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Latest Member: TheBouncer Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Movie Reviews  |  Submitted Reader Reviews  |  PUBLISHED: Steel « previous next »
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« on: January 13, 2007, 06:56:34 AM »


Name of the Movie: Steel (1997)
Rated: PG-13
4 slimes


Steel-Shaquille O'Neill! Army weapons designer turned super-hero. It takes a big man and a sledge hammer to walk around dressed like that.
Sparks- Army weapons designer turned side-kick.
Burke- Army weapons designer turned arms dealer. Criminal mastermind one second, a complete moron the next. Accidentally shoots, buries, burns and explodes himself.
Uncle Joe- Richard Roundtree! Steel's uncle who supplies Steel with material and high-tech computers that "fell of a truck".
Grandma- Steel's grandmother. Annoying as a comic relief but intolerable when she feels the need to praise Steel's heroism.
Martin: Steel's kid-brother who gets a job from Burke in a pointless sub-plot.
Slats: Gang-leader who works for Burke.

Lessons Learned:
U.S. Army soldiers express comradeship by touching their fingers ET-style.
Shuffles are timid creatures and easily intimidated by loud noises.
Lower half of your face is naturally bullet-proof.
It's surprisingly difficult to have a secret identity when you're 7'1".
Broken payphones sound like car-alarms.
If bullets just bounce off your enemy, try hitting him with a plank of wood.

Stuff To Watch For:

32 mins - Yay! A kidnapping! Hip hip hurrah!
41 mins - Uncle Joe likes the shaft. Get it? Get it?
104 mins - Just how is he going to hold that grenade?
107 mins - Arnold?
108 mins - Shut up, Grandma! Yes, he's a hero. We know. We saw the opening credits.

Notable Quotes:

Steel: "It's hammertime."

Sparks:"I laugh at danger."
Uncle Joe: "I boogie around danger like a Soul Train dancer."

Uncle Joe: "Well I'll be dipped in s**t and rolled in breadcrumbs."

Older cop: "Where did that son-of-a-buck go?"
Younger cop: "To the Batcave?"

Burke: "So, what do you know about this Steel guy?"
Slats: "C'mon. Some crazy-ass fool running around in aluminum foil. Sound like a tinman on steroids."

The Plot:
Let's get one thing out of the way right now. Shaquille O'Neill's acting in this movie is exactly what you would expect from a basketball player. However I'm not going to make fun of him for three reasons. A) It's obvious he was sincerely trying his best. B) None of the other actors did much better. C) The man's 7'1". You go and make fun of him.

The movie starts with the main three characters still in the Army testing a new experimental weapon that uses sonic blasts and a laser. The tests go awry, when Burke has the first of his inexplicable moments of stupidity. He shoots a house right in front of him at full power to impress a female senator observing the tests. The resulting accident kills the Senator and puts Sparks in a hospital. When Steel goes to see her, Sparks seems to believe she'll be walking again soon. The nurse, however, looks at Steel sadly and shakes her head. You'd think someone would tell the bad news to Sparks as well. Steel's testimony gets Burke an dishonorable discharge.

Conveniently both men leave the Army at the same time and move to LA. Steel to live with his Grandma and Burke to join up with a gun dealer. Soon Steel and his cop friend are shot by Slats' gang using one of Steel's sonic blast weapons. For the second time someone near Steel is hurt but he gets off without a scratch. He seems like a nice enough guy, but I wouldn't want to be his friend. The man is obviously cursed.

Steels wants to know where a street gang got his gun from. So, he decides to go to the gang's hang out and ask them. That's right. That's his plan. He goes in and asks them. I guess you can get used to people being polite and helpful when you're over 7 feet tall. However since the gang if armed and outnumber him, they really don't see the need for co-operation. Our hero is shocked that the weapons he designed could be used to actually shoot people, and vows to get them off the streets.

Steel needs help and goes to get Sparks from the hospital. It seems Sparks has finally been told about the whole stuck in a wheelchair thingy, and she's too crushed by the news to be interested to help. But Steel is on a holy mission and has no time for little things like a severe depression of his handicapped friend. He tells Sparks to snap out of it and carries her away. What makes this scene brilliant is the reaction of the bystanders. They see Steel carry a woman in a wheelchair out of a hospital against her will, and what do they do? They cheer and applaud. I guess her self-pity was bumming out the whole hospital.

With the help of Uncle Joe and his nifty junkyard, Steel and Sparks build a weapon that looks like a sledge hammer and an armor that looks like crap. Heavily armed and dressed like an idiot, Steel patrols the streets of LA.

Meanwhile Burke has taken over a crime organization. He sends the street gang to rob a bank. Steel shows up and has a shoot out with the gang. Burke is having one of his smart days and recognizes Steel. The gang gets away and the footage of the robbery is shown on the news. Burke uses the footage as an ad for different potential gun buyers. The guns are sold at an auction which is advertised on the Internet. Much to the help of Steel and Sparks, whose investigative plan so far was to simply have Steel drive around.

Burke has Sparks captured and brought to his auction. When Steel shows up, he's captured. During the auction Burke has one of his idiot savant moments. He demonstrates the use of his weapon by shooting Slats right in front of his armed street gang. Burke's presentation speech is interrupted by Steel who claims his gun is far superior to Burke's. (I'm going to ignore the blatant possibilities for penis-jokes, because I'm a gentleman and because it would be just too easy.) However, Steel warns Burke not to touch the red switch on his gun because it has too much power for Burke. It seems that Steel is aware of Burke's weird mental condition or he wouldn't try something that transparent. Sure enough, the rainman of crime bosses turns the switch, activating a magnet which sends the weapon flying to Steel armor.

This leads to a shoot out between Steel, Burke, the gun buyers, the gang (nice of them to wait this long) and, last but not least, Sparks in her super-wheelchair. She fires cheap special-effects with the wheelchair before driving away on turbo speed. Needless to say the good guys win. The anti-climatic battle is followed by a painfully lame scene of victory celebrations over Grandma's cookings.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 05:23:04 PM by Andrew » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2007, 08:38:33 AM »

Welcome to the board Keijo.

Thanks for refreshing my memory on "Steel".  I saw it when it first came out on cable and thought it was alright.  Tried to watch it again a few years ago on cable and couldn't make it through the first 30 minutes or so.  It's extremely bad.  You're a braver person than I.

If I'm not mistaken, wasn't the Steel character taken from the Superman comics?  Wasnt he was one of the fake Superman(s) that showed up after Supe's death?

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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2007, 04:40:37 PM »

Yes he was one of the fake Supermen to turn up after Superman "died".  They did change his costume later and gave him his own short-lived comic series.

Good stuff Keijo. Thanks for the laughs.  TeddyR

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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2007, 09:27:26 PM »

I remember when this came out, Shaq was making the rounds on the talk show cicruit to promote the film and kept mentioning how he did all his own stunts, likening himself to Jackie Chan.

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