Latest Movie News Headlines

Review: Real Steel

Oct. 6, 2011by: JimmyO

PLOT: Ex-boxer Charlie Kenton has a problem. Not only does he owe too much money due to bad bets on robot boxing, his ex-girlfriend has died leaving him with their eleven-year-old son Max. Thankfully, the exs sister wants the boy, and he wants to get rid of him. After making a deal with the sisters husband, Charlie takes his son for the summer. Max, while at first resentful of his father, begins to appreciate the wild life his dad leads. He soon becomes involved in the rough and tumble world of robot boxing with a robot that he discovers named Atom. Plus, a bunch of robots beat each other to an oily pulp!

REVIEW: REAL STEEL is an action-packed, heart and soul fueled drama with terrific performances from Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and a breakthrough performance by Dakota Goyo. It also features a lively soundtrack featuring Eminem, Beastie Boys and Tom Morello with an understated yet impressive score by Danny Elfman. Between this and THE IRON GIANT, robots may well be the next mans best friend. This sci-fi flick plays on reality as well as it does on the fantasy. ROCKY with Robots? You betcha, and it works!

Based on a short story by Richard Matheson (which also inspired THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode Steel), this is more a human drama than anything else. To be exact, this is a father and son torn apart and brought back together drama that features a sci-fi premise. The film begins with an unlikable loser named Charlie Kenton (Jackman) who is looking for an easy break by recycling robots and betting on them to fight in the ring. However, Charlie doesnt seem to know a good thing when he has one. This would include a relationship he had long since abandoned, including a son he never sees. When the boys mother dies, Charlie is ordered to court to help decide where the eleven-year-old would finally call home. This leads to one of the most touching father/son relationships weve seen in awhile.

When the boys Aunt Debra (Hope Davis) and her husband Marvin (James Rebhorn) arrive, Charlie tells Marvin that he would easily give up his son for the right price. A pathetic dad if there ever was one, right? While he may be horrified, Marvin agrees on one condition, Charlie will take Max (Goyo) for the summer. For this, the robot jock will receive a large sum of money. After disappearing from his young sons life, there is much catching up to do and of course, memories to be shared. Yet the script by John Gatins tackles what could have been a sappy family tale into an unexpectedly effective script. And aside from a couple of silly moments in the course of a montage, director Shawn Levy manages to balance everything right into the climactic battle.

This final clash of the robots is part of a long line of inspirational moments, including ROCKY and the recent WARRIOR. It is when young Max who has taken rather well to his fathers world puts a sparring robot that he discovered on the line. He hopes to prove that the underdog can be the hero kinda like his long lost dad maybe? Absolutely! Thankfully for everyone, young Goyo is a good actor. The moments he shares with his on-screen dad are funny, heartbreaking and genuine. This most certainly wouldnt have worked nearly as well had it not been for a fantastic father/son bond. It was also nice to see the growth between both characters as well.

Speaking of nice, I must take notice of the tough as nails, yet heart of an angel charms in Evangeline Lilly from the hit series "Lost." She is marvelous as a woman getting used to Charlie (a friend?) being so many miles away all the time. As mentioned, this is a human story set in the future, yet these characters make it feel all the more real. It is much easier to accept this strange new robot butt-kicking universe with Lilly and Jackman, let alone young Goyo.

As far as the look of the film goes, it is hard to imagine, but these fights are extremely impressive. So much so that you nearly forget about who is pushing the buttons behind them. The bots themselves are an extraordinary bunch. Noisy Boy, Zeus, Twin Cities, Midas, Metro and the rest of the steel bots are more than impressive on screen. Yet it is Atom the underdog who really steals the show. Atom works it big time with some crazy dance moves and his undying spirit. To conjure up as much emotion as REAL STEEL manages to do with robots punching it out, it is easy to forget how foreign the concept really is (especially if you are a huge fan of Rock em Sock em Robots).

Source: JoBlo.com

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+17
7:52AM on 10/06/2011
I'll eat my humble pie, I truly thought this would be a total piece of garbage. If it's this good, then I hope it does well.
I'll eat my humble pie, I truly thought this would be a total piece of garbage. If it's this good, then I hope it does well.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:07PM on 10/06/2011

My goodness...

