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STEEL - 3 Slimes
Rated PG-13
Copyright 1997 Quincy Jones-David Salzman Entertainment
Reviewed by Keijo on 3 January 2008

The Characters:  

  • Steel - Shaquille O'Neill! Army weapons designer turned superhero. It takes a big man and a sledge hammer to walk around dressed like that.
  • Sparks - Army weapons designer turned sidekick.
  • 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.

Buy It!

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 experimental weapons that use sonic blasts and lasers. 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 a 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.

Steel wants to know where a street gang got his gun from. So, he decides to go to the gang's hangout 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. 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 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 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 Rain Man 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 cooking.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • U.S. Army soldiers express comradeship by touching their fingers ET-style.
  • Soufflés are timid creatures and easily intimidated by loud noises.
  • The lower half of your face is naturally bullet-proof.
  • It is surprisingly difficult to have a secret identity when you are 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: 

  • 26 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A PAY PHONE!
  • 28 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CUE STICK!
  • 31 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A WINDOW!
  • 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.

Quotes: 

  • Steel: "It's hammer time."
  • Sparks: "I laugh at danger."
    Uncle Joe: "I boogie around danger like a Soul Train dancer."
  • Uncle Joe: "Well I'll be dipped in sh*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 Tin Man on steroids."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note steel1.wav Mr. Daniels: "I distribute arcade games, Burke. I give jobs to at-risk kids. I'm a legitimate businessman."
Burke: "How would you like to help me deal the next generation of super weapons, not to the crooks and punks on the street, but to the world?"
Green Music Note steel2.wav Grandma: "Martin, how am I ever supposed to master the art of French cooking when you keep crashing in here like James Brown? 'I feel good! Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!'"
Green Music Note steel3.wav Col. David: "So what did you say to the police?"
Steel: "What could I say? I knew those weapons are top secret. I just want to know how they got on the streets."
Col. David: "Well, the NSA tells me that every weapon created by us and our civilian suppliers is accounted for."
Steel: "I had it in my hands, sir. What do you think blew over that squad car, anyway - a twister? I saw a street gang kid, holding a USAR Model 3.5 Sonic Eliminator."
Green Music Note steel4.wav Uncle Joe: "I tell you, one thing about running a junkyard - people will bring you the damndest things!"
Sparks: "That's a Mainframe 7200 IBM."
Uncle Joe: "Five hundred megahurtin, slam-bam, thank you ma'am...something or 'nother."
Green Music Note steel5.wav Tourist: "He's an African-American, about seven-foot-six, as big as a mountain!"
Tourist's Wife: "Very big."
Tourist: "And he was covered in steel."
Tourist's Wife: "And he returned all of our belongings, see. And he was..he was extremely polite."
Tourist: "Yeah, it was amazing."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipsteel1.mpg - 5.6m
Steel confronts Burke's gang at a bank heist. He is more than a match for the goons, but their high-tech HMMWV is specially armored to withstand the hero's weapon.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1]
Re: Steel
Reply #1. Posted on January 03, 2008, 05:29:01 PM by Andrew
I like the special effects used for the weapons in this one.  Other than that, it goes overboard quite often.  Burke's theft of top secret data about experimental weapons is amazing in light of how stupid he acts at random times.  Not using a rest and risk-reducing system for testing the weapons might be in keeping with Burke's character, but he really does seem to have two personalities.  One is mean and quite smart; the other is still mean, just dumb as a post.

Steel's hammer is never put to any sort of cool test.  Seeing him thump the armored HMMWV with the hammer could have been cool, but instead he just ends up doing what he does every time the bad guys shoot back and the cops arrive - Steel runs.  None of this is helped by the fact that I could not get past the following ditty whenever Steel appeared in his armor:

Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah.  Bat Shaq!
Re: Steel
Reply #2. Posted on January 03, 2008, 05:48:48 PM by Mr_Vindictive
Steel is one that caused me extreme amounts of pain.  I have yet to view it more than once.  If I'm not mistaken, wasn't the Steel character based on one of the "Supermen" that originated after Superman's death?  I seem to remember there being a black man who built his own steel suit and claimed to be The Man Of Steel.
Re: Steel
Reply #3. Posted on January 04, 2008, 12:19:10 PM by Flangepart
Steel is one that caused me extreme amounts of pain.  I have yet to view it more than once.  If I'm not mistaken, wasn't the Steel character based on one of the "Supermen" that originated after Superman's death?  I seem to remember there being a black man who built his own steel suit and claimed to be The Man Of Steel.
You got it. That guy tried to take the place of Superman, after he 'died'. Became his own superhero there after.
This movie...not so super...
Re: Steel
Reply #4. Posted on February 15, 2009, 02:04:44 AM by Thegreatnerd
I plan on reading the novelized version of the movie before watching it. Yes, it was made into a novel, and I bought a new copy for 17 cents. Perhaps it could add to the review  TeddyR.
Pages: [1]
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