Although “Max Steel” is officially based on a toy line put out by Mattel (a fact I’m sure discouraged a lot of people from seeing the movie), it actually has a strong vibe of the 1997 family movie “Star Kid”. That movie was kind of fun, but “Max Steel” is anything but. What went wrong? Well, most of the problems can be found in the screenplay written by Christopher L. Yost. For starters, there almost seems to be an intent to keep the audience mystified and confused from start to finish. A little mystery in a movie like this is okay, but right from the beginning the movie keeps the audience in the dark about a LOT of plot points. While the core of the mystery is (sort of) eventually explained, at the end there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
Why Max doesn’t just ASK some key characters some good questions much earlier doesn’t make sense, and as a result the character comes across as quite unbelievable. For that matter, none of the other characters are believable as well. I could go on for some time about this, but it would be redundant. Though I will add that the fact that the character of Steel is not only unbelievable, but comes across as extremely annoying, coming across as a slightly more coherent stoner. Those simply looking for stuff like eye candy and action will probably be let down. I admit the entire package (including the special effects) don’t look too bad for a movie with a somewhat low budget, but there are no really exceptional visuals. Also, there is not only little action, but director Stewart Hendler pretty much saps all the potential excitement these action scenes could have had. If Open Road Films releases more bombs like this, they won’t be open for too much longer.