Real Steel review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
Imagine a world where boxing is still king. Humans, however, are not. Now throw in a down-on-his-luck father and an estranged smart-alecky son, and you get a sci-fi-family-drama movie titled ‘Real Steel’. Starring Hugh Jackman in the lead as a former prizefighter and now an underground robot fight promoter, his son Max played by newcomer Dakota Goyo, and directed by Shawn Levy. Movie may have more robots without hearts but it’s geared to make human hearts warmed. It succeeds but only slightly.
‘Real Steel’ has been dubbed the late 80’s ‘Over the Top’ with Sylvester Stallone. Instead of an arm-wrestling tournament for bonding between father and son, this movie has robot boxing, a sport that has now become overrun by dirty robot fighters and even dirtier promoters. What has the world come to, right? But no worries, Hugh Jackman is in the picture.
Even if he is X-Men’s Wolverine, he’s a real puppy dog of an actor. A flash of that killer smile and maybe a glimpse of those guns, then no harm will be done. Jackman is one of those rare actors that can come across as menacing but a sweetheart both at the same time. It is with Jackman that ‘Real Steel’ becomes believable instead of ridiculous. Also, Jackman elevates this concept to serious levels; this could have been the futures of ‘Short Circuit’ and ‘Wall-E’ in cinema. Incredible, true, but this is a movie after all.
Many movies have made enemies of robots; but ‘Real Steel’ gives them humanity, and intentionally or not, it’s a device to reel people’s emotions in. To say it attempts to be a Steven Spielberg movie is all right. We need to laud them for at least even trying.
The motion capture effects of the robots and the boxing skills are hard to beat. There, the action is wondrous. Sure, the characters are cartoonish especially the villains, but movie is about choosing sides and hopefully, you’re betting on the right one.