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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Steel'
(Shaquille O'Neal, Annabeth Gish, et al / DVD / PG-13 / (1997) 2010 / Warner Home Video)

Overview: Basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal ("Kazaan") sheds his hi-tops for a dazzling suit of battle armor as the latest and greatest DC Comics superhero to wage war on crime.

DVD: OK, we all this by now, but if you don't ... the movie is absolutely awful! The plot is okay, I guess, but given that no one really puts in any effort into their roles, it just makes you want to bash your head on your office desk. For one, Shaq can't act if his life depended on it. Of course, he's monotone 95% of the time but when he really does try to put emotion into his lines, it's unbelievably forced. For example, the scene were army reject Nathaniel Burke (Judd Nelson) fires that soundwave cannon towards the beginning and when John Henry Irons (Shaq) screams out "Nathaniel No!!" is a joke.

Shaq also has the stiffest face in film, when his cop friend gets hurt in the line of duty and when Irons chases down one of the bank robbers armed with one of his high-tech weapons, he supposedly gets "mad" and says "It's on" but you can only tell by his lines and not his face. Steel is also the most unimpressive superhero ever. While good superheroes have flaws, Steel is nothing but flaws. All he does is get shot at and fall like a corpse, not to mention that he's unbelievably slow when he moves. The other characters aren't impressive at all, either.

While I'm not that hung up on imagery, the Steel costume is atrocious. When he's threatening that thug for stealing some stuff from that old, wealthy couple, you can tell when he's talking that his suit is made of rubber. You'd think they'd at least put some effort in designing a decent costume!

While I know that this is a superhero movie and not intended to be 100% realistic, I was quite annoyed by some severely illogical events in the movie. When Steel confronts one of the bank robbers about where he got that shiny laser gun, the head gang member shoots him in the back with the same type of gun. That same gun was able to shoot down a helicopter yet when Steel gets shot with it, he doesn't die from the blast, he doesn't even get severe burns from it!!

There's a scene towards the end that contains the worst "Shaq can't make free throws" joke in the movie (more on that later) where Steel and his nephew are trapped with a live grenade but they were able to perform a whole comedy routine before the grenade explodes. If this had any shred of realism, the grenade would have exploded when Steel shouts "I never make these!"

The humor is awful, just like everything else in this movie. There's a constant barrage of hammy in-jokes about how Shaq can't shoot free throws that'll have you pulling your hair and groaning in agony. Of course, the cherry on the s*** sundae has to be when Steel and his nephew get locked in that warehouse and are trapped with an armed grenade and the kid tells him to throw it through a small hole several feet above them, Steel utters "I never make these!!"

Most of the "humorous" lines are blatantly stolen from other people. Steel's assistant, Susan Sparks, steals "It's not easy being green" from the Muppets and the worst offense has to be when Steel activates his Electro Hammer and blurts out "It's Hammer Time!" This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Trailer

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