Directed by Shawn Levy
Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton
Dakota Goyo as Max Kenton
Evangeline Lilly as Bailey Tallet
Real Steel is a silly film that puts a silly smile on your face. It’s as simple as that. Full disclosure, there are a lot of cliches involved in this film. You have the absentee father and the prodigy son who must forge a bond, the scrappy underdog who takes on the menacing champ, the impossible beauty who waits eons for her love, yadda yadda yadda. But it’s a perfectly enjoyable way to spend 2 hours.
The father-son duo build up an outdated bot called Atom and slowly work their way up the robot boxing ladder. Atom is an animatronic robot, but he’s got personality. It’s very easy to like him and cheer for him in his fights. That turns out to be one of the movie’s pitfalls: the good guys are much better characterized than the bad guys. The villains of this story are generic bad guys who grit their teeth, thumb their noses at the heroes and send a monstrous robot called Zeus to pulverize Atom.
Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo and Atom in “Real Steel”
The fight scenes are thrilling and easy to follow. I’m thankful that this wasn’t in 3D, I wouldn’t have liked it as much. There are moments in the second half of the film, when you see joy and tears and exultation and you think to yourself “How many cliches is this movie going to hit me with”? Just roll with it. It’s a kid’s movie, for god’s sake.
All in all, it’s not a great movie by any means. What it is is a lot of fun. If you decide to watch it, know that you’re not getting an Oscar winner here.
RATING (OUT OF FIVE)