Robots battling to the death, is there anything better? Well if we are talking about a certain movie trilogy directed by Michael Bay, yes, just about anything else is better (sorry Transformers fans). Now, fans of metal on metal action and gory synth-oil spilling violence can rejoice with the arrival of a proper fighting robot movie called “Real Steel.”
“Real Steel” stars Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) as a robot boxing promoter going through some hard times. However, when he and his son stumble upon a discarded sparring bot, they soon find they have an unlikely contender with the heart of a champion.
Now anyone who has seen a trailer of this film probably has thought the same thing about “Real Steel,” it’s just “Rocky” only with robots.” Well after seeing the film all I can say is, yes it is. “Real Steel” does not break any new ground on storytelling, but it is a movie that is self-aware and attempts to be as much fun as possible. It is simultaneously both a formulaic underdog film and a father-son bonding tale. I guess a more accurate description of the film would be a cross between “Rocky” and “Finding Nemo.” That is actually pretty accurate so just go with it.
While the acting, action and effects are all good quality here, I do have one major gripe with this film. The biggest disappointment for me was that the movie was a little too heavily created with the younger generation in mind. Whether it is the silly dances Charlie’s son performs with his robot before every match or the attempts at humor that usually fell flat on the mat more often than they connected with a laugh, “Real Steel” could have benefitted greatly from a more serious tone in the spirit of the “Rocky” franchise. I would have loved this film at age 10, but unfortunately, at 23 it was little more than a standard popcorn-flick effort.