STEEL is in the vein of Disney/ Dreamworks family films for the 21st century. You have the down-on-your-luck
ex-boxer who has a kid he doesn't want to raise and he learns to love his son. The film features robot boxing and so
REAL STEEL is a family sci-fi version of Rocky with robots. Evangeline Lily is wasted in her small role as the love
interest of the ex-boxer. He is a down-and-out man who somewhat find redemption, but the robot boxing is
the real steal of REAL STEEL.
Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) travel across the country about 10 years in the future
where robot boxing is very popular. He finds out his son Max (Dakota Goyo) is left alone after his mother is killed
in an accident. Charlie doesn't want Max, but he ends up up with him for the summer after selling Max to Max's aunt
and older husband. After another robot is trashed in the ring, Charlie and Max break into a junkyard where Max comes
across an old robot called Atom. Charlie wants to sell Atom every chance he gets, but Max believes this robot has a
chance. It could even lead to a David Vs. Goliath match between Atom and the big robot champion Zeus.
REAL STEEL is a an interesting film which delivers on a few
fronts while leaving some threads hanging like what is the level of Atom's intelligence. Does the owner of Zeus (the daughter of
a rich Russian businessman) know something about Atom that the movie never says? I point to a scene where Atom and
Max are running around the streets at night and Max asks Atom if he can understand him. I wonder is Atom
more than a programmable robot with the moves of Charlie and Max. Could this robot boxer be independent and evolve?
REAL STEEL does have charm and the robot boxing is impressive
even though I wish the viewer saw more of the final robot boxing match and what happens in the aftermath
of the match once Max, Charlie, and Atom leave the ring. REAL STEEL has enough to show the world as
a rundown future that looks the same with robot boxing as the new form of entertainment. If they do make a sequel,
I want to see more about Atom's origins and whether Charlie will spend even more time with his son Max. The movie has parallels to
the first ROCKY and I wonder if a sequel will parallel the arc of ROCKY 2. I will enjoy the fun
of REAL STEEL again when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray.
this movie review is (c)10-11-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send
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