Missy and the Maxinator
Missy and the Maxinator: A Hero Will Rise 2009
This is the other movie that I borrowed from my new local library along with Maximum Ride though it’s a complete coincidence that both movies feature a main character with the name Max that’s also a part of the movie’s title. This is an extremely low budget movie that’s filled with what seem to be non-professional teen actors doing a stereotypical teen romance story with some Smallville-esque budding super powers for the main character. The problem is that there’s not much to go on in the story department, the effects are sub-par, and the teen non-actors aren’t up to the challenge of making the story interesting as they deliver their lines in some of the flattest ways possible. I respect the effort, but it was ultimately incredibly dull.
This ultimately felt like a low budget, less inspired version of the first season of Smallville compressed into a single movie without any of the freaks of the week. There’s the main character Max who is the prototypical Clark Kent. He’s the quiet slightly nerdy kid who develops super hearing, x-ray vision, and super strength over the course of the movie. The girl next door and Lana Lang analogue is Missy, the only difference is that instead of having a crush-from-afar, the two were completely platonic best friends until Max developed a crush on Missy. Meanwhile, she’s currently dating the Whitney Ford analogue aka the Senior football star Bob who’s a bit of a jerk despite dating a Freshman girl. Not only that, but they don’t even touch on anything actual teenagers would be doing at this age, instead keeping it extremely PG. They even toss in the other best friend Pete aka Sean. More of the film’s run time is spent trying to develop the friend and girlfriend relationships that the superhero element almost felt tacked on. There’s even more than one moment where Max’s grandparents (his parents were killed in a car crash when he was an infant) try to “have the talk” with him, but he blows them off thinking it’s the sex talk.
The villains of this movie are the teachers because of course they are. There’s the history teacher who seems overly interested in the German side of World War II and has a bad German accent to go along with that interest. There’s also the strict physics teacher who seems to be teaching well above high school level but also has a grudge against Stephen Hawking for some reason. But they’re not alone, there’s also two stereotypical “foreign exchange student” minions that work for the teachers who are planning on using a time machine to alter history for some reason that’s not very well explained. For the most part, neither one of them speak much English until the Russian girl tries to seduce the Football player Bob with a couple cartwheels and a kiss. The Russian girl is a gymnastics seductress and the Asian guy happens to be good at martial arts. One of the most unbelievable things is that the German accented history teacher is able to overpower the Freshman girl despite being frail enough to need to use a cane to walk and doesn’t even use any sort of weapon to intimidate her.
Despite the fact that the Asian henchman knows martial arts, the fight scenes are all pretty poor. There’s an incident between a couple guys with a gun who mug Missy and Bob before they get rescued by newly invulnerable Max. The one big difference between most superhero stories is that pretty much everyone knows about Max and his super powers by the next day. No secret identity required. Though when the grandfather finally does have the talk with Max, it turns out that it’s something that was passed down to Max through his Grandfather, though they seem to skip the explanation as to why his father (or possibly his mother) didn’t have the same super powers to have survived the accident. There’s also a subplot involving yet another teenager who seems to creepily follow Max around and watch him from a distance and that thread is never conclusively answered. Instead, he just basically joins the scooby gang once they go after the evil teachers.
It’s difficult to really get into this film because it’s just so dull. All of the acting from the teens is quite flat and uninteresting. During the climactic showdown between Max and the teacher, he’s supposed to be defiantly standing up to the teacher but his lines are delivered barely above a monotone. As such, it’s difficult to stay interested in anything that’s happening on screen. On top of that, there’s too much time dedicated to the cliched and predictable love story between Missy and Max, they even through a touch of Max getting a big head once the school knows about his abilities, though it’s quickly shot down as he’s not able to summon his super strength on command just yet. They even almost reference the “I’ve got you” “You’ve got me? Who’s got you?!” from Superman when Max is finally able to fly at the very end of the film. It’s really a big letdown through and through and I wouldn’t recommend seeking this out. I do appreciate the fact that they used real teenagers rather than actors, but it actually caused some significant continuity errors due to Max’s significant acne at times that he was able to clear up at some point during filming. All in all, there just wasn’t anything interesting to this movie whatsoever. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.