5M4M Contributor Christie O. Reviews Real Steel and calls it, “The Karate Kid. But With Robots.”
Hugh Jackman, a bunch of Rock ’em Sock ’em robots, underground fighting in the future. Real Steel seems like the ultimate boy film, doesn’t it?
Don’t let all that steel fool you.
Directed by Shawn Levy, Dreamworks’ “Real Steel” is about three underdogs: a deadbeat dad & former boxer turned robot boxing promoter who’s racked up thousands in debt named “Charlie,” (Hugh Jackman), his estranged 11 year-old son, Max, who just lost his mother (Dakota Goyo) and a scrapped junkyard robot named “Atom.”
Charley and Max are unhappily reunited but find themselves in a unique partnership over their common interest: robot boxing. Their adventures take them through the wildly-inappropriate-for-an-11-year-old underground world of fighting robot machines (and crazy-looking men with mohawks and tattoos), and onward toward a journey of redemption and second chances. When it seems like all their luck’s run out, “Atom” finds them.
The movie is set in the “near future” of 2020 where robots pummeling each other have become more popular than humans pummeling each other. And because the movie is a mix of technology and old-fashioned boxing, the production team had to bring in some heavy hitters for assistance. Eight-foot tall robot replicas were created for the set for the actors to interact with at the urging of Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, and as for the boxing? None other than the legend himself, Sugar Ray Leonard, who choreographed the boxing moves and helped Hugh Jackman hone his skills.
The sound was spectactular.
Each robot was outfitted with his own “sound personality” from the sound of it powering up to the sounds of the crashing of their particular metals and the sounds they came up with for each robot matched the feeling and the personality that you’re supposed to get out of each one. It somehow made the robots, which were only supposed to be metal, wires and mechanics, a little something more. And there were a couple of scenes where Real Steel left you wondering if there was something more to them, too. (A conscience, perhaps?)
The soundtrack (which included a wide spectrum mix of Eminem to Foo Fighters) was great and the sound of metal crashing on metal was heart thumping and actually brought out the fighter in me (I didn’t know there was one!)
A Story with Heart
On the surface it appears (and sounds) like a true man’s movie (here’s where I flex and use my deep voice), but actually it is a story with heart. It is less like Transformers and more like The Karate Kid with robots and yes, I was actually surprised — in a good way.
At times I found myself laughing out loud, cheering while simultaneously broken-hearted (as a mom to boys, it is hard to watch a motherless 11-year-old take part in underground robot boxing with his deadbeat dad *shudder* I really just wanted to reach through the screen and hug him.) Even with a somewhat predictable plot, I still watched through my fingers while at the edge of my seat, in fact, I pretty much ran the gamut of emotions which also included some tears, and when a movie (even one about fighting robots) can do that to me, I appreciate it very much.
Real Steel is PG-13 for some violence, intense action and language, so it’s a little out of the little kid age range (and rightly so). But Real Steel is an enjoyable ride.
Real Steel hits theaters today, Friday, October 7.
Enter to win
And yes there is a prizepack giveaway involved in this one too! For the price of one comment below, you can win a Real Steel prize pack that includes:
- An adult sized t-shirt in S,M,L or XL
- A bottle opener (for cocacola bottles or mommy & daddy timeouts)
- Real Steel tattooes and stickers
Leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing. The contest will run until October 21, 2011 at midnight ET and a winner will be chosen at random and notified via email shortly after the end time. Please see our site’s terms and conditions for more information.
Disclosure: Christie O. screened the movie for this review and was not compensated for this post.