14th Jan2021

‘The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Scott Adkins, Elliot James Langridge, Tommy Flannigan, John Hannah, Lashana Lynch, Franz Drameh, Sally Collett, Jason Maza | Written by Sally Collett, Martin Owen | Directed by Martin Owen

2020 has been awful for most of us due to the pandemic and the start of this year is no better. Although new movies are not really being made, we are still getting release after realease. I find myself less interested in checking out the big-budget stuff like Tenet and can’t seem to find excitement for Wonder Woman 84. Instead I find myself turning to the lower budget, but way more outlandish, projects that serve up a nice big bowl of escapism. Movies like Knuckledust, Come Away or GLoc.

Recently the trailer for a new Scott Adkins movie dropped called The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud and straight away I was in for this one. I mean come on, Scott Adkins channelling his inner Buzz Lightyear and looks to have a blast doing so…AND the film has a retro-synth soundtrack. I’m in!

Sarah (Isabelle Allen) is a young video game enthusiast who spends most of her days on her favorite 8-bit side-scroller Max Cloud. She inadvertently finds herself transported into the game (because movies) and has inhabited the character of Jake (Elliot James Langridge). Within the game she finds herself on an intergalactic prison planet housing the most ruthless dangerous baddies in the galaxy, ran by Revengor (John Hannah) and his number one hechwoman Shee (Lashana Lynch).The only way to escape the planet and the game is to complete the missions by teaming up with space hero Max Cloud (Scott Adkins) and criminal Brock Donnelly (Tommy Flannigan) all the while being controlled by her friend Cowboy (Franz Drameh) back in her bedroom in Brooklyn.

As you can see when it comes to escapism The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud is as about as far as you can get. Now… A movie about being transported into a video game isn’t exactly a new concept BUT when we have done this before it’s usually this super high-end virtual reality world. However here our main character is sucked into a low end retro 8-bit side scroller and my nostalgia senses couldn’t be tingling any harder. We spend the bulk of the movie in Max Cloud’s spaceship and this set is just incredibly 80s harkening back to the cheao and cheerful days of Star Trek:TOS, which makes this world feel way more tangible. Alongside the sets I just could not get enough of the costumes – with our core space heroes in glorious old school bright jumpsuits. The prison planet looks like something straight out of the He-Man cartoons… F**k it let me just say this was up my street, think Turbo Kid but less viscerally brutal.

Adkins is peak Adkins here, with a performance so serious yet so camp he just oozes Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Needless to say his cherography is excellent, as always, and tends to be the only time this movie crosses into the more adult realm with some gorgeous brutal combat; one scene in particular where he literally sticks a baddie to the ceiling with his big ass knife is glorious. Adkins drops one-liners all over the place but unlike some characters where you might think “Ugggh” it all works because remember this is a retro computer game character. He is even doing things in scenes that I wonder if he just threw them in on the fly, for instance there are moments when he is literally doing nothing but is in a ready for combat stance bouncing back and forward like they used to do in Double Dragon, or his little victory poses as he reaches to the skies during fight mode. This may be the most perfect character Scott Adkins could possibly play and I want to see a franchise here.

John Hannah is channeling his inner Dennis Hopper in the Super Mario Bros. movie and cranking that up to 11. While he didn’t have a great deal to do, he did his role great and hammed his performance to the max. I am always happy to see Tommy Flannigan and he was flexing his comedy muscle in this one with some typically dry delivery. Writer Sally Collett also plays Rexy who rounds out our Space Force team and she is just the tonic needed to really ground these characters and almost act as the viewer in the way she perceives things. The crucial thing, I think, for the above performances is that these characters are unaware they are in a video game and play it straight down the line… as you would hope.

The big suprise of The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud is Elliot James Langridge, who plays the sidekick character possessed with the mind of a young girl to a tee – knowing enough of what’s happening, while not really being able to do much about it. To be fair there isn’t a bad performer in this cast. Everyone is putting in a solid performance and contributing to a movie that knows where it lives. Oh hell, nearly forgot, it was good to see Jason Maza popping up in this too, always nice to see him on screen.

Director Martin Owen and writer Sally Collett have crafted an awesome world for these characters and I was smiling from ear to ear all the way through The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud. The physical sets look great, the acting is just on the right side of the line, the fight scenes are glorious with some top notch cinematography during those scenes. Is the movie perfect? Of course it isn’t. I mean come on a movie like this will always have some wonky elements but as far as I am concerned, it’s a hell of a lot of fun and had me entertained from fade in to fade out. I want a trilogy of these movies, I want to see Scott Adkins play Max Cloud forever and I want this team to be making them.

Score-wsie I’m going for a 4 out of 5 here, a super-super-strong 4 out of 5. I hope more than anything this movie finds its audience but I can see that it will be a pretty marmite movie for some people and to those people I say wind your neck in, you are part of the reason we can’t have nice things.

**** 4/5

The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud is released on DVD and Blu-ray, in the UK, on January 18th 2021.

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