Real Steel (2011)

Going into watching this movie, I was pretty sure that I was going to snort derisively at it, I mean essentially it’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots: The Movie (which is still much more appealing to me than the Battleship movie is).  How long until there’s a goddamn Lucky Charms movie?  Most of Hollywood studio blockbusters appear to be aimed at the lowest common denominator, creatively bankrupt but appealing on a popcorn movie level.  Years ago I was able to make peace with the fact that you do have to judge movies on different levels, and sometimes admit that you liked a popcorn movie because it was entertaining and fun, and so help me, I did enjoy Real Steel.

It’s definitely not a new story, as it takes place in the near future and tells the story of a down on his luck robot boxer trainer, Charlie (Hugh Jackman), looking for the next big easy score to claw back from the precipice of disaster.  Turns out Charlie had kid years ago, and now that the kid’s mom died, Charlie enters into an arrangement to look after Max (Dakota Goyo) for a summer, while Max’s aunt and uncle (Hope Davis and James Rebhorn) vacation in Italy.  Much like The Champ, the dad is a lovable loser and begins toting Max around to all these underground robot boxing matches.  And then they discover a Little Robot That Could named Atom, and it’s pretty much Rocky from there on out.

Like I said, nothing is new here, just a different take on an old tale with new technology.  Thankfully director Shawn Levy found the heart in the movie and expanded (exploited?) it to be a pretty feel-good movie.  The cast also has to be commended, with Jackman being his usual likable self, Goyo pulling off the hard task of being a non-precocious child actor, and Evangeline Lilly, well she’s a lovable loser in this movie too, so it’s wholly unbelievable I mean come on, EVANGELINE LILLY.

I probably would have gone a half point higher if they’d have paid off on one of the character traits earlier mentioned in the movie after the final fight, and I’d be surprised if there wasn’t an actual alternate ending filmed that went in that direction.  Anyways, I didn’t hate it and it was a pretty enjoyable ride.

3 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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