Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recap: "Steel" Part 3: Hack-a-Shaq

When we last left our hero, he was fighting crime with an armored suit he made IN A JUNKYARD! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS! But whereas Tony Stark refined his scrap-suit into a modern marvel of engineering, Shaq's trash suit is apparently already a technological marvel.

This movie should have been called Garbage-Man.
Martin is over at his job the next day, telling someone about this cool armored dude he saw last night before Burke comes along to talk to him. Apparently, Martin shows an interest in their new microchip technology. So, here’s a question. What does Martin do at work besides just hang out? And also give information to the bad guys. Martin tells Burke all about this Steel guy, and Burke starts asking questions to try and figure out if John Henry Irons had anything to do with this.

Burke: “Where, exactly, is your neighborhood?”

Never a good question. Grandma Odessa hears a news report about the 7’6” vigilante, and apparently realizes it must be her 7’6” son. Burke meets with Slats in the park and gives him the rundown of the next operation while asking for info on this “Steel” guy. There’s not much.

In the next scene, Steel and Joe are driving around in a van. Once again, this is just hilarious.

Just... what can I say that would make this funnier than it already is?
Apparently, they’ve been on the lookout for gang members with lasers for five nights and haven’t come up with diddly. It’s given Sparky enough time to make some improvements on her wheelchair; a bit of exposition so clumsy, that it must be some kind of foreshadowing. But a power grid is soon blown up by one of Burke’s men, and Steel goes to check it out while Daniels and Burke begin their “infomercial” for their weapons. There’s some radio jamming going on, so Sparky switches to a different band, bypassing a possible hardship for our heroes. Man, things were almost tense.

The thugs sonic their way in as Sparky realizes that they’re breaking into the Federal Reserve. Soon, the vault is theirs for the taking as the cops attempt to mobilize, getting their butts lasered. The thugs ransack the place, but Steel soon appears.

Burke: “Now, I wonder who that could be?”

"He looks like Robocop but... you know, stupid."
On his camera feed, Burke notices that Steel seems to be talking to someone, so they attempt to triangulate the signal as Steel fires some tear gas to take down the thugs. Steel saves a cop from a falling helicopter after they arrive on the scene and runs off after the rest of the cops arrive, making this whole endeavor relatively fruitless after having failed to stop the bad guys. He halts the cop cars with caltrops (seriously, he’s been doing more damage to the cops than the gangs) and drives into the truck from earlier, escaping the cops.

Meanwhile, Burke’s men have a relative idea of where Sparky’s signal came from and begin investigating after sending out their footage of the robbery. A bunch of foreign lowlifes around the world (what?) watch it, and decide that having lasers would be nice while Shaq John (and I was doing so good, too) gets patched up. Apparently, he’s got a broken rib. But, you know, I couldn’t tell from that brave face he’s putting on. I mean, Shaq’s lack of acting.

She wants him to stop, but he insists on continuing on.

John: "There is nothing except this. There's no art opening. There is no benefit. There is nothing to sign. There is the next mission. And nothing else. I shouldn't be alive. Unless it was for a reason. I'm not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know... what I have to do."

Oh, shoot, I’m sorry, that was the dialogue from Iron Man. This is basically the same scene. But worse.

Over with Burke, he calls the cops with an anonymous tip on where to find this “Steel” guy, claiming that he’s the one who shot down the helicopter.

Later at the Steelcave, there’s a nice little scene with Uncle Joe and Sparky where they talk about why John is willing to destroy himself for this cause. But it’s soon over, and we’re back with John trying to hide is injuries from Grandma Odessa. Poorly. Again, they’re whispering because of another soufflé. Again, it’s not funny. But before she can get the truth out of John, some cops come in through the window (ruining the soufflé) and arrest John. They search the house and find the laser that John took from the kid that one night (John, you’re an idiot), and this is grounds to take him downtown.

There’s a police line-up scene which only exists only to put Gary Graham in a cameo (he was in one of the director’s other works, Alien Nation, though you might recognize him as Ambassador Soval from Star Trek: Enterprise), and get John off the hook when the hoity-toity couple and the rescued cop pretend that they don’t recognize any of the men in the line-up. John is put in a cell until he can be officially questioned, and takes the earpiece out of his mouth so he can tell Sparky what’s been going on. The “infomercial” has been released, and some Neo-Nazis are very interested in getting some lasers, no doubt to outfit Mecha-Hitler with.

