I Watched the Lowest Rated Superhero Movie So You Don’t Have To

Lurye Baxa, Arts and Entertainment Editor

For a movie all about the strongest form of energy in the universe, “Max Steel” was lackadaisical at best. 

“Max Steel,” which came out in 2016, was directed by Stewart Hendler and written by Christopher Yost. It was given a Rotten Tomatoes score of 0%. It made a total of $6.3 million at the box office but was never shown to critics before hitting the theaters. 

Based off a line of Mattel toys, this movie is clearly aimed at a tween or teenage audience. It seems like they were trying to launch the newest sci-fi/superhero hit but failed tremendously. “Max Steel” simply does not make any sense. 

Ben Winchell stars as Max McGrath, a 16-year-old who does not like moving around with his widowed mother, Molly (played by Maria Bello). At the beginning of the movie, the mother and son move back to Max’s father’s (Mike Doyle) hometown. The father was a scientist who died in a mysterious explosion. His former partner, Miles (played by Andy Garcia), comes to help them move in smoothly. 

Max notices some weird things are happening to his body pretty much right away. He starts being able to shoot blue streaks of energy from his fingertips, appliances malfunction when he’s around and sometimes things just randomly blow up. Fun, right? 

Of course, another visitor shows up to explain what’s happening to Max. The blue-eyed alien named Steel (voiced by Josh Brener) is so snarky it is annoying. I am not talking Tony Stark says something sarcastic occasionally, I’m talking Steel has to say something unnecessarily funny/mean in every sentence. 

The one thing I can give to this movie is the visual effects for Steel’s flying are decent enough. 

Steel decides to teach Max all about his powers in an abandoned factory through a montage (where Max does too many flips and tricks) which honestly kind of reminds me of the scene in “Shazam.” It is just not as good. 

As soon as Max feels confident enough, Steel shows him he can be even more powerful if they join forces. They literally combine their bodies and turn into a superhero named “Max Steel,” complete with full-body armor, flying abilities, superstrength and a chest piece that glows with energy. So, yeah, kind of like Shazam, but they are not nearly as funny or cool. 

However, it isn’t that simple. 

There are suddenly bad guys who somehow know about Max’s powers and are coming after him to steal his powers (because when are there not?) and a giant tornado with a face and glowing eyes that never really gets explained. 

If that’s not bad enough, Max suffers headaches (oh no!) and his t-shirts get weird burn designs for whatever reason. 

Of course, he meets a nice girl who somehow manages to like Max and his annoying behavior. Her name is Sofia (played by Ana Villafañe) and she is the epitome of Manic Pixie Dream Girl. 

In the end, Max Steel ends up fighting another random super in a suit for whatever reason. It is meant to be this extremely tense scene where you keep wondering who will win but fail. Instead, it is somehow funny. 

The camera cuts back and forth between the two characters’ faces inside their suits as they grunt and fight for control. It’s just stupid. 

Seriously, do not watch this movie. It is just horrible and makes no sense and honestly gave me a headache.