... I would smash Evangeline Lilly's back doors in!
... I would smash Evangeline Lilly's back doors in!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+11
11:47AM on 10/06/2011
There has been a lot of negativity around this movie right from the beginning.
I have to admit that thinking of all the people who are having to eat their words for judging a movie way too early is moderately amusing (especially among those who won't admit their hasty judgment).
There has been a lot of negativity around this movie right from the beginning.
I have to admit that thinking of all the people who are having to eat their words for judging a movie way too early is moderately amusing (especially among those who won't admit their hasty judgment).
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:40AM on 10/06/2011
I was really hoping this flick would be good. It's the type of movie I would have killed to see when I was a kid.
I was really hoping this flick would be good. It's the type of movie I would have killed to see when I was a kid.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+8
8:54AM on 10/06/2011

8/10, bang-on

Caught a preview screening on Tuesday and really enjoyed it. Arguably beats Super 8 at its own game. Super 8 might be better on technique, but Real Steel has more originality and imagination, and both have a lot of heart. Hell, the Amblin comparison alone should do it- go see it.
Caught a preview screening on Tuesday and really enjoyed it. Arguably beats Super 8 at its own game. Super 8 might be better on technique, but Real Steel has more originality and imagination, and both have a lot of heart. Hell, the Amblin comparison alone should do it- go see it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:20PM on 10/06/2011
The comment/guy below me is an idiot.......... and he has Gonorrhea.
The comment/guy below me is an idiot.......... and he has Gonorrhea.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:25AM on 10/06/2011
HAH! See? From the start I knew that this movie had potential for greatness. Now I know that if even a JoBlo.com critic could be swayed by it, it HAS to be THAT GOOD.
HAH! See? From the start I knew that this movie had potential for greatness. Now I know that if even a JoBlo.com critic could be swayed by it, it HAS to be THAT GOOD.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:44AM on 10/06/2011
They've also marketed this movie really well. It got you to stop thinking about it as some gimmicky Hugh Jackman vehicle, and more as you say an early Amblin-style family film like Back to the Future.

I guess with Warrior I'm now 0-for-2 on predicting the quality of this year's competitive fighting movies.
They've also marketed this movie really well. It got you to stop thinking about it as some gimmicky Hugh Jackman vehicle, and more as you say an early Amblin-style family film like Back to the Future.

I guess with Warrior I'm now 0-for-2 on predicting the quality of this year's competitive fighting movies.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:00AM on 10/06/2011
8/10. Not bad, not bad at all.
8/10. Not bad, not bad at all.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
2:10AM on 10/08/2011

A Good Time After All

Here is an over-the-top idea to bring in a rock 'em sock 'em robot movie with Wolverine rather than Optimus Prime that many are overlooking from the trailers. Guess what, the movie was great and a lot of fun! I took the family and if the wife enjoyed it, then you know it wasn't that bad. The fights did remind me of Rocky and even a few of them seemed to mirror Balboa's fights, I was hooked into them no different rooting for Atom. My boy was loving every second of it. So if you want to be
Here is an over-the-top idea to bring in a rock 'em sock 'em robot movie with Wolverine rather than Optimus Prime that many are overlooking from the trailers. Guess what, the movie was great and a lot of fun! I took the family and if the wife enjoyed it, then you know it wasn't that bad. The fights did remind me of Rocky and even a few of them seemed to mirror Balboa's fights, I was hooked into them no different rooting for Atom. My boy was loving every second of it. So if you want to be entertained, blow off the negative critics and go see it. That's what movies are about right, just enjoying it and not wanting everything to be grounded in realism?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:49AM on 11/10/2011
awsome movie
awsome movie
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-1
3:45PM on 10/06/2011

It's getting very decent reviews

Someone made a robot movie that is actually good? Alert Michael Bay!
Someone made a robot movie that is actually good? Alert Michael Bay!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:40PM on 10/07/2011
i just dont think i could dig this film its premise is just too silly to me plus the trailer made it look so damn cheesy!
i just dont think i could dig this film its premise is just too silly to me plus the trailer made it look so damn cheesy!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-5
7:50PM on 10/09/2011
I'm going to have to disagree. I thought this was pretty bad. Here's the full review:

[link]
I'm going to have to disagree. I thought this was pretty bad. Here's the full review:

[link]
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-15
4:16PM on 10/06/2011
You know, if I'm really being honest, I still think this sounds stupid, but maybe I'm just not the demographic for this movie. Then again, maybe I'm totally picturing this movie wrong and it's great. I just don't really care about robots fighting each other? It's the most boring part of the Transformers movies for me, and seems to be the focal point of this one, so unless the human drama is great, I don't see myself liking this. And Shawn Levy sucks, his best movie is what? Date Night? Night at
You know, if I'm really being honest, I still think this sounds stupid, but maybe I'm just not the demographic for this movie. Then again, maybe I'm totally picturing this movie wrong and it's great. I just don't really care about robots fighting each other? It's the most boring part of the Transformers movies for me, and seems to be the focal point of this one, so unless the human drama is great, I don't see myself liking this. And Shawn Levy sucks, his best movie is what? Date Night? Night at the Museum?

However, props to them for casting Evangeline Lilly. I also like Mackie and Durand, but the more Evangeline Lilly the better. I will see it though, since I was expecting a 3-4/10, and maybe it surprises me, who knows.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:19PM on 10/06/2011
Pretty sure Transformers were the focal point of Transformers genius.
Pretty sure Transformers were the focal point of Transformers genius.
View All Comments

Latest Movie News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!