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John Henry Irons designs weapons for the military. When his project to create weapons that harmlessly neutralize soldiers is sabotaged, he leaves in disgust. When he sees gangs are using his weapons on the street, he uses his brains and his Uncle Joe's junkyard know-how to fight back, becoming a real man of "steel." Written by
Thomas Pluck <email@example.com>
"Well, I'll be dipped in s*** and rolled in breadcrumbs"
Steel is one of those films where you constantly have to keep telling yourself "this is NOT a TV movie". A cheap, outrageously bad superhero vehicle for the acting... er... talents?... of 7'1 basketball player Shaquille O'Neal.
Commendably, the film does actually have three clear acts, and Steel's emergence, though underplayed, doesn't happen for over forty minutes. In-jokes are a-plenty, as it mentions Batman, Superman, Jerry Maguire ("show me the money!") and three instances of John Irons (O'Neal) having to net basketballs. The final time sees a life-threatening toss of a grenade. A lousy basketball player throughout, Shaq gets to quip "I never make these". Or would you prefer Richard Roundtree as Uncle Joe, who designs Steel's hammer for him? "I did the metalwork," he explains, "I especially like the shaft." Cue lots of double-takes and knowing glances, with Roundtree looking round, hands in the air, proclaiming "what?"
The special effects are reasonable for tv movie land, but, as this is (pinch me, I must be imagining it) a real cinema movie, they're quite cheap. Steel is badly written, contains atrocious dialogue, is poorly acted, shabbily directed and with an overbearing, repetitive musical score. It is, of course, tremendously entertaining.
26 of 29 people found this review helpful.
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