“Secret Headquarters,” directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, is the story of a little boy named Charlie who has started to witness cracks in the relationship he shares with his father. He missed those times when they used to go out for picnics and spend quality time together. His father didn’t have time for him anymore and gave priority to his work over anything else in life. Little did he know that his father was, in fact, the masked vigilante, who had taken the mantle to make this world a better place to live in.
‘Secret Headquarters’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Captain Sean Irons(Jesse Williams) saw something while traveling in space that he had never seen before in his life. He asks for permission to go closer to the object and see what exactly it is. But he is denied permission from the control center. Irons knew that it might be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity. He had a gut feeling that it could lead to some kind of revelation. So he disobeys the command and moves ahead to take a closer look. Meanwhile, Jack Kincaid(Owen Wilson) was camping with his son Charlie(Walker Scobell) and his wife, Lily(Jessie Mueller). They saw an object coming at a great speed and crashing near the place where their caravan was parked. Jack feels obligated to go and report the issue to the police. He knew that the nearest town was miles away and that there could be somebody out there who needed help. He leaves his wife and son and goes in his van to check out what exactly has happened.
Jack drove through the empty forest road at full throttle. Out of nowhere, a man comes out in front of his car. It was actually Captain Sean Irons, who had collided with the unidentified object that he had reported earlier, but was fortunately still alive. They both go inside the forest to check out exactly what that thing was in space. Irons is awestruck. He says that it is a UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon) and that he had been waiting to examine one closely for quite some time now. An orb comes out of that UAP, and they hear a female voice coming out of it. The orb analyzes the planet. It comes close to Jack and says, “Guardian accepted.” Irons and Jack didn’t know what it meant. Jack holds the orb in his hand, and the UAP initiates the self-destruction process. Before they know it, it blasts and heavily injures Captain Irons.
The orb was an energy source that was used by Jack to create technologically advanced equipment. It had been 10 years since that incident, and Jack had become a vigilante who had waged war against crime in society. Kidnapped girls were rescued, and a lot of crimes were stopped even before being committed, but people had no clue who was behind all this. They had named this person the Guard, and everybody wanted to find out more about his identity. Jack was always busy with his missions, and that is why he couldn’t spend much time with his family. He had separated from his wife, Lily, and generally saw his son on the weekends, when he came to spend time with him. But of late, he wasn’t there for him. Every time, he used to either postpone or call off their meeting.
Charlie was trying to make peace with the fact that his father was so engrossed in his work that he had no time for him or the family. But there was a lot of frustration inside the kid. Every time they planned to do something, Jack used to cancel it at the very last moment. Jack couldn’t tell his son that he was the Guard and always had to come up with lame excuses. Charlie, on the other hand, was obsessed with this vigilante and often geeked out whenever anybody talked to him about it.
Ansel Argon, CEO of Ansel Tactical, was incurring huge losses because of the Guard. A new era of peace had been ushered in, and a lot of countries had reduced their defense budgets. Ansel Tactical lost out on many defense contracts as these countries no longer needed their services. That is why Ansel desperately wanted to find the Guard’s base. He wanted to get his hands on the energy source, but till now had been unsuccessful in his endeavors. Lily dropped Charlie off at his dad’s place. Jack once again wanted to cancel it at the last moment, but Lily told him that she was not giving him that option, as Charlie really needed to spend some time with him. Lily knew that if this is how things are going to be, then with time, Charlie would completely start feeling detached from his father.
Charlie and Jack start spending time, and for once, it felt like they would finally have some quality time together. But deep down, Charlie knew that it was too good to be true. Jack had to go on a mission, and he gave the same old excuse to Charlie, that he had an IT meeting. He told Charlie to call his mom and ask her to pick him up. Charlie, instead of calling his mother, called his best friend, Berger. He told Jack that he didn’t have to wait, as his mother was going to come in the next few minutes. Jack left, assuming that Charlie would be picked up by Lily. Charlie then called Berger over to his place. Berger arrived with Lizzie and Maya. The kids started exploring Jack’s place and accidentally bumped into a secret doorway that led them to the basement. They reach the basement, and they are shocked to realize that Jack was “The Guard,” the vigilante, about whom everybody was talking about.
