Max Steel (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stewart Hendler|
|Written by||Christopher L. Yost|
|Based on||Max Steel|
|Music by||Nathan Lanier|
|Edited by||Michael Louis Hill|
|Distributed by||Open Road Films|
|Box office||$6.3 million|
Max Steel is a 2016 American superhero film based on the action-figure line of the same name. Directed by Stewart Hendler and written by Christopher Yost, the film stars Ben Winchell, Josh Brener, Ana Villafañe, Andy García, Maria Bello and Billy Slaughter. Based on the eponymous toy line by Mattel, the film chronicles the adventures of teenaged Max McGrath (Winchell) and alien companion Steel (Brener), who combine their powers to form the superhero Max Steel.
Filming began on April 29, 2014, in Wilmington, North Carolina and wrapped in late May 2014. Dolphin Films and Mattel Playground Productions co-produced the film. The film was released in the United States on October 14, 2016, by Open Road Films and was a critical and commercial failure.
Teenager Max McGrath moves with his mother to the town of Copper Canyon, where he had been born and where his father had died in a supposed storm. He discovers he has a unique form of tachyonic energy and encounters alien creature Steel, with whom he can symbiotically bond to become the turbocharged superhero Max Steel. Max learns to control and harness his powers and learns the truth about his father's life through flashbacks. Steel, a member of the Ultralink alien species, had worked with Max's father Jim to repel an attack from his fellow Ultralinks on the earth; however, Jim had been betrayed by his partner Miles Edwards and been compelled to sacrifice himself. Max lashes out at Steel when he learns the truth, but is forced to work with Steel again when Edwards entraps Max, seeking to harvest his tachyonic energy for himself. Learning to use his armored form as Max Steel, Max defeats Edwards and finally learns all of his father's story from his mother. The film ends with Max learning to fly in the armor with Steel's assistance.
- Ben Winchell as Max McGrath
- Maria Bello as Molly McGrath
- Ana Villafañe as Sofia Martinez
- Josh Brener as the voice of Steel
- Andy García as Dr. Miles Edwards
In addition, Mike Doyle appears briefly as Jim McGrath, father of Max.
An early attempt to create a Max Steel film occurred in December 2009 when Paramount Pictures purchased the rights to the franchise. Taylor Lautner was an early choice for the starring role, although he later dropped out due to commitment to the Stretch Armstrong film. In January 2013, production was suspended when Max Steel was developed into a television series of the same name, airing later that year. In August 2013, plans for a new film adaptation resumed with Mattel partnering with Dolphin Entertainment to fund the film.
In February 2014, Ben Winchell and Ana Villafañe were cast as Max McGrath and Sofia Martinez, respectively. That same month, the press officially confirmed Andy García's casting as Dr. Miles Edwards. In May 2014, Maria Bello and Mike Doyle joined the cast as Molly and Jim McGrath, Max's parents.
Max Steel grossed $3.8 million in the United States and Canada and $2.5 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $6.3 million, against a production budget of $5–10 million.
Max Steel opened on October 14, 2016, alongside The Accountant and Kevin Hart: What Now?, and was expected to gross $5–7 million from 2,034 theaters in its opening weekend. After grossing just $637,795 on its first day the film went on to open to $2.2 million, finishing 11th at the box office. In its second weekend the film grossed $680,104 finishing 17th at the box office, making it a box office bomb.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rare approval rating of 0% based on 21 reviews, with an average rating of 2.32/10. The site's critics' consensus states: "Bereft of characterization or even satisfying rock 'em sock 'em, Max Steel feels like futzing with an action figure without any childhood imagination." On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score 22 out of 100, based on reviews from 7 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
IGN critic Alex Welch gave the film a score of 4 out of 10, summarizing his review with: "Max Steel is one of the more forgettable and pointless attempts at a superhero franchise in the current post-MCU Hollywood market, lacking any of the originality or vibrance that could give it even a remote shot at a successful future." Variety's Joe Leydon gave a negative review, describing it as: "A half-baked, time-wasting curtain-raiser for a superhero franchise that is never, ever going to happen." Christy Lemire for RogerEbert.com gave half a star out of 4, writing: "For a movie about developing the greatest energy source in the universe, Max Steel is surprisingly bland" and that "a movie based on a toy should be a whole lot more fun than this." The Hollywood Reporter critic Frank Scheck gave an unfavorable review, writing: "Even tweens may find themselves underwhelmed by the new live-action film based on what — for many of them — may be their favorite Mattel action figure. Delivering a bland cinematic origin story which seems calculated to boost Christmas toy sales, Max Steel is a stillborn, would-be franchise starter, sneaked into multiplexes without advance critic screenings."
- List of films based on toys
- List of films based on cartoons
- List of films based on television programs
- List of films with a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes
- List of American superhero films
- List of teen films
- Max Steel (2000 TV series)
- Max Steel (2013 TV series)
- Max Steel
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- Anthony D'Alessandro (October 23, 2016). "'Madea' To Push Well Past $27M As 'Jack Reacher' Takes $22M to $23M; 'Joneses' Can't Keep Up – Sun. AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
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