Sunday, November 06, 2011

Real Steel

Year: 2011
Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie

Plot: In a future where robot boxing has replaced human boxing, a washed up fighter and his estranged son attempt to bring their underdog robot named Atom all the way to the World Robot Boxing championship.

Review: I remember seeing the trailer to this film many times in the last several months. The more I saw it, the more I thought it was gonna be a stinker. But the reviews were positive, and I love Hugh Jackman, so I gave it a shot.

To be honest, Real Steel isn't perfect, but these days when can you ever ask for perfection when it comes to movies? Real Steel, at its heart, is an underdog story, which is heavily inspired it seems, by Rocky, judging by the similarities.

Jackman is Charlie Kenton, a former boxer who tries his best to make ends meet by getting a robot that can help him win a fight. He is down on his luck, until his estranged son Max finds a sparring robot named Atom at the junkyard, and convinces his father to teach him some moves. Along the way, Charlie learns a thing or two about fatherhood and fighting for the people that you love. And of course, the underdog robot triumphs in his own way.

Director Shawn Levy successfully crafts a heartwarming story that will appeal to most people, even though it seems very familiar. It helps that Jackman and Dakota Goyo have great chemistry as father and son, and it holds the story together well enough. The real appeal however are the robot fights, that are very realistic indeed. You'd think that the effects would be choppy for a family film like this, but no! The robots look and sound real, every punch, swing and impact feel authentic, which make all the robot fights very exciting to behold.

My only gripe is that the film took a little too long to finish, but other than that, Real Steel is knockout entertainment. I'll admit, this isn't Jackman's best work, I still love seeing him as Wolverine. But if you love underdog stories and great action, Real Steel is a solid choice. (3.5/5)

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