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Steel (1997)

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Steel (1997)
"Heroes Don't Come Bigger. Right?"
Genre: Superhero
Directed By: Kenneth Johnson
Written By: Kenneth Johnson
Based On: Steel by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove
Starring: Shaquille O'Neal
Annabeth Gish
Richard Roundtree
Judd Nelson
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Warner Bros.
Release Date: August 15, 1997
Runtime: 97 minutes
Country: United States

Steel is a 1997 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Kenneth Johnson and starring Shaquille O'Neal in the lead role.


After an accident leaves his partner Susan Sparks paralyzed, she and John Henry Irons work together to create a suit of armor to stop their rival Nathaniel Burke.

Why It Sucks

  1. The movie has very little to do with the Superman character, Steel, beyond a single shout-out to said Superman (and even then, it's because Shaq has that tattoo in real life).
  2. Overabundance of basketball jokes that break immersion.
  3. Steel can't seem to use his gun as, well, a gun, instead of using it as a hammer.
  4. It feels like a cheap prototype version of an early late 90's design for an Iron Man film. But, also a poor man's rip-off of Robocop.
  5. No Superman-related villains just an evil soldier named Nathaniel Burke.
  6. Cheap and unconvincing special effects.
    • Steel's suit looks ridiculous and cheap; despite supposedly being made of steel, the helmet can be visibly seen bending at some points.
  7. Shaquille O'Neal was a poor choice for the lead character.
    • Standing as tall as he does, he looks really out-of-place compared to the rest of the cast.
    • His acting is terrible.
  8. Terrible acting from pretty much everyone.
  9. Terribly-written dialogue.
  10. Along with Batman & Robin, it killed off lighthearted superhero movies for over a decade (and both movies come in the same year).

Redeeming Qualities

  1. It's the first superhero film with a black lead.
  2. The film is still kind of entertaining in a "so bad it's good" kind of way.


The film received negative reviews, with a 12% critic rating with a critic consensus that reads "Steel is a badly-acted movie that indulges not only in superhero cliches but also the sappy TV-movie-of-the-week ones."

Box Office

Steel opened up at #16 on its opening weekend grossing $870,068 domestically. The film only grossed $1,710,972 against its $16 million budget making it a box-office bomb.


  • Steel's next live action appearance will be in the tv show, Superman and Lois where he is an alternate counterpart of him.


External Links


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