Zoom (2015) Review

Zoom is an interesting film that somehow makes three separate storylines, styles, and sets of characters fit together in a cohesive way that is actually pretty impressive. It isn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, but it does intrigue me and I was glad to have seen it by the time the credits rolled. While you won’t be seeing any Oscar-worthy performances, Zoom is a nice little independent film that keeps you wondering what will happen through to the end.

The film starts with comic book artist and sex doll creator Emma (Alison Pill) finding herself unhappy with her body and how others view her. She begins sketching a superhero version of herself, only to have a coworker belittle it. So what does she do? She draws a comic of her dream man and throws it in said coworker’s face. Her dream man is Edward Deacon (voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal), a Spanish-accented, big-groin-having movie director trying to entice a studio head with his… assets… in to funding his film. However, after Emma decides to get breast implants, immediately regrets the decision and then gets upset, she erases what he has always relied on. Edward now finds himself having a hard time pursuing his career and having others actually want his ideas. The movie he is trying to direct is about a novelist named Michelle (Mariana Ximenes), a woman who has left her model life to pursue one of passion in a Hispanic country. She merely wants to live and to write, her novel becoming all she can focus on. What is her novel about? A woman named Emma, a comic book artist and sex doll creator who is unhappy with her body and how others view her.

DUN DUN DUUUN. A little confused? It’s okay to be. Zoom didn’t quite hit me with the fact that all three storylines were a vicious circle until about halfway through. Up until that point I couldn’t figure out how or why the seemingly normal Emma’s scenes would be connected to the animated Edward’s scenes or the completely dramatic and stylized Michelle’s. None of them are particularly hard to follow, though I will admit that while Michelle had the least amount of screentime they were my least favorite and most confusing at first. The movie actually for the most part trots along in a fashion thats easy enough to follow and interesting enough to make you curious as to how each character’s arc will end when they’re so interwoven. As it progresses, less and less of the movie really makes sense but that’s the point. Things are rewritten or rewound as other characters change what they simply view as a fictional story, and its fun to see it all unfold on-screen. The acting is meh. Not great, not awful. Alison Pill is great but that’s about the only standout. Even Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs Evil) as Bob, Emma’s co-worker/hook-up is a little forgettable and he was probably the second most well-known actor in the film.

Zoom is totally mind-working. It won’t blow it, it won’t underwhelm it, but it will make you think and work your brain out a little bit. To be honest, it isn’t any wonder I hadn’t heard of this film before yesterday. I actually thought it was the 2006 film with Tim Allen at first and was wondering why it looked so different than I remembered. The actors aren’t going to give a memorable and important performance, there are some genuinely stupid but funny moments, and at times you’ll think to yourself, “What… am I watching?” But I promise if you stick through its 97 minute run time you’ll be able to enjoy it a lot more, especially the last 20 minutes or so as it builds to a head. Because while it may be just another average-to-good indie film, it’s different enough to keep the viewer interested and hooked on at least one of its three protagonist’s stories.

I’ll give this one a 7/10

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