Review: Real Steel
Hugh Jackman films for better or for worse are at the very least entertaining in some sort of way. If he doesn't have a great script behind him, it becomes a light hearted popcorn flick while if he has a great script, the film hits on almost all levels. This film hits on the former of the two. He does a good enough job of selling his role to the audience through his charisma and general likability. However, Real SteeI hits on some emotional strings but the film's main source of entertainment comes from it's Rock-em Sock-em Robots flair. The fight scenes between the robots are quite entertaining to watch especially the later fights and the film does boast some impressive effects in showing off the robots.
The film follows Jackman's character, Charlie Kenton who is a retired boxer who has not caught up with the changes in the ring. He undoubtedly knows the game, but has no real grasp with the technical side of dealing with these robots that are now inside the ring. Due to this, he owes money to many people, some are his friends and some are not the greatest of people. He then finds out that the mother of his child that he left years ago had died leaving him as the next of kin and now responsible for him. Charlie, seeing an opportunity laced out in front of him, decides to take advantage of the wealthy uncle and aunt that his son has and weasels some money out of them to watch his son Max for some time. Charlie quickly learns that his son has a proficiency in the art of robot boxing that excels his own, which is kind of scary considering he is a young boy while Charlie is a grown man. However, my guess is that the film tried to show that children in a way are picking up technology at a faster pace because of video games and such as Max was constantly reminded that the boxing matches were not video games.
Max and Charlie together become quiet the duo as Charlie knows how to box and Max is quite the technical genius. Mind you, Max also manages to find a sparring bot that is built to take damage but not dish it out. It was an old generation bot, but it seemed to have built some sort of relationship with Max. Which very easily could be marked up to the fact that it seems Max hasn't had a whole lot of friends in his life. Being together with the bot (which they named Atom), managed to bring the separated father and son closer together and build a strong relationship. The film manages to be mostly about the two building up a relationship as father and son in the midst of a great robot boxing run but is also fused with many cliches of the genre. Albeit, it is still entertaining to watch despite the fact that we all generally know how the film will go.
At first, you will ultimately want to rip into the film but yet it has a something about it. You have to keep watching because it still stays moderately entertaining. Whether it be the charisma of Hugh Jackman, or Freckles (yes that is a Lost reference) or just simply light hearted popcorn flick persona this film has. The chemistry between actors isn't always there, but Dakota Goyo is endearing in his role. For it being his first major role, he didn't do a bad job. Evangeline Lilly as Bailey, the owner of the gym that Charlie trained at while also being his love interest of the film did an admirable job in a underwritten role. All in all, it is a entertaining film albeit it may have done better if it were released during the summer time due to the suspect script and solid visuals.