Real Steel Reviewed

I’m gonna give it to you straight. This movie is a must watch! After coming out from the preview I was speaking to a few friends from the media and everyone was pretty impressed with it. It’s heartwarming yet action packed and true to the Disney tune of movies with so many “Rocky” moments yet original in their own right.

What am I talking about?…read the review and you’ll understand what I mean.

The Plot

A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future where the sport of boxing has gone high-tech, Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring.

Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback

The Verdict

The setting does get the imagination flowing. Just think about it, a future that’s not too far away really and how boxing has gotten so intense that only high-tech robots have what it takes to compete. It’s quite possible especially with the human appetite for excitement so hard to meet in terms of expectations. A robot vs robot fight to the death. No guilt or real punishment except money to fix or buy a new robot.

Despite all this potential for super CGI effects galore to rival that of Transformers (Watch out Michael Bay this movie could easily replace Revenge of the Fallen), Real Steel still trusts a good, old-fashioned father-son drama to deliver the thrills. This movie is littered with “Rocky” moments. You want the good guy to win. The movements of the robots are very realistic and you do feel it’s quite possible for such a future.

Director Shawn Levy spoke of young Dakota Goyo as an actor to watch out for. Out of the thousands who auditioned for the role, Dakota was picked because Levy saw something he couldn’t quite explain about it. You’d have to watch him on screen to understand. Well I share the same sentiment. I really can’t explain it but this kid is brilliant! He’s so natural in his portrayal and he provides the laughs every now and then just for how innocently convincing he is. He was an absolute joy to watch on screen and really one of the main reasons you should catch this film.

The women will love Hugh Jackman no doubt but as his character and the relationship with Dakota Goyo developed, you could see this guy in search of redemption, trying his best to set things right. Director Shawn Levy said this movie was all about redemption, about being better than what these characters used to be and this action star was glowing with the emotion and desire to be a better father to his son in the movie.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The fight scene at the end can’t be ranked in the same class as that of the final battles in Lord of the RIngs or how Rocky beat the odds to defeat Drago in Rocky IV but you will feel it’s power as Max looks at his father, Charlie. The look of a son finally having his father back and a father finally being a hero to his son (something all fathers deep down try to be). It will bring a tear to your eyes.

Of course being the ever-so-manly character that I am, I controlled by tears in front of my date…haha!

Real Steel opens in cinemas 6 Oct.

Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Studios Singapore

By Elliott Danker

©POPCulture Online 2011, All Rights Reserved

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