Take it to the max…max shit
Who the fuck gave a shit about Max Steel? Scratch that, who the fuck actually knows what the hell Max Steel even is? Keep in mind, I only know of its existence because I grew up in the 2000s where the original cartoon show was being played by at 7am, you know the reruns no one gave a damn about. Also, I’m being very generous in calling this property a cartoon show because this was one of the most blatant examples of “shows as commercials for kids.” The only reason G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Jem got away with the scheme was because people formed an attachment to the characters and the animation was unique…two essential qualities the original cartoon show didn’t know a damn about. Also, not helping? The fact that it looked like utter ball sweat. I hear there was a reboot series in the early 2010s that tried to keep it going, but even younger kids were unimpressed. So why a feature length film? Could you believe someone looked at the atrocity that was Jem and the Holograms and said, “I could make something just as awful.”
So we got Max McGrath who is a painfully generic white boy with a mom who keeps moving from town to town and has all the wonderful angst that plagues 16-year-old boys. When he moves back to the town where his dead father was a local hero, he begins to experience strange experiences where he starts secreting a clear fluid that can damage the environment while experiencing other strange phenomena within his body…no it’s not his hormones developing because this motherfucker looks 30 despite the film SWEARING he’s a teen. Anyways, his body activity attracts a robotic…alien…thing that calls itself “Steel” that can help Max control his strange occurrences and even develop newfound powers right down to his very own Iron Man-knockoff armor.
So if the plot description sounded vaguely familiar to you, then it’s possible you may be thinking of every single damn superhero origin ever, most notably that of Spider-Man. Everything from the developing of powers as a metaphor for puberty to the training montage to the keeping of your abilities a secret and to fighting an armored final boss at the end. But whereas Spider-Man gave you a likable, conflicted protagonist with an interesting emotional core that explains why he goes around saving people (thereby attaching you to the character so you give a shit), in addition to giving you spectacular special effects that can dazzle as well as comedy to give you a moment to breathe; Max Steel has fuck all.
Let’s pick on the main character, after all the movie is named after him. First off, Max may win an award for 2016 for the year’s Most Blandest Protagonist. He has had all personality sandblasted off out of pure laziness. I couldn’t tell you if he was angry, mopey, forlorn, happy, affable, sarcastic or literally any other trait because he failed to communicate an appropriate human reaction to literally fucking anything that happened to him. The only reaction I did see was mild annoyance towards his love interest (who follows him around like a puppy and excuses a bunch of heinous shit that would get any other guy a swift kick to the man purse) and his sidekick.
Speaking of which, Max’s sidekick Steel (get it?) gets another prize, that for most annoying support character since Jar Jar Motherfucking Binks. I’m not saying that lightly either, Steel annoyed the fuck out of me because every single line of dialogue from him is a quippy retort. And he has the voice I imagine certain Men’s Rights Activists on the Internet have when they’re spouting inane dribble about why girls don’t like them. A quartet of cats screaming during sex would be a more pleasant experience for your eardrums than to hear this little piece of shit speak. And when Steel isn’t spouting the crap one-liners, he’s basically vomiting a phonebook’s worth of exposition into your screaming throat. In summation, I did not like him very much.
The only positive thing I can say about him is that his character design doesn’t quite look abysmal, it’s just boring as fuck. Much like Syngergy in last year’s abortion that was Jem and the Holograms, you have a robotic sidekick that was clinically designed to sell toys first and tell a story second. Joke’s on the makers of this movie, because no goddamn kids went to see this piece of shit in my theater until the last 20 minutes when they basically snuck in. I will admit that when Steel is animated, he does manage to communicate some form of emotions even if the animators didn’t have a whole lot to work with.
Most likely because they were probably on a shoe-string budget like the rest of this bloody film was. You only get three instances where Max dons his suit and two of this moments are for pure posing, actually it’s the same superhero landing pose that Deadpool so keenly dissed earlier this year. And the reason that film made fun of the trope is because it looks fucking dumb if you don’t even have a good reason for it. Does Max Steel have a reason for them? Nopity no. And as far as getting to see the suit in action, you witness it in all the glory of an armored slap fight ripped right out of the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
Incidentally, we also arrive to my favorite part of the movie: Andy Garcia. While no one, not even our lead, is putting even an ounce of effort into this bullshit cash grab that failed miserably; Garcia told himself that he’s going to strive for excellence in even the worst pieces of shit. So you have him treating this shit like a goddamn Marvel film. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s using his scenes to try to audition for the villain role in the next Ant-Man movie, because he could take his crap suit from this movie as well.
Garcia pulls out all the stops with trying to befriend the main protagonist, mack on his mom (played by a bored Maria Bello), and go for broke in straight up monologuing. It’s a wonder to behold, especially in a movie that was boring me to tears. Hell, Garcia is the sole force that stopped this movie from plunging into the wastelands of FUCK THIS MOVIE. But he’s not in this drab piece of shit long enough to excuse poor direction, poor writing, poor storytelling, poor acting, and bad special effects. Nothing besides Garcia worked in this piece of shit and I’m shocked some people have found something to like about it.
The funniest part is that this does not resemble the version of Max Steel I saw when I was a kid (don’t worry, you can bleach your eyes later). I think this has more to do with the reboot, which begs the question why call it “Max Steel” at all. Was the name THAT important? This movie is Hollywood brand development at its worst, it’s about sticking jumper cables into any odd rotting corpse hoping to turn a profit based on nostalgia alone. That would piss me off more but this film is considerably lazier than the more aggressively offensive Jem and the Holograms was. Therefore, I’m giving this a very, very, very, VERY low…
SOME OL’ BULLSHIT