The following is lifted from the film’s publicity note:

‘Max Beyond utilises the latest ground-breaking Realtime animation technology called Unreal Engine (the same engine tech used to power video games like Fortnite). Using this approach has also enabled HaZimation to take a Transmedia view to expand the story and universe of Max Beyond into a video game (Consoles + PC).’

To be honest some of that doesn’t mean much to me but to others it will, so I felt it necessary to include it verbatim rather than attempt an interpretation of it.

Another thing to note is that this film serves as an introduction to a Max Beyond game that is in development due for release in 2025. With all that said let’s get to the story and the film as presented.

Max Walker (Cade Tropeano) is being held by the Axiom science institute and studied/cared for by Ava Johnson (Jane Perry) as Max can see the past, future and travel through multi-verses. But this takes a lot of energy, which he begins to lose as he tries to find a universe that doesn’t have his brother Leon (Dave Fennoy) killed while trying to spring him.

The institute is in the middle of a virtual war zone with the world on the tip of total social collapse. Yet there are forces that are after Max’s brain for nefarious purposes disregarding what is going on around them.

The first thing that strikes is the CGI animation isn’t what mainstream filmgoers are used to these days. It has a basic look with the characters movements at times looking odd having an almost Gerry Anderson puppet like gait and balance about them.

This could be par for the course for gameplay, and the film as mentioned above has gamers very much in mind. There is a lot of violence, bloodletting, fast editing, reaction, and combat as well as first person shooter perspective.

However another effect of this animation is that the actors sound stilted when their performances are synced with the characters. It makes them look and sound clumsy working with a script which is dealing with emotional and technical science theory.

Another issue is that it is necessarily repetitive with Max searching for a universe where his brother lives. There are variations within each of the scenarios but it does get tedious.

On the plus side the film directed by Hasraf 'HaZ' Dulull, co-written with Stavros Pamballis and Paula Crickard does look excellent with marvellous use of colour and backgrounds. And the effects when Max is moving between universes are beautiful.

Max Beyond will be available on Digital Download in the UK from 22 April & US from 23 April 2024.