Movie Review | Real Steel
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I gotta admit that upon seeing the trailer, I wasn’t entirely sold.
Certainly NOT a Transformers rip-off, Real Steel is much more than just brawling robots. It’s a film with heart and loads of soul. After plenty of rom-coms and family satires under his belt, Shawn Levy impresses us with this sci-fi gem which just might be one of the coolest action films we’ve seen in a while.
Inspired by Richard Matheson’s 1956 short story titled “Steel”.
Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is the desperate former boxer struggling to earn a living in year 2020. It’s a post-UFC era where Fight Club participants and WWE superstars are replaced with huge dandy robots. He is “forced” to temporarily take his son Max (Dakota Goyo) in due to unforeseen circumstances.
The unlikely pair begin to bond over their love for robots and fighting, with Charlie’s old friend Bailey Tallet (Evangeline Lilly) supporting them.
After a couple of failed attempts at winning some robot fights, Max stumbles upon a Gen 2 sparring robot, later to be named Atom. Charlie and Max finally catch a lucky break with Atom, eventually entering the WRB (Worldwide Robot Boxing) for a title match.
Hugh Jackman is fierce and breathtakingly beautiful (especially when he boxes). His initial insensitivity towards Max gradually turns into acceptance and devotion as the kid starts to grow on him. As usual, Jackman is entertaining and enjoyable to watch.
From his fear of screwing up to desire for self-assertion, Jackman’s commitment to the role of Charlie Kenton is solid gold.
Legendary champ Sugar Ray Leonard lends a boxing hand in the movie too!
Abstracted from The Atlantic:
“Steven Spielberg (Execcutive Producer) and Shawn Levy (Director) chose Olympic gold medal winner and retired champion Sugar Ray Leonard as not only boxing advisor but the model for the robots’ moves. (His boxing moves were filmed, digitalized and then projected for the robots.)”
Dakota Goyo is handsome, talented and comical. His frustrations towards Charlie and determination to see things through the very end are absolutely adorable. Goyo undoubtedly proves to be one of the film’s main starlets. Watch out for his dancing gimmick and entrance with homeboy Atom!
And if you think that he looks oddly familiar, Goyo had previously portrayed the adorable younger version of Thor!
Lost‘s Evangeline Lilly is lovely and beautiful as ever. The complex nature of her relationship with Charlie gives the story an added push. Charlie is a complicated individual yet, Bailey understands his needs perfectly. Evangeline and Jackman look great together!
The robots here are just super cool. They might not look like much at first but upon entering the ring, be prepared for some serious uppercuts and ass-whooping. The great thing about these robots is that they hold strong personalities, even though they’re to a large extent controlled by their owners.
For example, Midas (above) is a cocky one who frequently swipes his broom mohawk. (“The Miz”, much?)
Ambush and Noisy Boy, although not having that much screen time, still manage to create an impact on the audience. Ambush is robust and endearing while Noisy boasts samurai elegance.
The “Underdog” concept never gets old. Atom proves to be the People’s Champ. His “shadow function” casts him to be almost human-like and absolutely lovable.
Zeus is the Batista of the arena. Huge, strong and mighty, he’s heavy on both punches and.. programming (which will turn out to be a disadvantage later on).
Wrestling references and keywords aplenty, this movie is a mash-up of Rocky and WWE: Robot Edition.
Say it with me now, “Lets get ready to rummm-blllleeee!”
Refreshing with a wonderful cast, Real Steel packs the three S’s necessary for a good fight movie – Skill, Soul and Spirit. It also shows how these qualities are way more important than advanced technicality. (Old school rules)
While the whole estranged father and son concept may not be new, it is strong character portrayal and acting that truly matter at the end of the day. Each cast member is believable, convincing and extraordinarily good.
Some critics have complained that the only reason Jackman took on this role was so he could prove himself worthy of other characters besides Wolverine.
I say give the guy a break. He’s a brilliant actor and I don’t see any harm in him exploring. While several people have labelled Real Steel as a cheap-ass robot movie, I beg to differ.
Sure, this mini-robot flick might never live up to the epic-ness of Transformers. The film after all, isn’t supposed to be a huge-ass summer blockbuster so audiences should just enjoy it for what it really is – a knockout movie with heart. C’mon, they even built three animatronic robots for the film! (Motion capture technology was then used to depict the robots tussling)
Great soundtrack too, featuring the likes of Eminem, Beastie Boys and Foo Fighters!
*fist pumps in the air*