Zenon: The Zequel

Movie review by
Tracey Petherick, Common Sense Media
Zenon: The Zequel Movie Poster Image
Unsophisticated space caper sequel has positive role models.
  • NR
  • 2001
  • 89 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie is intended to entertain not educate.

Positive Messages

Plenty of positive messages throughout including the importance of being yourself, facing your fears, and having an open mind. Also sticking together and supporting each other through challenging times.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zenon is brave, self confident, and determined -- though occasionally reckless. She inspires confidence in other people, but also feels the pressure of everyone expecting her to be fun and have all the answers.

Violence & Scariness

One scary scene when characters find themselves stuck in space with no fuel, and panic sets in.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zenon: The Zequel is a harmless space caper -- and sequel to Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century -- in which characterful teenage girls show courage and determination. The value of friendship and the importance of sticking together are key messages and Zenon is feisty and inspiring yet fairly relatable. With no violence, very little peril, and zero bad language, sex, drugs, or drinking, it's a safe watch for all ages. Overall the movie lacks depth, however, with an implausible set-up and corny storylines. 

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What's the story?

ZENON: THE ZEQUEL is set in 2051 where Zenon Kar (Kirsten Storms) the heroine from 1999's Zenon: Girl of the 21stCentury, is now 15 and still getting into trouble on the space station she calls home. Her latest mishap lands her a month working in the Alien Patrol lab, hopelessly waiting for signals from other life forms. Meanwhile the military has been sent in to manage the space station and General Hammond (John Getz) is not only threatening to send its residents back to Earth, he's also charged Zenon with looking after his daughter -- Zenon's nemesis, Margie (Lauren Maltby). When Zenon hears an alien signal and realizes it sounds just like a song by her favorite pop star Proto Zoa (Phillip Rhys) she and Margie stow away on a shuttle to Earth to track him down. Persuading him to join them on their mission, the three team up with Zenon's friends and family to find the aliens and -- they hope -- save the space station.

Is it any good?

Much like Zenon: Girl of the 21stCentury -- the first installment of what became a Disney TV trilogy -- this space adventure sequel gets off to a slow start. The contrived storyline and mediocre script make the first 30 minutes drag, but things pick up in the second half as our plucky protagonist settles in to her quest. Zenon is just about likable enough (tweens will no doubt be drawn to her, while teens are gritting their teeth) and the story is entertaining despite its corniness.

Part of the charm of the first movie was the tongue-in-cheek predictions of what the future might look like, and it's a shame the opportunity has been largely missed here  -- although there is an almost prophetic reference to "the stock market crash of 2006." We still have amusing space-age tech like ZapPads and V-Mail, and it's good to see the stress helmet has had an upgrade. But on the whole this vision of the future is pretty cringe-worthy. The feisty teenage role models and positive messages around inclusivity and teamwork are Zenon: The Zequel's few redeeming qualities.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about positive role models in Zenon: The Zequel. What character strengths and/or weaknesses are portrayed by different characters? Who inspires you and why?

  • Imagine what life would be like living on a space station. What do you think would be the pros and cons? What would you miss about Earth?

  • Talk to your kids about movie sequels and trilogies. Think of examples that have been successful and talk about what makes them work -- or not!

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi

Themes & Topics

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