The whole thing plays like the pilot for a Saturday morning TV series--colourful and very shallow, with teenagers acting more like prepubescents who don't have a care in the world, and villains whose threats are hardly that threatening. Meanwhile the cast has enough charm to keep us fairly engaged, the effects are very good, and I suppose it's nice to see an action movie with no guns whatsoever (just paintball and ice sprayers). But this is quite clearly aimed at very young children. Teens will recognise it for the artificial silliness that it is, while adults will just endure it because it's mildly diverting and has a vaguely intriguing premise. Frakes' direction is adept, in a TV-movie sort of way, and at least he keeps things bright and energetic. If only he had given the film just the tiniest hint of real life. Or at least some warped humour for the grown-ups.
dir Jonathan Frakes
scr Rob Hedden, J David Stem, David N Weiss
with Jesse Bradford, Paula Garces, Michael Biehn, French Stewart, Robin Thomas, Julia Sweeney, Garikayi Mutambirwa, Lindze Letherman, Jason Winston George, Linda Kim, Ken Jenkins, Esperanza Catubig
release US 29.Mar.02; UK 11.Oct.02
Best buds. Zak and Meeker (Bradford and Mutambirwa) put aside their lighthearted lives to save the world.
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