Not to be confused with Steel starring Shaquille O’Neil or Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman, Max Steel is a new “coming of age, family, superhero” movie due in theaters next month. In a world of big budget superhero movies based on 75-year-old characters like Superman and Batman, how can a relatively unknown superhero compete?
With a new trailer that plays a bit like *batteries not included or Explorers, there may yet be room for a Max Steel. Is there a young audience being missed by the violence and language of movies like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Deadpool? Maybe a film for kids with a plot less complicated than Captain America: Civil War? Or a movie for audiences looking for the next Sky High?
Max Steel is the combination of angsty teenager Max (not Mark) McGrath and Steel–a smart-alecky alien tech robot drone. Does “organic armor” make Max Steel a new cyborg? A plus for the character is its source in Mattel’s large-sized action figure line based on the format and marketing of the original, classic 12-inch G.I. Joe action figures, as well as an animated series. Will that draw in viewers? Max Steel apparently has a large following in Latin America: While Mattel’s Big Jim 12-inch action figure series died out in the U.S. in before the 1980s, it was thriving there. Original Max Steel figures wore Big Jim clothes and were packaged with the same accessories. In the 1970s Big Jim was sold in Latin American countries as Kid Acero, or “Kid Steel”.
Will Max Steel usher in the eagerly awaited return of Hasbro’s Mike Power, the Atomic Man? That would be a fun blast from the past.
Check out this trailer for Mattel’s theatrical release of Max Steel:
Relatively unknown lead young actors are backed by some great supporting roles filled by Maria Bello and Andy Garcia. The trailer seems to be lacking some “gravity”–should we be concerned that the film was completed more than 2.5 years ago?
Max Steel hits theaters October 14, 2016.