‘Secret Headquarters’ Ending Explained- Is Argon Able To Get The Energy Source From Jack?
Captain Irons, ever since that fateful night, when he had seen the orb, had been working for Ansel Tactical. For 10 years now, he had been trying to locate that orb, which he knew was the source from which the Guard was getting all the energy. But they weren’t able to locate the secret headquarters, the hidden basement, in Jack’s house. The kids had infiltrated the basement, and they were fascinated by seeing all the equipment. They tried each piece of equipment and decided that they could use it for the upcoming class test. As soon as they came out of the basement, with all the equipment, Captain Irons and his team started getting signals. They located the secret headquarters finally, while the kids were totally unaware of what they had done.
Charlie was attracted to Maya, but he couldn’t tell her anything because he still felt guilty about a debacle that had happened in the past. In fifth grade, Charlie and Maya met at Robbie Fernandez’s party. The two got close, but Charlie got nervous and backed out at the last moment. He spread the rumor that Maya had bad breath. He even nicknamed her “Moldy Mouth Maya.” Maya’s mother got transferred to another city, and Charlie always thought that she had left the school because of him. They settle things between them and have a reconciliation of sorts. Lizzie was upstairs waiting for her date to arrive. Berger was attracted to her, but she had told him that she was into older boys. She was secretly dating his elder brother, Big Mac, and he was the guy she had called over. Meanwhile, Ansel Argon also arrives at the scene. He catches Lizzie and also takes Big Mac, who had just arrived, into his custody. Argon realized that they had been fortunate as Jack wasn’t there currently. He asks the kids to give him the orb. He tells them that Jack was selfishly using it only for his own purpose, and that, unlike him, Argon would use it for the betterment of society. The kids didn’t trust him. They took the orb and, through a teleportation device, transported it to Berger’s locker at school.
Captain Irons had realized that the orb needed to be preserved. Though he still hated Jack for vanishing after that night, he knew that he couldn’t let it fall into the hands of Ansel Argon. Irons knew that Argon wanted to take over the world and had no intention of doing any social service. Jack came back to his house, because while talking to his wife, he realized that Charlie had tricked him and he had not gone back to his mother. Jack tried to control the situation at the secret headquarters, but Ansel, with the help of the Guard’s suit, was able to get the better of him. He changed the access codes, planted nano bombs all over the place, took Berger with him, and left to take the orb from the school locker. Charlie knew they had no time. He asked Sean Irons to help his dad, who was heavily injured. He asked Lizzie to crack the codes and get access to the system while he himself went with Maya to create more jetpacks using the technology present there, so that they could escape from the facility. Lizzie cracked the code just in time, and they all escaped before the nano bombs went off.
They reached the school where Ansel had gone with Berger. Jack and Ansel entered into armed combat. Jack, with the help of Charlie, was able to get rid of Ansel and get back the orb. Though Ansel was not killed, he was trapped in another dimension. Lily also arrived at the scene and told Charlie that she always knew about Jack’s real identity and was waiting for the right moment to reveal it to Charlie. After that day, the Kincaid family started working together. Charlie used to assist his father on the missions. Captain Sean Irons started working as the “Mission Control” for the Guard. Big Mac and Lizzie were still dating, and it was rumored that Maya was interning for the CIA.
“Secret Headquarters” has nothing unique to offer. It is the same old story that we have seen a million times before. It feels as if the makers didn’t want to take the pain of adding any unique angle whatsoever. The film looks like a collection of snippets from the various superhero movies that we have seen over the years. It still intrigues me why Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman felt the need to make this film. It looks like a half-hearted attempt where the writers didn’t want to put their brains into creating some authentic conflicts, but still felt obligated to deliver something on paper. “Secret Headquarters” can totally be skipped, as even when you want to entertain yourself with a light-hearted sci-fi, you have many other intriguing and well-made titles to fall back to.
“Secret Headquarters” is a 2022 Action Adventure film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.