A real-life gaming experience takes on a literal meaning in Well Go USA’S Max Cloud from director Martin Owens. Set in Brooklyn in that wild era known as the nineties, the film takes us back when sixteen-bit cartridges were all the rage. Max Cloud follows Sarah (Isabelle Allen), an avid gamer. Totally enamored in the gaming world, Sarah is neglecting her chores, much to the dismay of her dad Tony (Sam Hazeldine).
Sarah finds an “Easter egg” and accidentally opens a portal into her favorite side-scroller Max Cloud. Soon she finds herself assuming the role of Jake (Elliot James Langridge) sidekick to Max Cloud (Scott Adkins). The ship has crash-landed on the planet of Heinous, a prison for the galaxy’s most evil and dangerous criminals and ruled by the utterly bizarre Revengor (John Hannah) and the evil sorceress Shee (Lashana Lynch). Unable to use her real-world wit, Sarah has no idea what to do or how she will escape. Soon Sarah realizes that she must finish the game with a little help from her not-so-savvy friend Cowboy (Franz Drameh) on the outside…or remain a 16-bit character forever.
Max Cloud has an exciting premise that I’m sure gamers will appreciate. One thing that was apparent to me was co-writers Sally Collet & Martin Owen have a love for video games. The actual video game scenes of Max Cloud reminded me of both Double Dragon and Mortal Kombat, two games I grew up loving. The moments where Max Cloud engages in hand to hand combat are different from Scott Adkins usual fighting style and instead stays true to the flavor of an old school video game.
In all honesty, the fight scenes are pretty tame and come off somewhat comical, but I believe that was the intent. Granted, Scott Adkins brings a dabble of his smoldering athleticism in a fight scene or two. But die hard Adkins fan may be a bit upset that Adkins isn’t overly brutal. Nevertheless, Adkins is more than up to the challenge of having a good time going against type on screen.
The supporting cast is all pretty solid as well. Tommy Flannigan pops up as a member of Max’s team, while John Hannah and Lashana Lynch are having a great time portraying our villains. I also commend the director and writer for Cowboy’s (Franz Drameh) characterization, as it’s always refreshing to see a blerd displayed on the screen. With a quick run time of under ninety minutes, Max Cloud is a fun flick that gamers now in their forties can enjoy with their own kids.
Final Grade B
Max Cloud will available on Demand December 18th.
Physical Copies will be available for purchase on-line at your favorite retailer on January 19, 2021.