Plot: Lt. Nathaniel Burke (Judd Nelson) is disbarred from the army during a test of deadly weapons designed by soldier John Henry Irons (Shaquille O’Neal). Burke goes to John’s Los Angeles neighborhood and gives these weapons to local street gangs with intentions of selling them to terrorist organizations. Irons vows to stop him after he builds a high tech suit made of steel.
Yea, it’s a movie starring Shaquille O’Neal, but I’ve seen worse. This isn’t completely terrible. There are some cringe-worthy moments to be sure. A guy runs out of a bank robbery prompting Shaq to say “It’s on.” There are countless references to Shaq not being able to make free throws. Richard Roundtree’s character at one point says, “I especially like the shaft,” when talking about Steel’s hammer. And yes kids, Roundtree played the original Shaft. The overall tone is pretty stupid. From Steel’s magical junkyard hideout, they can control traffic lights with all sorts of high tech equipment. They are at a junkyard!! And the film was definitely made with one purpose in mind; let’s sell action figures of Shaq in a giant Steel costume. But the movie is passable. Other than Shaq, the acting is fine, and Shaq and the lead actress (Annabeth Gish) actually have decent chemistry, and her character in general isn’t bad. Judd Nelson and Richard Roundtree are also kind of funny. It’s pretty forgettable, but not the worst thing in the world. Hey…at least it’s not Shaq-Fu the video game.
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Barely Passable Entertainment)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout)
Best Performance: Judd Nelson as Nathaniel Burke
-This is the bad guy, and he’s pretty funny. He’s just so intense and over the top about everything. He kept my interest.
Worst Performance: Shaquille O’Neal as John Henry Irons/Steel
-Well of course it’s Shaq, he’s not an actor! His best moments, or should I say worst, are when he yells out a name. He looks like he’s going to take a dump. And seriously…Shaq is a fucking large individual. He just looks so awkward next to everyone else.
Best Line: “I’m about to smoke you like a blunt.” –Random Gang Leader before shooting at Steel
-I think the line speaks for itself.
Worst Line: “It’s hammer time.” –Shaq
-Yea, it’s Shaq saying this line in a giant steel costume holding a giant steel hammer. Let’s just move on.
-There isn’t really one, and I don’t even think Steel uses his hammer to hit anyone. What the hell!! There’s a sub-par shootout towards the end that barely lasts any time. Whatever.
-Susan “Sparky” Sparks is the main female lead who’s paralyzed. She designs a wheel chair with all sorts of gadgets and high tech weapons. This gets the WTF moment, because even though it’s kind of a cool wheel chair, the idea of watching a wheel chair fire sonic guns and laser blasts is uncomfortable.
-The last exchange Steel has with Burke is kind of cool. Burke fires this huge sonic gun and Steel’s costume deflects the blast back at Burke. Not bad.
-Steel has to throw a grenade through a little hole in the fence…and yes, they set it up like a free throw shot. Just the fact that they took Shaq’s free throw ability and made it a big part at the end is really annoying. And if they wanted to go for a more realistic turn, he would have missed it and blown up.
-This movie came out in 1997, so Shaq was on the Lakers at this point. Honestly, the funniest moments of the film are imagining the Lakers’ front office going into convulsions watching scenes like Shaq running and jumping over fences, praying he won’t get hurt.
Bad Ass Moment:
-The best part of Steel’s costume is a huge magnet that sucks up all the guns and shit. Okay, that’s pretty cool.