Max Steel (2016)
For Ages 12 and Over
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” is a unique movie featuring, in part, personal tornadoes and an alien theme. However, Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) might be just the teenager to defeat the threat to Earth. He is seemingly an ordinary guy, but there’s more to him than he even knows about himself—and he is soon to find out. When Max and his mom move into a new home, and Max’s mother (Maria Bello) speaks of a fresh start, Max reminds her that this is their ninth home. Max’s father Jim had passed away when Max was a baby, and there is some resentment on Max’s part as his mother refuses to talk much about it. His father’s past plays a big role in what is to come.
Max begins displaying almost god-like, or supernatural powers. He has the ability to use liquid energy and send off power blasts. He soon has a sidekick of sorts in Steel, a robot or “ultralink”—unique in size and attitude—and this alien gives the film some humorous moments with his sarcastic comments. He and Max share a kind of symbiotic relationship. Max goes through a lot, while learning a bit at a time about his father’s past and dealing with his new powers. He also finds a bit of romance. There is a lot of fantasy violence and energetic fights in the movie, but comparatively little blood. There are some pretty well-done special effects that are featured.
We are awarding the film our Dove Family-Approved Seal for ages 12-plus, as this age group is the target audience for the film. It isn’t “Star Wars,” but teens will find it entertaining and it does illustrate nicely the theme of the importance of communication.