Wednesday, February 17
Movie Review - Steel
Steel is about a superhero named, well, Steel. In this 1997 movie, the hero Steel is played by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal. The hero Steel was originally a sidekick of sorts of Superman's, so making a movie starring a sidekick superhero is a recipe for success, especially when it stars one of the biggest NBA stars ever. Don't believe me, then read on as I describe this incredible picture.
We start off with the opening credits, as we watch the excitement of molten metal pouring. Yup, that's all we see during the opening credits, and life is good. The actual movie starts with a scene where some laser takes down a tank. The suspense is burning, who did this? Where did these lasers come from? Then it's revealed that it's just a military demonstration for weapons research. We then see that Shaq (his character's name is Irons, but I'll just call him Shaq for this review) whose one of the research leaders. He and his female partner, sparky, are fairly close as you can see with their secret handshake where they touch fingers. There's also Burk, another member of the research team. You can tell right away that he's the evil guy, which is good because suspense is boring.
The jerk called Burk secretly re-calibrates a sound-wave weapon during another demonstrating, and it destroys the targeted building. However, because of the recalibration, the wave bounces back and destroys their building too. We see Shaquille shouting "Sparky!" as he lifts a large piece of wall...and then we cut to a hearing. Way to go movie, that scene was so descriptive of what goes on. During the hearing, we learn that Sparky will never walk again. OK maybe this movie isn't so great after all, rather than showing us what happened, the producers were cheap enough to just tell us instead. In movies, it's generally better to show us what happened rather than to just tell us. Also, Shaq's acting is so bad, you might as well say it doesn't even exist. Anyway, Burk is discharged from the military and Shaquille quits the research team and goes home.
We see Burk walk into to some arcade and talk to the owner. Appearently the arcade guy sells weapons too. The arcade guy with long hair keeps a very serious expression the whole time, which doesn't look suspicious at all. Burk offers to become partners and deal the laser weapons to the world. The arcade guy agrees, and that's the scene.
Shaquille goes home to grandma, where she tells him to be quiet? Why? Appearently she was making a souffle? O...K. The soufle is flat, and she joke about crashing into the house like James Brown, everyone laughs...wow. Possibly one of the lamest jokes ever.
The arcade guy goes downstairs where tonns of weapons are...how hasn't anyone caught him yet? Wouldn't a big company have tonns of people walking through? What about arcade deliveries or inspectors? What about financial records? Anyway, the secretary doesn't like Burk's ruthless development methods (which burns some kid's hands due to lack of sheilding,) so Burk kills her in an elevator. Considering the secretary was one of the arcade man's main people, isn't that a bad idea? wouldn't people at least question him about this? Oh well, the secretary is never mentioned again.
Pretty much right after that scene, we get a Bank robbery with Burk's new weapons, where the robbers keep SHOUTING THE ENTIRE TIME. these must be the loudest and stupidest bank robbers ever. Shaquille and his bro somehow end up at the scene and recognizes the weapons right away. Cops are being shot at, and yet one cop stays in her care talking on the radio. Her cop car is flipped right over by a sound-wave weapon. Shaq pulls her out of car and says "It's on now!" Chase scene ensues, where Shaq chases one of the robbers from the scene. The chase scene primarily involves running through a trainyard...dodging trains like frogger. Who thought this was a good idea for a chase scene, honestly? The chase is just boring and slow. Before long, the robber knocks down train with futuristic gun, which traps Shaq inside. Shaq breaks out of the train as the teenager laughs in the distance. The teen walks off, and is suddenly grabbed form the side by...Shaq? How did he get there? How did he get around all the moving trains so quickly? Know what, screw it. The longer I dwell on these stupid moments, the longer this review will be. This movie jumps around more than the frog in frogger. I'm also thinking, wasn't there supposed to be a superhero? I'm nearly 30 minutes into this 90 minute movie and there's no sign of any superhero. Anyway, Shaq gets shot from behind, the robber escapes, and the scene's over.
Next morning, Shaq's talking to his old military commander on the phone and isn't injured one bit. Wait what? These lasers have been braking into bank vaults, destroying tank treads, and he isn't injured one bit? Nevermind; Shaq displays his awesome acting skills by clenching his teeth together to show his anger. His military boss is unconvinced, so Shaq breaks the payphone...lame. The robbers are in some pool bar, watching the news talk about them. They start shouting "That's us!" Like I said earlier, dumbest bank robbers ever. Shaq soon shows up and threatenes them, only to be threatened with a gun. They tell him not to come back, and that's it. Half the scenes in this movie are just a waste of time, seriously. Also, how did Shaq even know the robbers would be there?
Shaq goes to a hospital where Sparky is, and asks her to help him. Uhh, why is she acting so distanced from him when he didn't crush her legs? Weren't they really close just a few weeks ago in the movie's time? Anyway, she says she couldn't do much good, so he picks up her wheelchair and carries her out. Some cheap hero music plays during this not so amazing feat. They go to a junkyard where they decide to make new weapons to take on the criminals. The junk yard owner, played by the original actor for Shaft, joins them. My have the mighty fallen.
