Real Steel Reviews
I thought the movie was entertaining from start to finish, I mean come one, who doesn't like fighting robots? But this film was special, it wasn't just a robot boxing movie, it was an under-dog story which was well-made and the casting for Hugh Jackman as the lead character was great and he himself praised the movie. Also the boxing scenes were very very well-done and were thrilling especially in the final act of the movie.
So in short, if you like boxing movies but want to see a unique one then would recommend it for you. But if you don't like robots then at least try this out and see what you think about it.
Overall score: 8/10 (Great).
An odd blend with the textured secondary (only due to its subtlety) storyline of sentimentality as a down-on-his-luck father and wise guy estranged son are forced together and must find common ground.
After losing his shot at a world title, washed-up boxer Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) has turned hustler. Forced out of the ring by 2000 pound, 8 foot-tall steel robots, Charlie is now reduced to the menial position of struggling small-time promoter for those machines that took his lively-hood, self-respect and dignity.
Owing money in every which direction, Charlie skips town after each sour bout before collection and the inevitable dose of grievous bodily harm. Charlie's myriad of bad decisions forces him to scavenge scrap-yards to cobble remnants of low-end bots into something barely worthy of illegal underground matches.
Unable to pay rent, Charlie is reluctantly being forced out of his gym-home by long-time suffering friend and once avid ringside supporter Bailey (Evangeline Lily). Hitting rock bottom with a resounding thud, things couldn't get any more difficult. Until his past comes knocking on the door.
Unaware that his estranged 11 year old son Max (Dakota Goyo) is now orphaned Charlie is ordered to a custody hearing. Needing money more than a surprise dependant, Charlie has no qualms in offering to sell his parental rights to Max's wealthy Aunt (Hope Davis) and Uncle (James Rebhorn) for a tidy sum.
There is a catch however, the perspective purchasers are off to Europe for the summer and Charlie gets half of the loot now and Max stays behind in his incapable care until their return.
The two headstrong males clash more than the titans Charlie manages and when the overly cocky Charlie ignores Max's cautionary warnings about an overly ambitious fight, Charlies shamefully destroys his parental down-payment paid for new robot gladiator.
Showing the same street smarts, determination and pure tenacity as his father Max discovers a totally complete discarded robot, named Atom. Sanguine in the idea that Atom is something special and can become a true championship contender, Max cleans his second generation reject pet project and orders Charlie to get him a fight.
Quickly discovering he is not the only hustler in the family, Charlie is roped into assisting his son in navigating the minor leagues. With Charlie's boxing know-how, Max's sheer enthusiasm, and Atom's abilities with a unique shadow function, their hopeful rise to the top isn't without its challenges.
In the brutal no-holds-barred championship arena, underdog Atom faces off against the imposing perfectly engineered Zeus and the rag tag trio get one last chance at a comeback.
High-tech but with a human side, this sci-fi action doesn't badger viewers with convoluted and overtly flashy designs. Employing a Rocky Balboa determination that inspires action rather than gimmicky and visually insulting transformations, this is turbo charged machine movie with heart.
Australia's favorite loveable larrikin Jackman exudes his usual likable charm; the required gruff, rough and tough portrayal hints at the genuine refinement lurking just below the surface. Spunky newcomer Goyo delivers on the right amount of precociousness to make this discarded child trying to teach his childish father a valuable lesson endearing.
The Verdict: Delivering more than just ring-side thrills, there are some gorgeous little moments of levity and innocence. The marriage of dancing, boxing and anti-hero Jackman is destined to become a winner no matter what the outcome.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 21/10/2011
Originally written October 21, 2011--
What a fun movie! The idea that robots can fight each other in a boxing ring kind of like the old "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em" robots has been taken to the next level in this fun film. Hugh Jackman gives an awesome performance as a former boxer trying to relive his glory days. He's selfish, he's childish, and in the words of another character, "a bad bet." It takes an unlikely reunion and summer road trip with his estranged 11-year old son with a "bot" they build together and start winning fights with to help him realize what's truly important. Great family film!