HomeMoviesThe Top 10 Movies of 1996

The Top 10 Movies of 1996


Release Date: July 17th

Cast: Shaquille O’Neal, Francis Capra, Ally Walker.

Random Cast Note: Rapper Da Brat makes an appearance.

Director: Paul Michael Glaser

Why I Loathe It (Marisa Carpico): If you’ve ever seen Kazaam, you probably remember thinking to yourself, “Christ, this movie is terrible.” Well, I’m here to assure you that it is even worse than you remember.

The film is basically complete nonsense from top to bottom. Somehow, a genie played by seasoned thespian Shaquille O’Neal, ends up in an abandoned building in New York City and when his lamp breaks, a boom box becomes his new home. Luckily, obnoxious street urchin Max (played by Francis Capra, who I was both surprised and horrified to learn played Weevil on Veronica Mars) comes along to set him free. It only gets worse from there.

Kzaam poster

Shaq was one of the biggest things in basketball at the time and he clearly wanted to branch out. While his acting style is about 90% eyebrows, his rapping is the worst thing about this movie. When Kazaam first pops out of his boombox–which helpfully lays down a beat–he rhymes his standard genie introduction in one loud, monotonous yell. Unfortunately, that moment is not an aberration, but our first taste of an entire subplot about Kazaam trying to launch a music career.

The actual plot isn’t much better. While there’s promise in the core concept of a kid having a genie who can give him anything except keeping his parents from divorcing, the acting and writing are so poor that every bit of dialogue seems painfully melodramatic. It also doesn’t help that Max, the character with whom young viewers are supposed to identify, is possibly the worst child movie in history. I mean, this is a kid whose mother makes him peanut-butter, chocolate French toast for breakfast and he still acts like a dick. Clearly he’s an irredeemable monster who is destined for a worthless life of petty crime.

However, probably the worst thing about this movie is how problematic it is by today’s standards. There’s the moment when Max says he owns Kazaam and all the low-key reminders of slavery that it brings up. Or there’s the fact that the villain is the only Middle Eastern character in the movie unless you count Shaq, which really, really shouldn’t. The best thing you can do for yourself and your sanity is to never, ever watch this movie. Ever.


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Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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