Kazaam | EW.com

Movies

KazaamAs the title genie, Shaquille O'Neal looks great in his silky ornate Arab-kitsch outfits, and he makes a terrific entrance, emerging from a boom box in...KazaamComedyPT93MPGAs the title genie, Shaquille O'Neal looks great in his silky ornate Arab-kitsch outfits, and he makes a terrific entrance, emerging from a boom box in...1996-07-26
D+

Kazaam

Genre: Comedy; Starring: Shaquille O'Neal, Ally Walker; Director: Paul Michael Glaser; Author: Christian Ford; Runtime (in minutes): 93; MPAA Rating: PG

As the title genie, Shaquille O’Neal looks great in his silky ornate Arab-kitsch outfits, and he makes a terrific entrance, emerging from a boom box in a small tornado. And then? Then, not very much. O’Neal’s Kazaam is a 3,000-year-old wish giver who becomes the servant of Max (Francis Capra), one of those gawky preteen mopheads who looks like a girl. It takes the movie all of 15 minutes to descend into sub-Spielbergian banalities about poor Max’s search for his absentee dad. In addition to grinning and scolding a lot, O’Neal, a genial (if lightweight) presence, also raps, beats up some thugs, and dispenses therapeutic homilies; he’s the genie as ultimate guidance counselor. The special effects have all the wonder of a ”magical” TV commercial, as candy bars fall from the sky and pieces of French toast go flying around the kitchen. There is also much tacky glittery-gold light. But Kazaam never brings off the trick we most want to see: It fails to make the jolly, 7-foot-1 Shaq larger than life. D+

More from Our Partners