Max Steel Review

Updated on October 31, 2016
Stevennix2001 profile image

Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic that writes about movies in his spare time.

Stevennix2001's Rating:

0 / 10


  • The CGI work used to create the alien character, Steel, was impressive. It's unfortunate that it seems most of the film's overall budget went to creating him, but hey. It was a rather interesting effect.


  • Poorly directed.
  • Dialogue felt stilted and generic
  • Romance with Max Steel felt a bit forced and wasn't necessary to the plot.
  • Slowly paced.
  • The film had mostly nothing but exposition, with hardly anything of value worth watching.
  • Action scenes looked fake
  • Costumes and set designs looked cheap, and fake.
  • Cinematography was a joke. Most of the film looked like a freaking dream sequence because of how slightly out of focus it was around the corners of the screen.
  • Acting was horrible.
  • Max McGrath went from having a stereotypical cool teenager attitude, from the original cartoon, to suddenly having no personality in this film.
  • Apart from the CGI used to make Steel, the rest of the special effects look fake, and probably could've used a bit more rendering.

Note: While I didn't grow up watching the animated series, I did watch the first few episodes of the original cartoon on youtube recently, in order to review this film properly. However, I didn't bother to watch the entire series, as I felt watching the first five episodes of the series would be enough to get the general feel and gist of it. Therefore, if I miss anything about the original cartoon series, then I apologize.

Go Turbo!

Why do movies based on video games and toy lines suck? Seriously, if Disney can make a damn good film based on nothing more than a theme park attraction at Disney World, with "Pirates of the Caribbean", then you'd think that making movies on toy lines that come with their own backstory would be easy by comparison. Sadly, that's not the case.

"Max Steel" is based on a popular cartoon show that was based on a popular toy line by Mattel, back in the early 2000's era . While the cartoon show wasn't anything special in terms of it's writing, it did have some amazing visuals for it's time, while showing off some impressive world building to it's franchise. Sure, the characters were one dimensional for the most part, with a lot of badly written dialogue. However, each episode showed some innovative concepts and visuals that still hold up to this day. In terms of it's cinematography and visuals, "Max Steel" was probably one of the most aesthetically unique CGI animated shows out there, as it reeked of imagination and creativity.

Sadly, I can't say that about the live action film adaptation. While the original animated show had it's flaws, this movie just reeks of poor quality. In fact, readers shouldn't be asking me what this film did wrong. No, no, no....they should be asking me what this film even did right? Seriously, I haven't seen a film this bad with such piss poor effort, since "Dragon Ball Evolution", and that's saying a lot.

Granted, I've seen a lot of bad movies before, but you can usually tell there was some semblance of effort put into them. Take "Batman and Robin" for instance. Everyone knows that movie is a corny piece of s***, and rightfully so. However, you can still tell that Joel Schumacher and company still put in a lot of effort into that movie. Regardless of how you might feel about that god awful piece of crap, the set designs and costumes alone show you how much detail and effort was put into the project. Hell, even in Bay's sh***y "Transformers" films, you can at least tell he's trying to give you an entertaining story, by giving us colorful visuals and impressive action scenes.

Here, it just feels like they hired a bunch of college students to shoot the damn movie, with a budget of a ham sandwich, and pushed it out for release as quickly as possible, for no other reason than to keep the film rights to the property. The costumes these characters wear look like something you'd buy at a party store for Halloween, and the action scenes look obliviously fake.

Granted, the voice acting and dialogue wasn't anything to write home about in the cartoon series, but it's even worse in the live action film. Here, you barely get any emotion out of these characters. Every actor sounds like a damn robot, and Ben Winchell shows little to no personality at all. At least in the cartoon series, Max McGrath was given more of a personality. Granted, it was more of a generic teenager trying to fit in, with kind of a Peter Parker vibe to him, but it worked fine for the most part. Here, they pretty much make Max seem like a blank slate, who rarely says anything.

Seriously, if you're one of these people that b**ched and moaned about not getting a sense of who Superman was in "Man of Steel" because Clark Kent rarely talked, then "Max Steel" will make that film look like the "The Dark Knight" by comparison. Of course, for me personally, I loved "Man of Steel", and I had a perfect sense of who Superman was in that in film. However, I'm just saying.

As for the story itself? It's pretty much the same as the original show for the most part. Granted, they do make some subtle changes like removing his stoner best friend and etc. But apart from that, the story is still basically the same. Max McGrath moves to a small town with his mom.

The kid starts to realize he has special powers that he can't control. He inevitably meets an alien by the name of Steel (who's voiced by Josh Brener), as the alien apparently feeds off the energy that Max's body emits.

A bunch of government agents start to chase after him once his powers emerge. A villain shows up that wants the energy he emits from his body for himself, and of course, the fate of the world is at stake. Enter every superhero cliche imaginable, and you pretty much know how this film is going to end.

The story while somewhat faithful to the cartoon series seems uninspiring, and lacks the imaginative world building that the cartoon had going for it. Granted, the slightly out of focus cinematography does help show us how Max's energy affects the environment around him, but it gets kind of annoying, when the camera looks slightly out of focus for the majority of the freaking film, even when it's not necessary. Seriously, why does the camera need to look slightly out of focus, like we're watching a dream sequence or something, when the characters are just TALKING? Seriously, what is the purpose of that? is this the film's way of trying to be clever? Or was the cinematographer too lazy to adjust the damn lens? I don't know about you, but I think it's the ladder.

And for a movie that's only about ninety minutes long, it feels closer to two hours because of how slowly paced it is. Nothing happens throughout most of the film, as it's mostly nothing but exposition. And when we finally do get some action scenes, it's only for about ten minutes, and they're not even that great either. If anything, you'd find better action scenes in elementary school plays than the crap you'd see in this movie.

Apart from the CGI work they used to bring Steel to life, the rest of the movie is flat out garbage.

Everything about this movie sucks, as it's obvious the film studios involved in making this clearly didn't give a damn about putting their best foot forward. If anything, I'm just going to guess that the movie studios involved only made this piece of crap only to keep the rights to it a bit longer. Unfortunately, film studios do that. Just look at Fox when it comes to their "Fantastic Four" movies, for proof of this; particularly their unreleased Roger Corman version.

Anyway, unless you're f**king drunk, or high as a freaking kite, then don't bother watching this piece of s***. While I can't say I agree with "Max Steel" fans that the cartoon series was any kind of masterpiece, I will say they deserved way better than this poorly made adaptation.

© 2016 Steven Escareno


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