Real Steel: the most incredible 'million-to-one shot' story ever told...well, at least since the last one.
This is essentially Rocky with robots. That may seem like an easy, over-simplified summary, but you'll see what I mean. Not that it's a bad thing: I liked Rocky and I like robots, so I liked Real Steel.
From the guy that gave us Night At The Museum 1 & 2, Real Steel is Transformers for kids...okay for younger kids. There's no bloodshed, no killing and less violence. Yep, even though robots are still punching the piss out of each other, they do stop short of decapitation.
But for the first half hour, I still found myself trying to figure out what exactly Real Steel wanted to be. Short of the PG script and occasional cheese overload, this could've been a cool, dark-ish look on the future; and without the long, dramatic pauses between fights or the constant focus on the (arguably main) storyline between father and son, this could've been a fast, fun kids movie. Come to think of it, it may be Hugh Jackman's fault that Real Steel lingers in both worlds. His face on a poster doesn't usually mean 'kids movie'. But, Hugh seems to be the man who can do no wrong (no, I don't blame him for X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and kicks ass yet again.
His face may come in pretty handy for the movies box office hopes, as, in my travels, Real Steel is being laughed at when the previews are shown at the movies. Which is funny, because some those people would’ve paid their bottom dollar to go see Transformers 3 a few months back, but now that robots punching each other for sport is a movie, it becomes ridiculous. That said, the idea of going to see a movie about Robot Boxing does seem crazy.
Surprisingly, for a movie aimed at kids, there is a noticeable lack of action for the first half of the movie, maybe more. For a movie about boxing robots, it isn’t really about boxing robots. You know when Michael Bay says that Transformers isn’t really about an alien-robot war, but rather a coming-of-age story about Shia LaBeouf’s character and you think “oh, f—k off Bay”? Yeah, Real Steel isn’t like that. If director Shawn Levy was to say that Real Steel isn’t about boxing robots but rather a man on a comeback and a father & son reuniting, I’d believe him.
But, no one goes to watch that, do they? At least not the people that go to a movie called Real Steel.
To have even more in common with Transformers, the same company did the CGI for the robot boxers…and they look awesome. In my opinion, there are only a few examples of near-perfect CGI: some of the Transformers; most of Davy Jones in Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 & 3 and the aliens in District 9. The robots in Real Steel are sniffing at the door though and go a long way to making this “ridiculous” movie a lot less laughable.
It is for kids essentially, so there’s no swearing or anything-above-mild violence. But in their place, are non-healthy amounts of cheese. Any sporting movie with a climactic fight is bound to have a lactose-heavy warm-up speech, but add to that the dialogue around Hugh Jackman’s character development from asshole to good bloke and his second redeeming chat with his son and you’ve got a movie you could melt on toast.
I’ll allow myself to get all soft for a second – Real Steel has a lot of heart, something lacking from a lot of movies similar – and there’s, it’s over.
Real Steel is a bit of fun: it’s impossible to dislike Hugh Jackman, the CGI is top shelf and the on screen fights were choreographed by Sugar Ray Leonard. Yes, the Sugar Ray Leonard.
Take your kid-brother or mate – not your girlfriend.