I almost had to go on the Movie Critic Disabled List for strained
eyeballs because I was rolling them so much during the trailer and
commercials for Real Steel.
It was so cheesy, I was ready to call it a Feast of Fromage. Yet,
amazingly, shockingly, in defiance of everything I hold dear, Real
Steel didn't stink. I am almost
embarrassed to admit I kind of liked it. They're going to take away my
movie critic card (I really do have one).
Set in the near future (about 2027, also known as the year Nostradamus
predicts Suri Cruise takes over the planet), Hugh Jackman stars as
Charlie Kenton - a former human boxer who has become involved in robot
boxing by traveling from town to town in the dirtier underworld of the
sport, picking up any robot he can, and hoping to win a few fights to
pay off some of his debts. Sadly, he's not all that great at it, but
Charlie has a new challenge ahead.
Charlie had a kid about 11 years ago, but hasn't been any kind of
father to the boy. Now, the mother has passed away, and opportunity
arises. In a deal that would make Michael Lohan look like Father of the
Year, Charlie agrees to forgo any parental rights to the boy, Max
(Dakota Goyo), in exchange for $100,000. The only catch? He has to take
the kid for the summer, and, together, they rise to heights neither one
could on his own.
When Max finds his own robot boxer, can he and Charlie find success?
Can Charlie find redemption and become a better man?
I still can't believe I kinda liked Real
Steel. It has all of the
elements of a big, huge stinker along the lines of Gigli
or What's Your Number?,
yet, director Shawn Levy and writer John Gatins find some way to infuse
a grand, infectious spirit into Real
Steel that makes it feel like Rocky
and warms the cockles of my heart even though it is full of every
cliché you can imagine.
is a very broad movie where evil people might as well be twirling
handlebar mustaches, little hearts and tweety birds should appear over
the obvious love interest, and kids are overly precocious to the point
of making you sick to your stomach. Subtlety is left at the door in
this movie, but Jackman is solid.
I don't know why he sports the kind of New York accent you can barely
find in The Big Apple in 2011, but he is awesome in his big moment
where Charlie has to realize what horrible mistakes he has made in
life, and we see great determination as he tries to capture his one
chance at greatness. Jackman elevates the movie, but those robots help
I love the robots. Who doesn't dig Robot-on-Robot action? They look
awesome in battle with an easy flow and human-like movements while
fighting. However, each one gets his own little personality, which is
what draws us in and makes those fights realistic and compelling.
might not be a great movie. In fact, it is not a great movie. However,
it is entertaining.
Steel is rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action and brief