It’s never a good sign for a film’s American Box Office hopes when it’s first trailer comes out in Asia. Who knows. Maybe Max Steel is a thing over there. It seems like Mattel has been trying to turn the brand into something for the better part of a couple decades in the US, but each new cartoon or toy line disappears pretty quickly and without much fanfare. So sure, why not go all in and spend a crapload of money to turn it into a film.

Honestly, I’m amazed this one got made before they finally broke down and did a Stretch Armstrong film.

Max Steel is an in-depth “origin” story packed with captivating characters and fast-paced action. The plot chronicles the adventures of Max McGrath and his mother have just moved back to Copper Canyon, the town in which Max’s scientist father died in a mysterious accident shortly after Max was born. As Max adjusts to his new school, things get complicated when his body starts to generate strange energy flare-ups that he can’t control.

At first a confusing mix of inconvenient and exhilarating, this unpredictable power eventually grows too intense for Max to handle, causing him to distance himself from those around him including the girl he likes, Sofia. Eventually the energy pushes him to the verge of fatal combustion. In the nick of time, a techno-organic extraterrestrial named Steel, who has been secretly monitoring Max’s progress, saves him just before he loses consciousness. The two discover that when joined together they can control the energy and harness it into superhuman strength – and that when apart, neither can survive for long.

As these two unlikely friends learn to accept their connected fates, they begin to uncover secrets surrounding the death of Max’s father. As they dig deeper, they soon find themselves hunted by an unforeseen enemy bent on capturing Max and Steel for a sinister agenda of destruction. Uncertain who to trust, they will have to work together to find the truth, and fight the mysterious forces threatening our world.

The film stars Ben Winchell as Max Steel, and Maria Bello and Andy Garcia as his parents.