Remember Max Steel? The action figure from the late nineties? He even got a television show in the early ‘oos? And another one that started a few years ago? Well, it seems like the popularity of toy adaptations like Transformers and G.I. Joe has opened the doors wide for other toys to make the leap to the big screen. And it’s Max’s lucky day.
We’ve got a trailer for an upcoming feature film based on the property. Give it a look and see what you think.
Unfortunately, those are the only real positive takeaways from this trailer. The film itself looks fairly bland and formulaic. It's impossible not to think of similar sci-fi films like Flight of the Navigator or Star Kid. Plus, it doesn't help that the movie looks like most sci-fi short films of today. This feature has the quality of most fan films, and though those can be enjoyable in their own right, it's tough to sell a wide audience on the concept. People expect a certain scope and scale to these kinds of movies, and Max Steel looks and feels incredibly small.
It doesn't help that the performances on display are pretty grating. You've got genuine greats like Maria Bello (A History of Violence, Prisoners) and Andy Garcia (Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, The Untouchables) apparently on auto-pilot. This wouldn't be quite as bad if the leads were engaging. Sadly, this trailer isn't doing them any justice.
However, it's possible that this small-scale picture could be a love letter to true fans of the property. If that's all it succeeds at, that's a noble effort. We'll find out when Max Steel opens on October 14. In the meantime, take a trip down Nostalgia Lane with the (nightmare-inducing) original series intro.