One only has to look as far as Transformers and G.I. Joe to see how movies based on popular toys are all the rage these days. Even board games like Battleship and Clue have made it to the big screen. So even though we haven’t heard any recent updates, it makes complete sense that the live action movie Max Steel dropped a trailer today. The last we had heard, Taylor Lautner had been tapped to play the titular hero, however, this trailer clearly shows that some things have been changed.
Max Steel’s beginnings stem from the 1999 Mattel toy line, ala Transformers style. It featured a boy named Josh who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it transformed him into something of a badass. An animated series ran for two years, with a few changes, like Josh being retconned into Maxwell, a teenaged boy who comes in contact with an alien robot named Steel. Somehow or another, Max can generate Tachyon Unlimited Radiant Bio-Optimized or just TURBO Energy – and Steel allows him to control the power and use it for varied effects. The animated series had a few direct-to-video sales, got booted and, finally, rebooted by Disney (in 2013), much to the joy of Latin America. Apparently, Brazilians love Max Steel like Japan loves Hello Kitty.
This first impression of Max Steel, the movie, is not a good one. It’s a jarring trailer with cobbled together action scenes and rather poor CGI effects. Looks and feels like a trailer for season 3 of a CW show no one has ever heard of. With this being the first footage shown for a movie that is supposed to be released 2 months from now, it’s pretty clear this movie is fated for the discount bin at Walmart. But, hey, as this movie will obviously draw some comparisons to The Guyver, which has a earned sub-culture of fans, maybe Max Steel will appease its core audience and make some news ones in the after market.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Max Steel is an in-depth “origin” story packed with captivating characters and fast-paced action. The plot chronicles the adventures of Max McGrath and his mother have just moved back to Copper Canyon, the town in which Max’s scientist father died in a mysterious accident shortly after Max was born. As Max adjusts to his new school, things get complicated when his body starts to generate strange energy flare-ups that he can’t control.
At first a confusing mix of inconvenient and exhilarating, this unpredictable power eventually grows too intense for Max to handle, causing him to distance himself from those around him including the girl he likes, Sofia. Eventually the energy pushes him to the verge of fatal combustion. In the nick of time, a techno-organic extraterrestrial named Steel, who has been secretly monitoring Max’s progress, saves him just before he loses consciousness. The two discover that when joined together they can control the energy and harness it into superhuman strength – and that when apart, neither can survive for long.
As these two unlikely friends learn to accept their connected fates, they begin to uncover secrets surrounding the death of Max’s father. As they dig deeper, they soon find themselves hunted by an unforeseen enemy bent on capturing Max and Steel for a sinister agenda of destruction. Uncertain who to trust, they will have to work together to find the truth, and fight the mysterious forces threatening our world.
Max Steel stars Ben Winchell, Ana Villafañe, Andy García, Maria Bello and Billy Slaughter. The film is produced by Dolphin Films and Mattel and is scheduled to pop through Open Road Films October 21st. Christopher Yost wrote it and Stewart Hendler (of Halo fame) directed it.