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Real Steel

Updated on February 24, 2012

Real Steel

Director: Shawn Levy

Writers: John Gatins, Dan Gilroy, Jeremy Leven

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lily, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis, James Rebhorn, Karl Yune, Marco Ruggeri, John Gatins, Olga Fonda

Synopsis: Set in the near future, where robot boxing is a top sport, a struggling promoter feels he's found a champion in a discarded robot. During his hopeful rise to the top, he discovers he has an 11-year-old son who wants to know his father.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action and brief language


Show Me What You Got By Powerman 2000

"Rock-em Sock-em Robots: The Movie" or "Robo Rocky?"

Whether you love or hate Hugh Jackman as an actor, most of his films tend to be "hit or miss" a lot of times. Granted, the films he stars in that are bad aren't stinkers because of him, as a lot of that has to do with bad screenwriting, editing issues and/or poor directing. However, in every film that he's starred in, he's always managed to put up a fairly decent performance, and sometimes better if the script is up to par. However, for every "X-Men", "Fountain" or "Prestige" film...he makes movies like "Kate and Leopold", "X-Men: The Last Stand", and "Van Helsing", to name a few. Sure, he's always consistently good in any role you put him in, but he's no Johnny Depp, who can seemingly make a bad movie seem actually good (insert any of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies here). Oh well, what can you really do about it?

The film essentially follows a former boxer, Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman), in the future. Now, he makes a living promoting robot fighters, as it seems robot fights have become the most popular sport on Earth. To make a long story short, he sucks at it. Hell, even his damn preteen son knows more about the robot fighters' capabilities than he does, and that's kind of sad; especially considering that we're talking about a kid versus a grown man that fights these mechanical monstrosities for a living. Anyway, to make a long story short, Charlie is down on his luck, and in debt up to his eyeballs. However, as luck would have it, his ex-wife dies, and leaves him custody of their only son, Max (Dakota Goyo). But like all neglectful father figures in movies, Charlie doesn't want his son around at first, so he's all too willing to sign over his son to his sister's custody.

However, due to some rather complex arrangement, Charlie agrees to watch after his son for the summer, before having to relinquish full custody to his sister. Not only does Charlie want absolutely nothing to do with his own son, but he pretty much acts like a jerk to him throughout the first half of this movie. Gee, I guess Charlie is really racking up those points for "Father of the Year."

Eventually, Charlie and his son are scrimmaging through a random junkyard for parts, as they come across an old outdated sparring bot named Atom that's designed to take a lot of hits, but never dishes out real punishment usually....hmm...I wonder where this is going? From here, the story plays out like a robo version of "Rocky." Nobody believes this outdated sparring bot has what it takes to compete in the professional robot fighting league, let alone compete with it's undefeated champion, yet Max somehow coerces Charlie to believe that maybe just maybe....Atom can defy the odds.

Although I know a lot of people will give me some flak for saying this, but I make it a point to never ignore the painfully obvious. Granted, I will admit that I did like this movie a lot, but I'll explain why in a minute, as we have to get the negatives out of the way first. However, let's be honest with ourselves...we all know this film generically rips off every underdog sports movie cliche in the book; particularly from the "Rocky" series. As you have a robot that tends to take a lot of hits, nobody in their right mind gives Atom a chance, but somehow it defies the odds. Plus, this movie tends to run over the same Hollywood cliches about the neglectful father trying to reconnect with his son. Yes, if you seen as many movies as I have, then you should be all too familiar with these cliches.

However, with Jackman giving this film some credibility, how does this movie hold up you ask? Like I stated earlier, this film does have it's flaws, but it never gets boring. The film moves at a pretty decent pace, and never rushes past it's story development to rush to the fight scenes. No, like the "Rocky" movies, the fight scenes are reserved to be sort of a symbolic meaning of the fighter overcoming adversity, and represent some personal triumph for the protagonist. Giving the fight more of a deeper meaning than just two robots slugging the crap out of each other for a sold out crowd. Plus, even I'll admit that in spite of the cliches this film tends to rip off, it still does a fairly good job at playing with the emotional strings of it's audience. Sure, it may not have one of the deepest stories out there for a science fiction film, but it's not supposed to. No, it seems like Shawn Levy meant for this to be nothing more than a light hearted popcorn flick, with a fairly decent story, and he delivers on that quite well here.

Granted, I doubt seriously that we'll be talking about this movie again when the Oscars roll around, unless you want to count the technical categories like special effects, sound effects, sound editing and such. However, in terms of being an entertaining film that'll make you root for the underdog, while offering you plenty of heartfelt "aw" moments, then look no further than this movie.

