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Film Review: Real Steel (2011)

Updated on August 1, 2012

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Real Steel is an emotional boxing match between father and son released in 2011. It’s kind of like Sylverter Stallone’s 1987 film ‘Over the Top’ where a father and son get to drive in a truck competing to earn money and make a name for them, but it involves robots beating each other to a pulp. Also, the father actually does not want the child – at first.

Set in the year 2020, humans have been replaced with robots in the boxing ring. The violence and carnage is amplified and it seems humans’ thirst for blood has been replaced with the taste of metal. In steps Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman), a former world title contenting boxer who basically makes his money competing in unsanctioned robot boxing matches. However, his perfect life is interrupted when is ex-girlfriend dies, leaving him custody of their 11 year old son Max (Dakota Goyo).

I found this film refreshing, exciting with lots of violence but oriented toward a family audience. The fighting scenes are not bloody thanks to the robots. However, there is a scene where Charlie gets beat up pretty bad – but with no blood. While Jackman’s acting is as always, great. His attempts to box are is not as impressive.

I thought he was too flat footed to accurately pretend to be a boxer. This can be seen in the scene where he trains the robot and in the end when ‘shadow boxes’ .i.e., controlling the robot much like an Xbox 360 Kinect system or Wi.

The film is directed by Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen, Big Fat Liar, Night at the Museum) so you will find attempts of humour. However, this film is an action drama that shows iron cast hearts have a melting point.


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  • bernard.sinai profile image

    Bernard Sinai 5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

    It's a great film for the family.

  • michememe profile image

    Miche Wro 5 years ago

    Good review. I wanted to see this movie, but was hesitate. Reading your review I know what to expect.