by Ryan Arthur
This movie gives Batman & Robin a run for it's money as the movie Warners should be most ashamed of.Here's your first clue that Shaquille O'Neal can't act.
"Oil can! Oil can!"
In that movie, he played a basketball player. No stretch, right? Should've been easy. Wrong. He sucked ass there. Immediately, Hollywood execs should've been conference calling each other.
"I don't care about the megawatt smile, he's terrible."
But no, along came Kazaam, a horrible film that went nowhere, and with good reason (hint: it's because it sucked).
In the summer of 1997, we were handed the film Steel, based upon a semi-popular character that was spawned in comic books five years prior during the post "Death Of Superman" storyline that gained worldwide media attention.
The storyline, mind you, not the character of Steel. This will be important in a minute. The character of Steel was strictly a second-stringer in the superhero world. He's basically an Iron Man ripoff who's black (which would make him a ripoff of the now defunct Hardware, as well). The comic never really completely caught fire. But someone saw Shaq and decided he'd be the perfect man to play Steel. So they whipped up a script, Shaq signed on as executive producer, and bam, this movie got made.
Steel, in reality, was John Henry Irons, who worked for the military creating weapons. One day, the villain named Burke (Judd Nelson) messes up and criplles Irons' friend Sparks (Annabeth Gish). Irons quits the military, Burke gets kicked out and decides to sell weapons on the black market. He makes up a bunch of prototypes, and gives 'em to streetgangs who just happen to be in Irons' neighborhood. Recognizing the designs as his own, Irons, along with his Uncle Joe (Richard Roundtree, spouting off Shaft jokes left and right) and Sparks, creates a metal suit to fight crime. It could've worked, I guess. The movie, not the suit.
But you know what? It sucks.
Plot, character development, acting, effects, they all stink.
O'Neal can't deliver a single line convincingly, and when he gets stuck, he just flashes that goofy ass smile of his, no matter how appropriate (or inappropriate) it may be for the scene. Just keep working on those free throws, Shaq. Nelson goes the Snidely Whiplash route as the villain, just worrying about his paycheck, which is fine, I guess. It's only slightly less embarrassing than his work on Suddenly Susan.
I did like Annabeth Gish, though. She's pretty. It's not enough to make me sit through it again, however.Dumb, dumb, dumb. A quickie movie that looks exactly as cheap as you might think it does.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=390&reviewer=7
originally posted: 12/03/98 02:38:52