith. After a failed experiment with gamma radiation his brother, Concussion, turned evil and the original Zenith team disbanded. He is first a bitter man when he starts training the kids but after that he has a change of heart and starts caring for them. He has superhuman speed.
- Chevy Chase as Dr. Grant, a scientist at the Area 52 base who constantly annoys the children with his serious attitude. He is the inventor of Gamma-13.
- Courteney Cox as Marsha Holloway, a clumsy scientist who works for Area 52. She is also a big fan of Zoom and his comic book adventures. She tells him that she was a weird child when she was younger while not aware of the fact that she has a superpower herself.
- Kevin Zegers as Connor Shepard/Concussion, Zoom's younger brother who was turned evil by Gamma-13. He has the power to generate powerful shockwaves from his hands. Long ago, when he and Zoom(Allen) were younger he turned Evil. towards the end of the movie he looks younger than Zoom but he is older. (Allen is obviously older than Zegers in real life).
- Kate Mara as Summer Jones/Wonder, a teenage girl who is constantly teased by the cheerleaders at her school and Dylan's love interest. She has the power of telekinesis and empathy. She is 16. Her parents left her because they couldn't handle her powers.
- Ryan Newman as Cindy Collins/Princess, the youngest of the four kids. She is rarely taken seriously by the rest of the group. She has the power of superhuman strength. She is 6. She usually dresses up in different costumes like a princess.
- Michael Cassidy as Dylan West/Houdini, the oldest of the four kids and Summer's love interest. He has the power of invisibility and clairvoyance. He is 17. He keeps escaping from training activities, which is called a Code Dylan.
- Spencer Breslin as Tucker Williams/Mega Boy, an overweight boy who is constantly teased about his appearance. He has the power of elasticity and growth. He is 12.
- Alexis Bledel as Ace (uncredited), A member of the original Zenith team and Zoom's girlfriend. She possessed the power of flight.
- Devon Aoki as Daravia, A member of the original Zenith team. Daravia was skilled in acrobatics.
- Wilmer Valderrama as Marksman, Marksman had clairvoyance called Mind Sight. He was also a skilled marksman, hence the name.
The film grossed a worldwide total of only $12,506,188 on a budget of $75 million Zoom was nominated for one Razzie Award, Worst Actor for Tim Allen (also nominated for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause and The Shaggy Dog).
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