Monday, January 25, 2021

Max Cloud Review: A Fun and Ridiculous Video Game and Science Fiction Homage

Scott Adkins	...	Max Cloud John Hannah	John Hannah	...	Revengor Lashana Lynch	Lashana Lynch	...	Shee Elliot James Langridge	Elliot James Langridge	...	Jake Franz Drameh	Franz Drameh	...	Cowboy Isabelle Allen	Isabelle Allen	...	Sarah Sally Collett	Sally Collett	...	Rexy Jason Maza	Jason Maza	...	Space Witch Tommy Flanagan	Tommy Flanagan	...	Brock Donnelly Sam Hazeldine	Sam Hazeldine	...	Tony Andi Osho	Andi Osho	...	Sofia Shirin Daryaie	Shirin Daryaie	...	Scavenger Martyn Ford	Martyn Ford	...	Musculor Finley Sebastian Pearson	Finley Sebastian Pearson	...	Young Max Cloud (as Finley Pearson) Geraldine Sharrock	Geraldine Sharrock	...	Max Cloud's Mum

Release date: December 18, 2020
Running time: 88 minutes
Starring:  Scott Adkins, John Hannah, Tommy Flanagan, Lashana Lynch, Sally Collett, Elliot James Langridge, and Franz Drameh
Director: Martin Owen
Writers: Sally Collett, Martin Owen

When teen gamer Sarah finds an “easter egg” and accidentally opens a portal into her favorite classic beat em up, she becomes trapped in a notorious intergalactic prison, home to the galaxy’s most dangerous villains. To escape, she must finish the game with a little help from her not-so-savvy friend on the outside . . . or remain a 16-bit character forever.

Director: Martin Owen Writers: Sally Collett, Martin Owen    Scott Adkins	...	executive producer Kirsty Bell	...	executive producer Loni Farhi	...	executive producer Alan Latham	...	producer Mike Leeder	...	executive producer Philippe Martinez	...	executive producer Thomas Mattinson	...	producer Phil McKenzie	...	producer Stephen Naulls	...	associate producer Martin Owen	...	executive producer Sarah Stennett	...	executive producer Kirsten Stoddart	...	line producer Matt Williams	...	producer
Max Cloud is set in the 90s with this fantastic 90s video game style.  It has some ridiculous situations and overacting, which fit perfectly with the video game mentality.  Additionally, the film's style is accentuated by a heaping helping of neon lights, ridiculous technology, and convoluted video game plot.  The film is filled with over the top 80s and 90s style, from the Star Trek and space opera style uniforms, to the space ship style sets, and even the overall world.  And even outside the video game there are lots of references, from the character's clothing to Sarah's room and game console.  And the movie has some great power ballad rock songs that feel perfectly appropriate to the style.  The movie centers around a 16-bit game that is shown to highlight the occurances in the film itself.  

And the world of Max Cloud is filled with some fun characters.  Scott Adkins plays the main character of Max Cloud, and this role is perfect for him.  He has the martial arts chops to go hand to hand with the enemies, but also gets to show a little comedy with his over the top machismo character.  He would be perfectly suited in some TV prime time space special from the 90s.  Sally Collett as Rexy is also quite good, someone who is a leader in the group and also more realistic about everything going on.  And Langridge as Jake is fun to watch and who has to play a more nuanced character, since he is the conduit for Sarah into this world.  And John Hannah as Revengor gets to show his villain side but still keeps it corny and silly, perfectly fitting with this world.  And Franz Drameh as Cowboy was a character too, who had to contend with this strange situation but also perfectly fit in the 90s style.  

You can tell whoever made this film loved video games.  There are references and easter eggs to gaming throughout.  There are fun 16-bit sound effects, chiptune music, bright neon colors, and little video game touches that highlight this style of gaming and this time.  I loved some of the little touches, like how Max Cloud hid behind a small column to avoid being seen, some silly fight mechanics and cheeses straight out of any fighting game, and some of the funny movement glitches in the film.  And the pixel art effects and pixel wipes between scenes were a clever touch as well.  It also has a fun, silly twist towards the end and different styles of games depicted.  The film has some beat em up, some side scrolling, and some traditional fighter styles throughout.  The whole thing feels like an amazing homage to both video games and science fiction that any fan of this genre will appreciate.  

Max Cloud is the ridiculous 90s science fiction and video game homage that we didn't know we needed with plenty of fun, 16 bit gaming references, and a great space opera cast. 

Watch it.

Video games 16 bit space opera mortal kombat fighting side scroller chiptunes space
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Max Cloud is available digitally on December 18, 2020 and on physical media January 19, 2021. 

For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

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