Those wacky Nazis!
Sparky tells him that the deal is going down in 11 hours, and John tries in vain to get let out of his cell. But Joe and Sparky trick a bigwig into signing a fake Publisher’s Clearinghouse form and use his signature to forge some release papers, while getting a voice sample to forge a call. Steel soon suits up and heads off in the Steelvan to the recently-released location of the deal. He and Uncle Joe head there, but Sparky gets kidnapped by the bad guys. As opposed to being kidnapped by John again.

Steel and Uncle Joe scope the place out and use a sonic disruptor to make the dogs run off so Steel can crash the party. He spies on Burke giving his presentation to the assembled mercenaries and murderers. Steel gets spotted by a guard, and ends up knocked into the demonstration room by a sonic blast.

Burke: “Took you long enough.”

I agree, we’re over an hour into this and you two are only now meeting. Burke brings out Sparky as his trump card, and Steel can only sit there and do nothing while Burke continues his presentation. He wants to lease the guns instead of selling them, citing technological maintenance and recharging.

Burke: “And only I can do that for you.”
Daniels: “Only we.”

Never one to allow himself to be corrected, Burke kills Daniels on the spot. Because evil, remember?

Negotiations continue, as Steel and Sparky just stay still, unrestrained. Despite the fact that Steel is well within ability to open up a can of Shaq-Fu. Burke has his men shoot the gang members who tested the weapons, and even Uncle Joe gets caught outside by a guard. Luckily, Joe’s dog Lillie comes to the rescue. Inside, Burke brags about a brand-new weapon that’s five times more powerful than the previous weapons, which Steel laughs at, claiming that his hammer’s more powerful. He tells Burke to hit the button on the bottom if Burke doesn’t believe him. But he warns him not to turn the red switch, because it’s just too powerful. Because Burke was never told the story about Br’er Rabbit and the Briar Patch, he does so, activating the electromagnet booby trap which sends the hammer flying back to Steel as the army begins to mobilize, having been alerted by Uncle Joe.

Before they can attack the hammered-up Steel, Sparky unleashes the missiles in her wheelchair. Yes, missiles. You read that right.

That's what I call “handi-capable.”
Sparky shoots the place up, a firefight breaks out between all the bad guys. She escapes with the rocket boosters on her chair (again, you read that right) but Steel is left behind in the crossfire as the building begins exploding. Steel shoots a hole in the wall to save the gang kids, and he yells at Burke to give up and surrender. Instead, Burke brings out Martin as a hostage. But thanks to Uncle Joe firing a weapon out of nowhere, Shaq grabs Martin as Burke escapes. Burke tosses in a grenade as he leaves, and Steel is forced to make a free throw with it to toss it out the window and save their lives.

I am dead serious.
The grenade blows up a henchman and puts a hole in the wall, allowing Burke to shoot himself by ricocheting a laser off of Steel’s armor accidentally. Steel and Martin drive through the wall and escape the building as Martin figures out who Steel is.

Martin: “My own brother is Steel!”

And… wait, brother? I thought this kid was like a nephew or something. Way to establish character relations, movie.

Martin: “I could be like Robin!”

What, and wear bat-nipples?

Our heroes all escape in the Steelvan as the army converges on the escaped buyers, and the day is saved. Later, the colonel apologizes to Steel about not dealing with Burke sooner over the phone, and clears the vigilante’s name, before asking him who he really is in an attempt to keep him talking so they can triangulate the phone call. Before you ask how they’re disguising Steel’s voice, let me tell you. They’re putting it through a Schwarzenegger filter. Dead. Serious.

Steel: “I’ve accomplished all I wanted to. You won’t be seeing me anymore.”

Thank God.

Colonel: “Is this you, Irons?”

What gave it away, the fact that Shaq is the only seven-foot black guy in the movie?

John hangs up, and we cut to the grand opening of Grandma Odessa’s restaurant, and she finally got that soufflé made. Thanks to her praise, the team decides to keep going as Sparky shows off her latest wheelchair modification that lets her stand up as she rolls around. And as John and Sparky hug, the music starts going on about “standing up” again while the credits finally roll.

Now it's time to review this thing and see why it completely fails to stand up as a good movie.

1 comment:

  1. "Now it's time to review this thing and see why it completely fails to stand up as a good movie."

    Wouldn't you need, like, an infinite amount of posts to manage to list all the reasons