Real Steel (4/22/12)

Real SteelMovie Ninety Three

Real Steel is tantamount to giving Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots their own movie, much like the new Battleship film, but I suppose it goes a bit deeper than that, but not much. I also think it’s worth pointing out that the Amazon Instant video description says the following for the plot synopsis of Real Steel: “A riveting white-knuckle action ride that’ll leave you cheering!” Ohhh…Kay?

The film itself has Hugh Jackman as a down-on-his-luck former boxer that essentially got replaced with robot boxers and decided to fight them. That setup doesn’t sound quite as stupid as its happening in the film, but its close. He finds out he has a son whose mother died and gets paid to keep custody of him for a few months while his new parents vacation. During that time they bond and so forth and along the way a bunch of robots fight and stuff.

Let’s face it, Real Steel is not a smart movie at all and I don’t think it really ever intends to be. The only reason I kept watching it was because I knew the 10 year old version of me would freaking love this movie. That nostalgia kept me entangled in the flimsy plot all the way to the end where I found myself actually enjoying the film. There are plenty of groan-inducing moments and I shook my head in disbelief/disgust several times, but by the end I wanted that inevitable happy ending. In that way, Real Steel is a success.

If you go into Real Steel with no expectations, you may walk away thinking it was pretty decent. If you go in expecting anything more than a stupid action movie with a manipulative plot about an orphaned kid and his dad then you may think Real Steel is just awful. While I certainly enjoyed parts of it, it’s not something I think I could ever watch again.

I give it 3 when the kid started dancing I almost turned the film off out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


22 responses to “Real Steel (4/22/12)

  1. I thought the film was actually very intelligently written, taking a premise that sounds rather silly and giving it heart. I like how it showed the progress of the generation of robots and how old technology is discarded, much like Hugh Jackman’s old boxer has been discarded. The father-son story is what the movie is really about, with the roboboxing as the setting, unlike “Transformers,” which is just about things going ‘sploidy. The kid was very good, and Jackman put a lot off heart in his performance. This was actually based (in a slim way) on a Richard Matheson story that had previously been adapted as an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”

    • I will completely agree that the film had heart and all things considered, Jackman does give a pretty good performance. I went in with no expectation and was fairly satisfied, but if I had wanted more out of it I would have been disappointed.
      I knew it had been based on a short story and Twilight Zone episode, but I still can’t help but think of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.

      • Yeah, it’s kind of hard not to see that old game in the movie, though even though it’s not a direct tie-in, it still makes more sense of an adaptation than “Battleship.” Also, there’s a giddy joy in seeing robots pummel each other, something that was sorely missing from the “Transformer” movies.

        • Yeah, Battleship’s plot seems to come out of nowhere. The fighting robots are what really would have made the younger me bounce off my seat. The Transformers movies just didn’t have the same simple magic.

  2. I enjoyed it more than you seemed to have enjoyed it, but I liked the fact I could take out my brain and just let it chill for a moment or two. Reminded me of Rocky with Robots. Of course Rocky was better.

  3. It was pretty much a live action version of Rock’em Sock’em Robots like you said before. Still, it’s better than the unbearable Transformer series and whatever disaster Battleship will be.

  4. Not a great movie, of course, but entertaining and just…fun. Yes, it’s cheesy as hell but it also looks great and its stars have charisma. Sometimes that’s enough.

  5. Pingback: April Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

  6. “A riveting white-knuckle action ride that’ll leave you cheering!”

    Haha! I didn’t think it was riveting but it… kinda left me cheering… inside. It’s funny because when I saw the trailers of this movie, I couldn’t help think, “This movie is going to be so stupid. Not even kids will like this.” But when I saw it, I don’t know, something just clicked and I was so interested in it. Yeah, it was cheesy at times (lol at your comment about the kid dancing), but I was entertained by it. I work with kids and they (we) couldn’t stop talking about it for about three days. I was pretty happy that I saw it. =p

    • I was happy I watched it too there was a battle in my brain about how stupid it was and how enjoyable it was but in the end the part of my brain that liked it won. Not nearly as bad as the premise sounds on paper (or in the trailers), I guess.

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