As for the special effects, I'm sure most people can tell just by the trailers alone that it does feature top notch CGI, so there's no shocker there. Although, I will say that I was highly impressed with how well the fight scenes for this movie were choreographed to where we could actually see the robots fight more fluently. For those that remember my reviews of the previous "Transformers" films that were handled by Michael Bay, then you should know that one of my main gripes were that the fight scenes between the robots were not well choreographed, and looked...kind of shoddy at best... However, that doesn't seem to be a problem at all in "Real Steel", as the fight scenes are slowed down enough to where we can actually tell what's going on. Sure, it doesn't feature realistic damage as one would expect from two steel robots fighting each other, but as I stated earlier, Shawn Levy isn't interested in telling a highly innovative yet plausible story. No, he's just trying to tell a fairly entertaining one, and he succeeds on that note.

Overall, I think this film is definitely worth checking out once it comes out on DVD/Blue-Ray, but I'm not sure if I'd pay to see this in theaters to be quite honest. Then again, if you're one of those movie fans that want to see an emotional underdog story with a lot of sci-fi violence, then you might like this movie enough to want to fork out the extra money to see this in theaters. However, I just wouldn't expect too much out of it, as I'd probably have to give this movie a two and a half out of four. Not a great film by any means, but it's certainly entertaining nonetheless.

Eminem- Till I Collapse (Warning: The Following Videos Contain Adult Language that May Not Be Suitable To Younger Viewers. Parental Discretion Is Advised)

Fast Lane- Bad meets Evil featuring Eminem and Royce Da 5' 9


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    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      6 years ago

      see the film. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Who wins?

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      7 years ago

      Wow, really? Well here's hoping that the next movie will be just as good. For some reason unlike most action film franchises, "Die Hard" always seems to the most least it seems like it to me. I can't wait to see it though, as I'm actually looking more forward to that movie than I am "Expendables 2" as strange as that may sound. lol.

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      I cant wait for the new Die Hard. A Good Day to Die Hard is a great title for it too. I hear it is going international which is exactly what they need to do.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      7 years ago


      Oh sorry, I forgot to say this in my last message. I was going to say no need to apologize buddy, as there's no worries. However, I do appreciate you taking the time to read one of my hubs again. :)

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      7 years ago


      Your welcome, and thank you for stopping by again buddy. :) It's always a pleasure having you here. As for the profile pic, it's there because I did recently hear about the new "Die Hard" film. Supposedly it's coming out next year according to imdb, so that's why I have this pic to promote my next preview hub of movies which should feature the "action and adventure" films of 2012.

      I still haven't finished it yet, as I was kind of hoping the "Expendables" would quit casting by this point, so I don't have to publish it off hearsay. However, I'm working on it though. lol.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by again. :)


      Another "Real Steel?" Are you serious? Oh well, I guess it was inevitable considering it's box office success. Plus, it did leave the film open for a sequel. lol. Although, i have a feeling how the next one is going to end, but I'll keep that to myself, as I wouldn't want to ruin the next movie for anyone. lol.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by again and linking this hub to yours. That's very generous of you. I deeply appreciate that Bruce. :)

      @the daily messenger

      Thanks daily messenger, and I hope you do as well. I thought you wrote a very good review also, and be sure to keep up the good work. :)

    • TheDailyMessenger profile image


      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      To Stevennix,

      again thankyou for your comment on my blog, and now I am returning the favor. Very good review. You put up many good points. Keep up the goodwork!!! 8>)


    • Cogerson profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia

      Great review...sorry I missed the first three days it was published. Based on your review I think I will wait until it arrives on Blu-Ray....I agree with you about Hugh Jackman he really is hit and miss. I did notice that the producers of Real Steel are already working on Real Steel 2....coming in 2013. I have linked this to my 2011 Top Film hub...hope it brings a little extra the new avatar....and Die Hard 5 has a title now....McClane is coming back at least one more time.

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Thanks for the helpful review once again Steven. I debated to see this film in theaters but it looks like I will wait til it hits bluray. Thanks again for a terrific review. voted useful and up. I see you got Bruce Willis as your profile pic, you heard the news about the new Die Hard?

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      7 years ago


      Thanks Ruffyrider. I'm glad you liked the review. I hope you enjoy it whenever you get a chance to see it. :)


      That's cool. Well I hope you enjoy the film whenever you do see it. It's a fairly entertaining film if you do get a chance to see it. Anyway, thanks for stopping by. :)


      You know, I feel the exact same way about this movie. I kid you not. Although I'll admit the film does have it's obvious flaws, but I think it's fairly good film for what it tries to be. Anyway, thanks for stopping by to read my hub. :)

    • AmyBigmore profile image


      7 years ago

      It totally surprised me, it's a lot better then I expected it to be!

    • rachellrobinson profile image

      Rachel Woodruff 

      7 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      I don't know why but I want to see this movie, it is not the typical kind of movie I like to watch.

    • profile image


      7 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      Sounds like a movie I may watch someday on dvd. A good review.


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