Max. Steel. Let me confront the problem with this story- there isn’t one. Max and Steel don’t have a comic book background. He is a toy from Mattel. That’s it. The hardware coming before the story wouldn’t be a problem if Mattel hired a few comic book writers and illustrators and gave their property an actual Disney finish. What they did do in the 90s, was slap together a very basic comic book to promote the figurine.
Then came the tv series. Now, they were actually giving their character better plots and a legitimate villain. The issue- it’s a choppy story that you’re promoting to a movie.
The skeleton story revolves around Max McGrath. Teenage boy struggling with his own identity, who doesn’t know the story of his father, comes into universal strength with an alien sidekick, who helps him channel is power. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s the problem. If you’re going to write a very generic story there needs to be interesting characters, shocking villains, and a plot that blows everything away. But when you’re coming from no comic book structure, that isn’t even possible.
Ben Winchell (Max McGrath) did a good job with the script he was given. He can’t rewrite his character. The movie’s savior is Josh Brener (Steel). If it’s not going to be a well written comic book movie, at least it’s funny. He looks like a futuristic drone but sounds like the snowman from Frozen.
When you watch the trailer, you’re given the impression this is from the Marvel or DC universe. Don’t kid yourself. This is a Disney Channel movie with an overdose of CGI and a good budget. With that budget came a solid fight scene and visually appealing morphing. That’s ten minutes out of an hour and thirty.
I wanted to love Max Steel, but it’s not a total mess. The visuals are great where the story is muddy. The fight scenes are strong. It’s the story that comes off as bland and that can’t carry the movie.
Who is going to see this movie? Anyone that came from the animated series. This is your movie. If you’re coming from a comic book fandom, remember it’s no Guardians of the Galaxy.
Ratings: 6 out of 10 Duffies