“Max Steel” (Open Road)

Ben Winchell stars in a scene from the movie "Max Steel." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Open Road Films)

By Catholic News Service

Yet another action figure leaps off the toy store shelves and onto the big screen in this derivative coming-of-age superhero chronicle, directed by Stewart Hendler.

A gangly 16-year-old boy (Ben Winchell) is transformed by the universe’s most powerful form of energy and gains a robotic sidekick (voice of Josh Brener) to go along with his smothering but supportive mother (Maria Bello) and fetching sweetheart (Ana Villafane). When he’s not too busy vanquishing baddies or doing his algebra homework, he searches for clues about his plight — and about the mysterious fate of his father (Mike Doyle), a brilliant scientist who died on the brink of a new discovery. The upshot is mindless goofy fun that’s possibly acceptable for older adolescents.

Cartoonish violence and one use of the F-word. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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