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‘Secret Headquarters’ reveals a too-familiar teen twist on the superhero formula

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The reason for that preliminary distribution trajectory could be so simple as the truth that the movie was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who has a protracted legacy of blockbusters. However all the things else in regards to the film has a teen vibe and feels scaled towards a extra modest venue and expectations.

The story simply boils all the way down to a fast description that displays the generic nature of the train: Teenage Charlie (Walker Scobell, lately featured in one other so-so streaming sci-fi/comedy, “The Adam Project”) is irritated by his absentee dad (Owen Wilson), who has break up from his mother and by no means appears to be round.

When dad takes off for “work” whereas Charlie’s visiting, the child and a trio of his associates uncover dad’s secret lair, the haven for a superhero often called the Guard, who often saves the world utilizing an Iron Man-like swimsuit that consists of alien expertise.

The quartet first revels in enjoying with their new and really high-tech toys, earlier than their snooping alerts a villain (Michael Peña, deserving higher) who’s after the Guard’s gadgetry to their location, setting off an prolonged skirmish over buying it. Virtually all of that unfolds inside the headquarters, giving all the film a claustrophobic really feel, whereas the varied teen crushes — together with Charlie’s towards Maya (“The Child-Sitter’s Membership’s” Momona Tamada) — play out alongside the way in which.

Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (“Project Power”), who share script credit score with Christopher Yost and Josh Koenigsberg, “Secret Headquarters” possesses apparent parallels to Marvel’s latest teen-superhero collection “Ms. Marvel.” That mentioned, the idea borrows liberally from the style, together with parts of “Jumanji” (the remake, not the unique) and “Shazam!”

Granted, no person has a monopoly on the sturdy fantasy of youngsters getting to save lots of the world, however that template has been used usually sufficient to warrant making an attempt to a minimum of bend the mould, even in a PG-rated live-action package deal, if not essentially reinvent it.

Among the parts in “Secret Headquarters” are mildly nice, however the movie appears too content material to paint utterly inside the traces. The ensuing image could be sufficient of a diversion for youthful children, however even they will not be lacking a lot if what’s within the film stays secret.

“Secret Headquarters” premieres Aug. 12 on Paramount+. It is rated PG.