As she's working on...something, Sparky falls out of her wheelchair. Shaq and Shaft see this, but Shaq doesn't let Shaft help. They just watch her climb back into her wheelchair and smile, what a jerk. We're supposed to cheer for this guy? Shaq's brother shows up and talks about his new job (he got a job at the same arcade the bad guys are making weapons in.) There's also a dumb yet true joke about Shaq not making freethrows. We finally get our montage where our heroes work on Steel's equipment, intercut with more exciting footage of molten metal pouring. Finally, the title superhero is being worked on, and we're nearly half way through this picture.
After the montage, Sparky and Shaft show Shaq a "special" hammer. Shaft jokes about the shaft, BOOOOOOOO!. He also does some goofy dance when talking about danger, further humiliating himself. They also give Steel an earpiece for communications and a camera so they can watch him. We cut to an elderly couple being mugged.
Steel shows up in the most rediculous superhero costume ever, seriously. He stops a mugger while Sparky and Shaft watch. They laugh, I'm not sure whether they're laughing at the mugger or Steel's rediculous costume, but I know I'm laughing at the costume.
We then cut to a drive by shooting, or something. Steel shows up, and the punks shot him with no effect. Funny, they just had to aim for his completely uncovered mouth and he's dead. They try to run him over, but he stops the car dead with his hammer's soundwave. "It's hammer time!" Wow, these jokes are painful. He uses a suit magnet to suck all their weapons from their hands. The punks run/drive away, and then the cops show up. Steel shoots a grapple hook and slowly pulls himself to the roof. The cops watch as he very unimpressively gets away. Steel tries to jump a building and almost falls over the side. Wow - worst superhero ever. He uses his grapple to get back to the ground, but it snaps half way down. He lands in a dumpster, which is exactly were his suit should be. He drives away with a motorcycle that was behind the...dumpster wha? Who would put a motorcycle there? Moving along, the cops chase Steel for a while. Sparky hacks the traffic lights to help Steel along and slow the cops. He drives into the junkyard and into some artificial pile of trash, ending the most boring chase I've ever seen. One of the cops asks where he went, and the other jokes about bat cave. Wow, this is beyond pathetic. Nearly all of the movie's jokes are blatent ripoffs of much better superheroes or movies.
We get a jumbled mess of scenes where people talk about Steel, then we go to his next "heroic" scene. The stupid bank robbers are at it again, even louder than before. Some kind of jamming interrupts Steel's communications with Sparky, so Sparky switches frequencies. Instantly, Steel can hear her...wouldn't he have to switch frequencies too? Nevermind, the punks are robbing the Federal Reserve, shouting the whole friggen time. Steel arrives and takes on robbers. They shoot him with little effect, he shoots at them with little effect. They knock him back with soundwave as cops arrive. The cops hold Steel up as the criminals take down a helicopter. The one cop just looks up as the helicopter fall directly toward him. What's with these movies and stupid people waiting to die? Steel saves this brainless cop as crooks get away. Again we have a stupid chase scene where Steel gets away, next scene!
Sparky tends to Shaq's wounds and he goes home to sleep. However, the cops show up and arrest him, ruining another soufle. They line Shaq up with other suspects. Neither the elderly couple or the stupid cop give him up, but they still hold Shaq for questioning. Seriously though, how hard can it be? Shaq's the only one there that's more than six feet tall, and everyone knows how big Steel is supposed to be. Anyway, Sparky fakes some high official to let Shaq out, but then she gets captured by the badguys.
The bad guys set up weapon auction over the internet, and everyone from neo-nazis to italian mobsters show up. Steel sneaks into the auction where Sparky is being held hostage. Steel is knocked into the auction room by a soundwave weapon and is also held hostage, further proving that Steel really sucks. Burk shoots the arcade guy and says that he's the only one who can recharge the weapons. He also betrays the bank robbers. Why? he's a dick, that's why. Also, shouldn't someone have seen this coming considering he killed off the arcade's secretary? Anyway, Steel interrupts Burk by saying his hammer's more powerful than anything Burk has. Steel convinces Burk to activate the magnet and...holy crap, Sparky's wheel chair starts spinning around shooting lasers at everyone. Her wheelchair is awesome! She also rocket-boosts out of the building as a shootout begins. Shaq's old military squad is also on the way.
Steel lets the bank robbers escape, then challenges Burk. In response, Burk pulls out Shaq's brother as a hostage. Somehow (don't ask), Shaq and his brother get locked in a small room with a grenade. Shaq finally makes a freethrow with the grenade and tosses it through a hole above the door. Oh, forgot to mention, it takes about 30 seconds for the grenade to explode, like the Die Hard 2 grenades I mentioned a week or so ago. The grenade kills Burk's main man, then Burk self-ownes himself by shooting Steel with a soundwave, which only bounces right back. The good guys escape, the military arrests all the arms dealers, and the scene's over.
We finish the movie with Shaq's grandma opening a restaurant, and finally getting her Soufle right. Lots of other pointless stuff happens, but I'm personally glad the movie's about to finish. Long story short, lame ending to a lame movie.
Shaq can't act, we don't see the title character until about half way into the movie, and it jumps around way too much to make any sense. Every single joke is cringe-worthy, there's absolutely no suspense, and...it's just crap. This movie was blamed for the death of Superhero movies in the 90s, and I can fully understand why. The only thing I found entertaining was Steel's costume, and that's because of how embarassing it was.
Two word review - Blatantly bad