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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Some lip service made to the oft-stated comic book superhero idea that it's ok to be different. Disrespectful attitudes from Jack, the kids, and Larraby. The kids express anger with their powers, and Jack is mean to them, calling Tucker "Chubba Bubba" and refusing to hold Cindy's hand.
Positive Role Models
Too cartoonish to be seen as positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
Comic-book style violence: kicking, punching, throwing, shattering glass. While being recruited, Jack is shot with a dart gun that makes him unconscious. Later, while running at superhuman speed, he trips and falls, tumbling across the desert. Concussion gets knocked around, hit with a metal pole, and spun into a whirlwind. Before they are drafted by the U.S. Government, the kids with superhero abilities are shown using their powers to beat up bullies. Pratfall violence -- a recurring bit is how one of the characters clumsily trips and falls.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirting between Jack and Marsha and Dylan and Summer. During training, Dylan accidentally lands on top of Summer (both horizontal on the floor), and they kiss briefly at the end of the movie. Referring to radiation, Jack tells the kids to wear lead underwear to protect their "privates". Larraby says they'll get enough radiation to "sterilize a trailer park."
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"Hell." "Suck." A one-liner is made when one of the characters, discovering the hidden superpower of one of the characters, says, "She blows." Verbal bullying in school, words such as "freak" and "lead butt." During the credits, one of the blooper reels shows Chevy Chase leading everyone in a made-up song with the lyric "we like to poop our pants."
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Products & Purchases
M&Ms prominently featured in a scene. A spaceship stops at a Wendy's, menu items discussed by name. A robot is named Mr. Pibb.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One reference when Larraby bursts into an end-of-training party for the kids, and Jack tells him to chill out and have a drink.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Zoom: Academy for Superheroes is a 2006 movie in which Tim Allen plays a washed-up former superhero who is brought back by the government to train a ragtag group of kids and teens with superpowers. There's a ton of disrespectful behavior from both the adults and kids in this movie. Before warming up to the kids, Jack is downright mean, calling them names and treating them badly. There's also lots of crude behavior involving farting, burping, and a huge snot-bubble that bursts and covers everyone with green goo. In one scene, the kids trap a scientist in an environmental simulator and subject him to falling rocks, a cyclone, and a rainstorm, then laugh at him. Outtakes during the end credits show the cast singing "We like to poop in our pants." Also, the parents in this movie are conspicuously missing, and the superheroes form their own "family." There's some mild profanity and comic-book style violence (kicking, punching, throwing, shattering glass). There is also some blatant consumerism, M&M's featured prominently, a scene centered on the characters' spaceship going through Wendy's drive-through, and a robot named "Mr. Pibb." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The young superheroes are somewhat appealing, but this movie falls flat on just about every other account. The montage scenes get old fast, and the plot is predictable and covers the usual themes of teen angst, fitting in, and finding your own gifts. Chevy Chase still isn't funny, Rip Torn is like a maniacal cartoon character, and Tim Allen needs to find a different niche other than family movies.
Based on Jason Lethcoe's comic-book for young adults and featuring dated tunes by Smash Mouth, this movie is harmless fun for kids, but not a whole lot of new material here.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.