Monday, June 10, 2013
SUPERMAN: The Retrospective-Part VI: STEEL (1997)
Director: Kenneth Johnson
Starring: Shaquille O'Neil, Annabeth Gish, Richard Roundtree, Judd Nelson, Ray J
Well, dip me in shit and roll me in breadcrumbs.
I assure you, this is a Superman-related movie. Back when Superman was killed by Doomsday in the Death Of Superman series, it was followed by a resurrection of sorts. There were 4 incarnations of Supermen, each claiming to be the real deal. One of those, was John Henry Irons, and the only one who didn't claim to actually be Superman, but was honoring his legacy. He chose to go simply by Steel. Quincy Jones really liked this character and wanted to get a movie off the ground about him, and he did. While the character's makeup/background is very similar, during the story stage, it was decided to strip the character of all ties to the Superman universe and give him generic supporting characters.
The rest of the cast has some familiar faces, but they bring zero to the table. Judd Nelson is pretty terrible as the villain and feels very much like a rapist instead of a crazy weapons builder. Annabeth Gish is "eh" and her paralysis is portrayed so clumsily that you can't help but giggle at a few things. My man Richard Roundtree is here, but he's really on there to make Shaft references and crack unfunny jokes the whole time. Really, nothing of note.
You can't really say America didn't like this movie. They didn't even go see it. The film had an honest $17 million budget for a superhero comic book film, but only did an astoundingly terrible $1.7 million at the box office. It doesn't take a genius to see that's beyond terrible. Did you want to see Shaq play a superhero? I don't even think his own fans were on board with that. But, if you're Shaq, do you turn that opportunity down? Absolutely not. Not being an apologist for the 4 time champ, he's quite terrible in it, but I don't blame him for taking the role on.
Next time, let's get our mopey-ness on for SUPERMAN RETURNS!