Secret Headquarters Reviews Are In, See What Critics Are Saying About Owen Wilson’s Superhero Movie

With the massive success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s not surprising other studios aside from Disney are creating family-friendly stories about superheroes like Secret Headquarters. But how’d the movie turn out? The reviews have arrived for the 2022 movie release coming to Paramount+ this weekend. Let’s see what critics are saying about Secret Headquarters

The Secret Headquarters’ trailer promises a superhero adventure starring the likes of the upcoming lead of the new Percy Jackson series, The Adam Project’s Walker Scobell. The movie follows Scobell as Owen Wilson’s son, who, alongside his friends, discovers the secret headquarters of the world’s most powerful superhero beneath his home. When a villain lurks (played by Michael Peña), the kids must work together to help save the world. 

We’ll start things off with CinemaBlend’s own Mike Reyes review of Secret Headquarters. Our critics gave the movie an unfortunate 1.5 out of 5 stars and called it a “bore” and “pain.” Here’s what else he had to say about it: 

Not even Owen Wilson’s easygoing charm can convince that this movie deserves to take up space on a streaming server.

It’s fair to say he really didn’t like this one. While he said it “isn’t a complete train wreck,” the movie completely plays it safe and “fails its task” in a “frustrating” way. There’s quite a few other reviews on Secret Headquarters that also lean on the negative side of the spectrum. AV Club’s Tomris Laffly called the movie an “uninspiring journey,” writing this: 

The classical conflict at the heart of this tale is an ever-winsome one: What child doesn’t want to discover that their dad is a lot cooler than meets the eye? But Secret Headquarters squanders this potential due to a puzzling inability to tell a full-fledged story around red-meat notions like family and friendship.

Laffly focused on the movie’s weak script, where he said Secret Headquarters ignored important elements of storytelling like “world-building, emotional climaxes, or even basic character development.” The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney was also unimpressed with the Owen Wilson-led movie. He said this in his review: 

It’s a surprisingly toothless entry from the normally flashier, more testosterone-fueled factory of Jerry Bruckheimer Films — not terrible but thoroughly undistinguished, its script laced with humor that seldom lands. Unless you find constant fanny-pack jokes a scream.

Jerry Bruckheimer has been the producer behind hit movies like Top Gun: Maverick, National Treasure and Bad Boys, and yet Secret Headquarters doesn’t sound like it impresses like they do. JoBlo’s Alex Maidy continued a common theme with their opinion on the movie, writing this:

Secret Headquarters is a prime example of a project with multiple talents experienced in making comic book movies who fail to capture the energy that makes Marvel Studios such a consistent organization. With some solid special effects and a talented cast of performers, Secret Headquarters cannot help but feel like a cheap imitation rather than something original.

Although there’s a lot of disinterest around Secret Headquarters from a majority of reviewers, not everyone recommended audiences skip the feature. IndieWire’s Judy Dry found the movie to be “original” with smart humor and lighthearted action. In their words: 

All in all, Secret Headquarters makes for a very entertaining ride for kids and adults. It may not become a franchise, but perhaps it should. Hollywood, are you listening?

Secret Headquarters will be available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription on August 12. And Owen Wilson is set to return to the superhero sphere with Season 2 of Loki, which is set to arrive in Summer 2023. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.