Max Steel opened in theaters yesterday without being shown to a single critic, and hence with no reviews whatsoever. But those that saw the movie on its opening day describe it as being dull and uninspiring. Alex Welch of IGN calls the movie one of the “strangest superhero films” of late, criticizing the film’s “bland and recycled look.”
The movie is based on the action figure Max Steel, popular among children in the late 90s. The toy could vary in its dimensions and style based on the specific model. The 2016 film adaptation is about developing the universe’s greatest energy source and for all the hype surrounding the film, it looks set to be one of the biggest flops of the year, with critics panning the movie for its boring and bland feel.
Max Steel was pretty much released with little to no marketing by its studio, Open Road Films. Released alongside some of the year’s most sought after and critically praised movies, Max Steel stood little chance and IGN’s Alex Welch, Roger Ebert’s Christy Lemire, and The Wrap’s Sam Fragoso all seem to have something bad to say about the film.
“It’s not only just as boring and bland as the trailers and teasers made it look, but is even worse than it had seemed.” – Welch
“A movie based on a toy should be a whole lot more fun than this.” – Lemire
“Dumped in theaters with little fanfare, this toy-based tentpole won’t lead to sequels anytime soon.” – Fragoso
The movie is clearly aimed at tweens and teens, with hopes of launching the next big sci-fi franchise. But the movie is extremely hard to follow and halfway through can start to seem very repetitive. Directed by Steward Hendler and based on a screenplay by Christopher Yost, the movie clearly fails to make the most of the talented people who created it.
The story is about a teenager, Max McGrath, played by Ben Winchell, who lives with his mom, played by Maria Bello. They have just returned to their hometown where Max’s father had been killed following a freak accident in a science lab. Following his return to the town, strange incidents begin to trouble Max such as power cutoffs and his hands emitting a strange electrical substance. This is where the movie takes a rather convenient turn. Having developed more power than his body could support, Max just happens to be contacted by an alien life-form named Steel. Voiced by Josh Brener, who plays Big Head in HBO’s Silicon Valley, the alien reveals that he has come to absorb all the excess energy from Max’s body. While the introduction of the alien gives the film a new comic dimension, the film explains little about his origin. Also the film doesn’t let in on how exactly Steel is able to transform into a strange iron suit covering Max, hence creating Max Steel!
Max does little more in the rest of the film, other than blurting out the same cheesy expressions in response to every twist that goes on in the movie. The awkward relationship that develops between him and Steel doesn’t do much for the movie either and even the CGI used on Steel looks dull and inexpensive.
IGN’s Welch’s closing verdict on the film says all about it. He calls it one of the “more forgettable and pointless attempts at a super hero film” of recent memory. Max Steel opened in theaters across the United States on October 14. It wouldn’t be a bigt surprise if the film fails to bank significantly on its opening weekend.
[Featured Image by Max Steel Movie/Facebook]