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Shaquille O'Neal as a rapping genie protects a little boy.

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Kazaam movie full length review - Well, at least it's not as bad as contracting Ebola.

Reviewing KAZAAM and saying it's a bad movie isn't hard at all--after all, critics at the time it came out fell all over themselves excoriating this film--saying it was among the worst films of the decade!

So the fact that I say it's bad or anyone else says it's bad is certainly no surprise. It's like someone talking about WWII--practically no one says that was a GOOD thing, right?! The question I have and no place on IMDb can answer it is "why did they make this in the first place?!". After all, it's obvious to anyone who isn't severely brain injured that the film would be horrible. But, movies like ED (a baseball playing chimp), COOL AS ICE (starring the ever-popular Vanilla Ice), TROLL 2 (which doesn't even have any trolls in it), BABY GENIUSES (Einstain-like superhero babies) and PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE (huh!?!) prove that any idea, no matter how dumb, can make it to the big screen! So, the idea of the best basketball player of the time starring as a genie to an obnoxious little brat seems downright 'normal'!

The film starts with a kid who is pretty jerky keying the lockers in the hallway of the school. Like the punk from FREE WILLY, this kid is somehow 'misunderstood' (in other words, a total brat) and you know that no matter how selfish and horrible he is, by the end of the film he'll have learned something and grown. Just once, I want to see a punk kid like this end up in prison or or dead by the end of the film! Eventually, while the neighborhood bullies are in the middle of pummeling him, the genie Kazaam (Shaquille O'Neal)is accidentally released and insists on giving the brat three wishes. But, the kid doesn't believe him AND the genie's magic seems a tad rusty.

Eventually the brat does realize that Kazaam is for real. However, unlike most kids, he withholds making his wishes so, in the meantime, Kazaam is forced to follow him around everywhere--like his own personal servant. And, according to the cliché, you know that by the end of the film, Max and Kazaam will have become lifelong buddies and a bunch of tears will be shed. Oh, and Max will have come to terms with his absent father and mom's fiancé (I'm gonna gag). Apparently this genie is a bit of a social worker in addition to being a granter of wishes.

As for Kazaam, Shaquille speaks in rhyme through much of the movie and even takes a break to rap...very poorly. I'm a middle-aged white guy and I think I could probably rap at least as well! He's an amazing basketball player and I've heard he's a nice guy--but a rapper...no way! As far as his acting goes, he wasn't great but had such a nice personality in the film that it's hard to hate him--even if they made him do a lot of very stupid things.

So is the movie as excruciatingly awful as you've probably heard? through the first two-thirds of the movie, I would have said no. Shaquille seemed to try his best with an unlikable kid and a bad script. However, later in the film, the bad becomes horrid--as Kazaam seems too concerned with himself to help the kid when he's really needed. And, out of nowhere, the plot gets really, really weird--as the guy who wants to make Kazaam a rap star(?!?!) turns out to be an evil mobster! And, oddly, this guy seems to accept that Kazaam is a genie with no hesitation!

In addition, the last portion of the film consists of people trying to kill Max and his dad. I know that the kid was annoying, but this is supposed to be a kids' film!! What part of 'trying to kill the kid' didn't the writers not understand?!? Then, in an ending that makes this perhaps the worst kids film ending in history, Kazaam becomes god or something and it all was like a drug-induced hallucination! This ending was even dumber and weirder than the one in THE BLACK HOLE...and boy, did it make my brain hurt!! Uggghh--the horrible dialog was just too much to bear!!!

Overall, it's a terrible film that is due mostly to writers who were certifiably insane. Yes, folks, with a messed up message, bizarre non-kid friendly material and horrible characters, this is one wretched film. Sadly, given the idea and actors, it's hard to imagine the final product turning out much worse!!

By the way, if you want to see a Genie in a modern world film that is GOOD, try the British made for TV film "Bernard and the Genie"--a charming and exceptionally well-written film from start to finish.