Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Real Steel" is the "Real Deal"

   What could be cooler than a live action version of "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots?" At a glance that is what many would think of Real Steel. The reality couldn't be further from the truth. This is a movie with heart, surrounded by large boxing robots. Shawn Levy directed a very feel good movie while still appealing to the average fan boy. My Michigan peeps will recognize many of the downtown Detroit and Lansing areas that served as a back drop for the film.

 Hugh Jackman plays a down on his luck boxer trying to make a buck. Boxing has been replaced with giant remote controlled robots and he is in the fighting game. He gambles, he loses, and he finds out he has a son. Dakota Goyo is the Canadian new comer who plays Hugh's troubled son. A perfect father figure Hugh isn't. He decided the best way to make a buck and keep funding his fight/gambling addiction is to sell his rights to his son. While some would already turn their heads at that concept others would find it hard not to like Jackman's character. They discover a special training robot that can mimic movement and use it to build a contender. Throw in Evangeline Lily from Lost as Hugh's partner/girlfriend and you have a nice little story with that does more than just appeal to the science fiction crowd.
 What makes "Real Steal" work is it's story. This is a movie that has heart. Hugh Jackman is very likable. Even when he is a slime ball you still find yourself rooting for him. The robot stuff is a good time and the effects are top notch. It's a science fiction world, but it never becomes to cartoon-ish. It almost makes you wonder how far away from robot boxing we actually are. Ladies will like this for the story. Guys for the action. I was skeptical when I saw the first trailers for this, but it is worth a rental or purchase. "Real Steel " is a little bit "Rocky," a little bit "Over The Top," and a lot of fun.

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