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Shaquille O'Neal starred in one of the worst movies of all time which has a 3.1 IMDB score

Gregory Robinson

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Shaquille O'Neal starred in one of the worst movies of all time which has a 3.1 IMDB score

Featured Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock/Bonnie Schiffman/Touchstone/Interscope/Polygram/Kobal/Shutterstock

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal once starred in a critically panned movie which has a shocking 3.1 IMDb score.

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The seven-foot-one-inch retired athlete and current sports analyst is considered one of the greatest basketball players and centers of all time, with four NBA championship rings to his name.

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However, his success on the basketball court did not translate to the big screen, unfortunately.

In 1996, Shaq took a deep dive into the world of acting once again as the titular character in Kazaam, a fantasy comedy film about a 5,000-year-old genie.

The film, which was directed by Paul Michael Glaser, tells the story of Kazaam the genie who appears from a magic boombox to grant 12-year-old Max (Francis Capra) wishes.

Kazaam was a box office flop and panned by critics. Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock/Bonnie
Kazaam was a box office flop and panned by critics. Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock/Bonnie
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Kazaam was a box office bomb and grossed only $18.9 million against its $20 million budget.

It was also panned by critics, having earned an awful five percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 20 percent audience score.

The site’s consensus states: “Crafted from a mix of genre clichés, Kazaam doesn't know what kind of film it wants to be, and Shaq's larger-than-life charisma is stifled by rote filmmaking and an unimaginative story.”

The film’s plot came to be after director Glaser took his son to an NBA All-Star game when an acquaintance, who was part of Shaq’s management team, called and asked if his son would like to meet him.

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When the acquaintance asked in passing if he knew of any film roles for Shaq, who had previously acted in the 1994 sports drama film Blue Chips, Glaser said Shaq should play a genie.

Regardless of his movie career, Shaq is still a basketball legend. Credit: Schiffman/Touchstone/Interscope/Polygram/Kobal/Shutterstock
Regardless of his movie career, Shaq is still a basketball legend. Credit: Schiffman/Touchstone/Interscope/Polygram/Kobal/Shutterstock

Unfortunately for Shaq, Kazaam was released the same year the cult favourite basketball film Space Jam came out.

Starring Michael Jordan as a fictional version of himself, as well as cameos from several NBA players, the film became a massive success and even spawned a sequel in 2021.

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Space Jam is considered one of the best basketball films of all-time and follows Jordan as he is brought out of retirement by the Looney Tunes characters to help them face-off against invading aliens in a basketball match. Perhaps the bigger focus on basketball in Space Jam made audiences love and appreciate it more.

Shaq still had his incredible NBA career to fallback on as well as his side hustle as a rapper which resulted in an iconic collaboration with Michael Jackson on the song ‘2 Bad’.

In later years he would appear as himself on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and guest starred in episodes of My Wife and Kids and The Parkers. So, it hasn't been all bad for the Shaq Daddy.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, NBA, Sport, Celebrity

Gregory Robinson
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