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Film / Kazaam

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Um... Keep practicing those free throws, Shaq.

Drew: You know, the one where Shaq plays a genie.
The Killer: That's not a horror movie.
Drew: Yeah, well, you've never seen Shaq act.

The 1996 film where basketball star Shaquille O'Neal plays a rapping genie.

The alleged story is about a kid named Maxwell "Max" Connor (Francis Capra) stumbles into an abandoned building and finds a magic boombox containing Kazaam (Shaquille O'Neal): an actual genie. Naturally, the kid doesn't believe what he sees but Kazaam eventually manages to convince him that he's a legitimate genie that will grant him three wishes. Meanwhile, Alice Connor (Ally Walker) Max's mother is about to remarry and decided to confess that his real father actually lives in the same city as them so Max decides to find him. It turns out his father Nick Matteo (James Acheson) is a musical talent agent who later "discovers" Kazaam. His evil boss finds out Kazaam is a genie and tries to figure out how to claim this power for himself.


The film got smacked at the box office; it made $18,937,262 in the United States market against a $20 million budget, while critics gave the film overwhelmingly negative reviews.

Not to be confused with Shazzan which was a cartoon about an heroic genie, or with the similar-sounding Shazam who's a superhero.

Tropes included:

  • Magical Negro: Kazaam. Literally.
  • Parental Abandonment: Max's Dad has been missing for a long time.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Wish Not Granted."
  • Product Placement: At one point, Kazaam makes it rain candy and snacks. All of which are brand name products.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: A major plot point is Kazaam's desire to become a djinn, which he describes as a genie that's been freed from servitude (which he achieves in the ending). Unfortunately, "djinn" is either simply the plural of genie, or just another term for genie which can be used interchangeably; either way there is absolutely NO distinction between the 2 words. Of course, screwing up some mythology is the least of the film's problems.
  • Say My Name
  • Scary Black Man: Kazaam, albeit completely by accident.


Example of: