John Henry Irons is a weapons designer for the United States military, when his project to create weapons that harmlessly neutralize soldiers is eradicated, he resigns in disgust. When he sees criminal gangs are using the weapons that he helped manufacture on the street, he uses his resources and his Uncle Joe’s equipment in his junkyard to fight back by creating an alter ego, a superhero known as “Steel”.
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DIRECTOR: Kenneth Johnson
WRITERS: Kenneth Johnson
CAST: Shaquille O’Neal (John Henry Irons / Steel), Annabeth Gish (Susan Sparks), Judd Nelson (Nathaniel Burke), Richard Roundtree (Uncle Joe)
In the early days of Superhero movies, there had indeed been many hits, as well as many misses. Yet none could’ve gotten more disappointing than Shaquille O’Neal’s portrayal of Steel. In 1997, not only did we suffer from Batman and Robin, but the dose was doubled when Steel came out. Now let’s ask ourselves, what went absolutely wrong?
Well for one, the movie itself is by no means close to the source material of the comics. Yes, the ball had already dropped. All there is really is Shaq’s character named John Henry Irons and that he was an inventor, which doesn’t even do the movies justice. And may I add that whoever thought Shaq would save this movie, clearly had issues. Aside from that, the majority of the characters shown in the film were all original characters created only for the film and had no existence in DC, and to be honest, none of those characters were even memorable. Mostly cliché portrayals that didn’t help the movie, but just made it less interesting. Then again, since the first couple minutes into the film, there weren’t anything really special anyway.
Now we get into the costume…first let’s take a look at the true costume of DC’s Steel from the 90’s:
That is how the costume should’ve been. That is John Henry Irons and thanks to Hollywood, we instead got stuck with this:
Can we say, “If I only had a heart?” No lie, this looks more like a cheap cheesy cosplay of Tin Man rather than Steel. There’s no ‘S’ symbol on the chest, and not even a red cape. And that helmet, it hurts so much to even look at it, let alone to post on it in this review. This is on par with Schumacher’s bat suit’s nipples. Hey kids, maybe this was meant to be a crossover into a unborn cinematic universe containing Batman & Robin and Steel. But to further justify my dislike for the costume, let’s look at this.
Since when did Steel have the ability in his suit to attract metal? Nowhere in the comics has Steel ever had magnetic suit. In the comics, his suit allowed him to have superhuman strength, durability, and flight. Yes, flight, which he doesn’t even do at all!! That could be me just nitpicking but come on. And another thing to look at, which adds to our misery.
I’m just done, so I’m not going to go into that.
Overall, this movie was just too cheesy and lacked any real story. And it’s really amazing to see how much over the years that DC movies truly improved. Even Green Lantern, it wasn’t perfect but it was way more decent what we got from movies like Steel. Well, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.