Saturday, 19 September 2020
Real Steel
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 21:49

Real SteelReal Steel is like taking an uber-sized “Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots” toy, bringing it to life with Tranformers, and hooking it up to the heartbeat of The Karate Kid. If this sounds cool to you, or speaks to your inner child, then this movie is going to knock your socks off.

And if any ladies or fellas aren’t into fighting robots (although, let’s face it, who wouldn’t be?) there is always the allure of Hugh Jackman and his many charms to reel you in. I suspect that Hugh may have chosen this script because it's the type of movie he'd like to share with his own kids, unlike the pornos he allegedly filmed at the start of his career. "Real Steel" indeed, I write with a smirk.

How many times do I have to tell you, my eyes are up HERE!I walked into the theater expecting a somewhat lame family film starring an annoying kid and plenty of embarrassingly schlocky moments engineered to tug at the heartstrings. I got exactly what I was expecting. But I also got something else… Two full hours of solid entertainment! Somewhere amidst the cheesy script and the battling bots Real Steel actually managed to steal my heart.

It’s the not too distant future and Hugh plays Charlie, a down-and-out former boxer whose career went south after robots took over the ring. He makes a meager living by taking his robot champion on the road and fighting at roadside attractions, but a gambling problem has left him with big debt and a big pile of scrap metal.

I'm gonna bot you up!Of course, Charlie’s got a past he’s running away from, and his nomadic lifestyle is interrupted when the mother of his son passes away and he’s forced to look after the kid for a summer. That’s when they find Atom – an obsolete fighting robot that was scrapped in the junkyard and eventually changes their lives.

See? It is schlocky! But it’s entertaining enough that I loved it for all its storyline flaws. This is family entertainment at its best – it doesn’t talk down to kids and adults will enjoy it too.


Directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum). Starring Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly.

The robots in the film were built both as life-size animatronic puppets and CGI.

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard worked behind the scenes, supervising the motion-captured boxing fights used to create the robot fight scenes.