Review: ‘Secret Headquarters’ presents decent family-friendly comedy

New Paramount Plus film covers mediocre plot development with cheesy laughable moments


Courtesy of Paramount Plus

Newly-released Paramount Plus movie “Secret Headquarters” (2022) takes viewers through the life of Charlie Kincaid (Walker Scobell) who alongside his friends stumbles across a secret headquarters located in the home of his neglectful father, Jack Kincaid (Owen Wilson). There they come to the realization that the notorious superhero, “The Guard,” who has been protecting the world from crime for the last 10 years, may be Charlie’s father.

One night 10 years ago a sudden explosion caught the eye of Jack while on a camping trip with his family. Concerned, he went to investigate the damage, only to discover pilot Sean Irons (Jesse Williams) and a charcoal-like glowing ball called “The Source,” which came from a crashed UFO and decided the person worthy of owning it was Jack rather than Sean. After the decision, “The Source” blows up in front of the two men, leaving Jack with superpowers to save humanity and Sean with a burned face filled with a want for revenge. 

Co-directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost are best friends who have directed movies throughout the years like “Paranormal Activity 3” (2011), “Nerve” (2016) and “Project Power” (2020). Much like the film “Project Power,” “Secret Headquarters” involves superpowers that were gifted to Jake in the form of a suit along with a convenient fanny pack. Superhero critics can agree that while the movie had potential for a new spectacular hero story, it fell short on deepening the plot and struggled to keep viewers interested at times. 

The film was simplistic which created a problem when trying to make this superhero action-packed movie. It’s expected to have villains, which in this case is Ansel Argon (Michael Peña), along with his crew of followers, an appealing suit of armor and a goal to save the world, but there needed to be something more to set this movie apart from the rest. 

However, the film’s authentic ability to capture the hearts of viewers with heart-wrenching moments was truly fascinating. The moments that make viewers empathize with Charlie on the neglect and secrets he faces with his father can be a relatable topic for teenagers and lets viewers get a closer look on the vulnerability Charlie portrays throughout the film. 

For this reason the movie is still bearable through its cheesy, simple-mannered plot. It’s one of the cases where appealing to the audience’s emotions makes the film into a well-constructed, family-friendly movie. 

“Secret Headquarters” was an exceptional movie that was enjoyable to watch and laugh through. Even though there could have been a better outcome of the climax, the film deserves a 7/10 rating.