The year is 2020. Things look pretty much the same as they do now...Except in the world of boxing. Humans have evolved to the point where they no longer get excited by watching men and women pummel each other. Score one for us.
What we have instead is 'Robot Boxing' which I have to say is...really, really cool...especially the way it's depicted in this new fantasy, action film, called 'Real Steel' directed by Shawn Levy.
First of all, these 'robot boxers' aren't your everyday garden variety robots. These animatronic, mechanical men are over 8 feet tall, made of steel and each one, has his own very unique personality. And wow, can they box.
When 'Real Steel' opens, we meet, Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) a washed up fighter who finds himself in a world where he doesn't fit in. No longer a boxer, Charlie makes his living hustling. He travels from one seamy underground boxing venue to the next, scoring fights for his low-end bots that he's pieced together.
After his last robot gets destroyed at a County Fair boxing match, run by super sleavy ex boxer/promoter, Ricky (the wonderful Kevin Durand) Charlie desperately needs money...not only to buy another robot, but to pay off his gambling debts.
Charlie makes his way to Tallet's gym and to his girlfriend, Bailey Tallet. Her father trained Charlie back in the day...Now she helps him rebuild his robots and rest his weary bones, whenever he comes into town.
Only this time, Bailey has had it with Charlie and his fighting bots. She's spent years giving Charlie money and now she's not only broke but on the verge of losing her gym.
As fate would have it, Charlie finds out that he's a father. Backstory moment: After charlie broke up with late girlfriend, she gave birth to a boy, Max (Dakota Goyo). Max is now eleven and the deceased girlfriend's sister, Debra (Hope Davis) and her wealthy husband, Marvin (James Rebhorn) want custody of him. Got all that?
Charlie, being the wheeler-dealer that he is, agrees to give them Max...for a price...$100,000. Now you can't really blame him...He doesn't even know the boy and he desperately needs the money, so he can buy a new robot.
Marvin agrees on one conditioner...Charlie has to keep Max for the summer so he and his wife can go off on their planned Italian vacation. Charlie relunctantly agrees.
Now this arrangement doesn't sit at all well with Max... The kid feels abandoned by his father and he doesn't want anything to do with him. And Charlie...well he probably can't even spell the word...nuturing. He is totally clueless when it comes to being a dad.
'Real Steel' is the story of the 'underdog'...It's also the story of three abandoned beings...Charlie, Max and Atom, the little robot that nobody wanted that come together and surprise the world and they surprise each other.
This film has brilliantly designed robots, edge of your seat boxing matches...and a robot...doing the 'Robot'. It's a movie that will have you smiling way after the credits come on the screen.
'Real Steel' is a film for anyone who's connected to their 'inner kid'.
I gave 'Real Steel' 4 1/2 bagels out of 5. John as usual, had a different opinion. Check out our video to see his bagel score.
'Real Steel' opens in theaters Friday, October 7, 2011.
I knew going into the film “Real Steel” that I was in for something not entirely special and yet I hoped for the best. I mean once you’ve seen the trailer, you already know where everything is headed, and let’s be honest here, the film does feel that it had been inspired by those little toy robots that you mash buttons to get them to do some boxing. I mean, it also comes complete with a boxing ring and the robots in “Real Steel” even have that inspired look. Well, … more
Boxing movies have been a staple of Hollywood for decades. Some of the earliest celluloid offerings documented pugilistic bouts in films such as Raging Bull, The Fighter, and the iconic Rocky series and helped boxing cement itself in both popular and cinematic culture. In the film “Real Steel”, Hugh Jackman plays Charlie Kenton, a down-on-his-luck promoter whose best days are definitely behind him. In the near-future setting of the film, robots have replaced humans in the boxing ring … more
Star Rating: In Shawn Levy’s Real Steel, hulking robots fight each other in back-alleys and sports arenas as frothing crowds cheer them on. This blending of science fiction and fantasy, coupled with the adrenaline rush from the sheer spectacle of brawling metal behemoths, automatically makes the robots more interesting than the human characters. I honestly don’t know if this flaw can be attributed to the underlying concept, which I think is in the … more
Most of the rating is because of Hugh's and Dakota's performances as an estranged father and son forming a bond while bring an underdog fighting robot from underground fighting to the big time. Yes, there are a lot of similarities to Rocky, but I do believe this film does not rely on the underdog-does-good theme. I also was blown away with the special effects and CG work that looked so real.
James and I watched Real Steel on Blu-ray last night and I am happy to say that surpassed my expectations! I am a Hugh Jackman fan (I mean, who isn't?) and I was intrigued by the idea of watching robots box. I was hooked after the first ten or fifteen minutes and gave the movie my undivided attention. The actors and directors did an amazing job with this film. My favorite part was when the kid was teaching the robot to dance. My husband looked at me and said "if we ever get a robot, that's the first … more
OK, I pirated it off the net. Just passed half way thru I started scanning forward through the flick. I have deleted it from my computer. I had completely forgotten it until looking down this list. Hopefully it won't be long until I forget it again. Not even as good as Cowboys and Aliens.
Hugh shows he can be a leading man playing someone who is not heroic. The acting takes center stage over the incredible special effects. Shaw Levy did a great job balancing the complex and eye catching effects with the heartfelt story line. All of the principles did well. My only complaint is that there was a bit too much reliance on the smart, cute kid story line. On the other hand Shawn (and Hugh) took a lot of time to bring out the best performance out of Dakota Goyo playing Max, the son of Hugh's … more
My husband (creator of the cult classic films FACES OF DEATH) andmyself (actress/screenwriter) are ex New Yorkers, see alot of films and usually disagree. So our friends decided that we need a review … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.