Monday, October 10, 2011

Real Steel. Real fun.

Ok, ok, this isn't from the actual movie.
Real Steel
Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Kate from Lost, a cute kid and some other folks

I don't know why the critics hate on fun movies.  Is Real Steel going to win any big awards?  No.  Did it have problems? Yes. But it was a good time and totally worth the $3.25.  In fact I would have paid the big ticket price at the theater with the bigger screens and better sound and not regretted it one bit.

The story is one you've seen over and over and over.  In fact they combine a bunch of stories from a bunch of feel-good movies.  But why bother watching 3 or 4 of those (like Rocky, The Champ and Iron Giant) when you can watch just the 1?  I'm not selling this, am I?

The deal is: Jackman plays Charlie, a former boxer and loser of a guy who can't even win robot boxing matches against a bull (no joke-a robot fights a bull).  Charlie is such a loser that he finds out his ex-girlfriend died and he has absolutely no interest in their son.  So he proceeds to sell his son (to his ex's sister but still) in order to buy a new 'bot.  The son, Max, ends up with Charlie for the summer even though they've never spent any time together. Ever.  Like at all.  But somehow Max's aunt, who now has sole custody and is unaware her husband is short 50k, would rather go off to Italy and leave her nephew with Charlie.  This is a man who the only thing they know for sure is that he's awful when it comes to being a father. Charlie takes the 50k, gets his new 'bot, puts it into a fight above his class (I guess?), and the thing gets demolished.  While on a hunt through a junkyard for parts, Max accidentally finds an old 'bot, named Atom, who kinda saves his life. Max decides to program Atom to fight like his dad used to.  Lots of fun fights and bonding over machine-on-machine violence ensues and their relationship develops into love and respect, etc.  Ugh.  Ok, ok, the story sucks.but you want to know what was good about it, right?  Well the good wasn't too hard to find. 

The cast did fine and the kid was good.  They avoided schmaltzy by having the kid be smart-assy and slightly manipulative but in a fun way.  There was a nasty Russian chick in this who owned the undefeated 'bot, Zeus (predictably the exact 'bot Atom faces at the end).  The whole time I kept thinking her part could have gone to Posh.

Maybe it's just the hair and styling but I think Posh woulda kicked butt in this role.
Her acting couldn't have been worse.

The soundtrack was very good, however, the scored music was heavy-handed and tried really hard to force emotion.  This is unsettling for me because it was legendary Danny Elfman who scored the movie.  I usually LOVE his stuff.  Anywhoodle the un-scored stuff was just right for this kind of film and featured the likes of Eminem (which was funny because a song of his was playing when Anthony Mackie shows up and he played Papa Doc in 8 Mile which, of course, starred Eminem and I'm rambling now), The Beastie Boys, The Crystal Method, The Prodigy, 50 Cent, Tom Morello and more.  Guess what soundtrack I'm getting?  This will be good work-out music. 

But the best part was the boxing.  I kinda wish there was more of it but maybe they're holding out for the sequel.  C'mon you know when this movie goes over $100 mil  Real Steel 2: Electric Robot Boogaloo will start production.  And I'm not ashamed to say that I'll be in the theaters for that one too.  I have no idea if the robot action was animatronic, CGI, or a combo but part of me wishes there are real versions of Atom, Noisy Boy, Zeus and the Twin Cities in storage at Dreamworks.

Want to read a review rooted in more reality?  Check out what Tracy had to say over at

1 comment:

  1. Electric Robot Boogaloo. Hee. What did you think of Tak, Zeus's creator? Other than that he was beautiful? I was sure that he was going to find a kindred gamer soul in Max, and ditch the Russian Kardashian. Maybe in the inevitable sequel.