Yes, Rock’em Sock’em Robots are cool again!! 🙂
In the future, where watching actual athletes in a boxing ring becomes too mundane and humane, people began to cheer for champions of a robotic nature. Enter Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman). Hustler, loner, self-centered, egotistical, overconfident, washed-up boxer that now competes in robot boxing for a living. Unfortunately, he wins about as many battles in real life as he does in the robotic ring. That is, until, he inconveniently and unexpectedly ends up being paired with a son, Max (Dakoto Goyo) he didn’t want and didn’t even know he had. Together, through a string of events, they uncover a junked-out robot and reluctantly, at first, work together to see some much-needed victory in both of their lives…in, and out, of the ring and show to themselves above all others that they are truly made out of Real Steel!
Well, there you go! You know the plot! You’ve seen the story a thousand times! A fun family film that is different yet familiar. And that, unfortunately is one of the downfalls of this film. It tells an all too familiar story with completely recognizable clichés. This actually, aside from the visuals of the robots themselves, is what makes the film a bit of a bore during the first two acts.
Don’t get me wrong. The film has its exciting parts, and the actors do an excellent job with their performances. Hugh Jackman plays the part impeccably, Dakota Goya is highly believable as what I would expect a son of Hugh Jackman to be like, and Evangeline Lilly, a bit miscast possibly, but adequate in her performance. The problem with the film is that it continues to thrust the “kid is smarter than the adult” persona down our throats and it’s an annoying pill to have to swallow over and over again in movies.
If you can look past that, the film still drags on in story, tantalizing with a few emotionally attaching parts, laughs, and excitement as the two familial fighters work to bring their discovered promising boxing robot, Atom, to the big league with a shot at the title.
Those that leave the theater during the first two acts, however, miss out on the action-packed, yet predictable, third and final act! In a Rocky-esque way, Charlie, Max, and Atom make their way to the final bout and it packs a whallop of emotion, excitement, action, and hope! In the end, the title attributes to the competition and also what the main characters had to be made of in order to persevere. It is the third and final act that redeems the movie and ultimately makes it an enjoyable watch.
I have mixed feelings about this film, and while it is unoriginal in premise, I can appreciate the AMAZING special effects, and the ingenuity of the cast and crew. (i.e., using the actual moves of boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, using actual built robots in addition to CGI for the film, etc). Go see it with low expectations and it will increase your enjoyment! Not a knockout, but worth a shot! Stay past the first two rounds and Real Steel might just make a believer out of you!
Take a look to see what the First Fans had to say, courtesy my friend Casey Messer with ReelzChannel:
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!
–TheSp1der’s Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars for “Real Steel”