The movie reviews for Max Steel (2016) – The adventures of teenager Max McGrath and alien companion Steel, who must harness and combine their tremendous new powers to evolve into the turbo-charged superhero Max Steel.
When teenage Max McGrath discovers his body can generate the universe’s most powerful energy, he must bond with the only being able to contain it – a mysterious techno-organic extraterrestrial named Steel. United as the superhero Max Steel, the two friends must combat an alien menace and unlock the secrets of their past.
Max Steel (2016) Movie Trailer
Parents need to know that Max Steel is based on a cartoon series and a Mattel action figure. This origin story tells how a 16-year-old boy named Max and a “techno-organic” alien named Steel symbiotically join to form one being with superhuman strength. Apart, neither can survive, but together they can defeat the threat chasing them. Confusing? Slightly. But expect tweens and young teens familiar with the animated series to be interested in this sci-fi thriller.
Kids’ TV shows are always talking about the importance of imagination. That’s odd, because kids’ TV shows are often so unimaginative. Probably the worst offenders are sci-fi and superhero cartoons, which are content to recycle visuals, premises and plots from previous cartoons, which cribbed them from somewhat more original works intended for adults.
Disney XD’s new animated series “Max Steel” is a good example of this type of creativity-challenged show. Cobbled together from ready-made sources with no apparent interest in coming up with a fresh twist or a new slant, it fails to make much of an impression, either positive or negative. The creaky computer-generated animation doesn’t help.
Premiering next Monday, March 25, at 4 p.m., “Max Steel” is a reboot of an animated series that aired in the States from 2000 to 2002. The new version is about a teenager named Max McGrath (voiced by Andrew Francis), who moves to a new town and is immediately bullied by a kid named Butch (Brian Drummond) on his first day of school. He’s helped out by a pretty girl named Sydney (Sarah Edmonson) and a nerd named Kirby (Richard Ian Cox).
While fleeing Butch and his gang on his bicycle, Max discovers that he has super strength. The subsequent fight releases a burst of energy that’s detected by the boss (Mark Oliver) at Trans Human Industries, who wears a Darth Vader-like respirator.
Max’s uncle Forge Ferrus, who has been following him, takes Max to the offices of N-Tek, a secret organization founded by Uncle Ferrus, as well as by Max’s father and a man named Miles Dredd, both of whom died in an accident while Max’s father was investigating an energy form known as TURBO.
It turns out that Max can produce his own TURBO, which the big bad boss at Trans Human Industries needs to survive. When Max’s uncle puts him into a chamber designed to stabilize his energy, it instead produces an overload of power. Suddenly, a ” techno-organic bioparasitic warrior” thingamajig named Steel activates and forms a cyborg with Max, with Steel in control.
Most of these story elements — the new school, a bully surprised by hidden powers, the dead scientist father, the shadowy mentor — are so overused that the writers of this series might have assumed they were obligatory and thus didn’t feel they were being lazy.
The same probably goes for the show’s look. As in so much sci-fi of the last 35 years, the design of the futuristic hardware borrows heavily from the original “Star Wars” movies.
Max’s banter with Steel might remind older viewers of the interplay between Michael and KITT on another late-20th-century pop-culture landmark, “Knight Rider.”
The computer animation is adequate for action scenes, but close-ups and wide shots of people doing simple things like walking are bizarrely artificial. Kids are going to recognize that the show is cheaping out.
“Max Steel” is debuting in connection with a revamped line of action figures. Perhaps if it were intended to stand alone, its creators might have tried to provide something new.