Real Steel is one of those movies that stands on a platform all its own. Though released in October, Real Steel has all the punch and action of a summer blockbuster.
To describe Real Steel in a simple comparison would be difficult, but imagine the story of Rocky Balboa, robotic combat of Robot Wars, and the friendship of Free Willy all rolled in to a single feature film.
Hugh Jackman plays Charlie Kenton, a down-and-out ex-boxer that hits rock bottom attempting to reclaim his fortune through a series of underground robot fights. Deep in debt and out of luck, he was about to cash in his chips and give up all hope when unfortunate news brings him an unexpected second chance.
A long-lost son, played by Dakota Goyo, is brought into his life along with a financial opportunity that affords him one last chance at making the money he needs to get out of debt with some very aggressive and seedy individuals. Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine from there.
After suffering a defeating loss at the hands of a particularly fierce underground robot boxer named Midas, father and son are forced to dig through the junkyard looking for enough scraps to build a new bot. What they find is a down-and-out obsolete sparring bot that wasn’t designed to fight competitively.
With the help of the kind-hearted daughter of Charlie’s former trainer, and a particularly stubborn son, Charlie is given one last chance to make things right.
What follows is a series of training montages, lucky shots, and unfortunate hardships. It has every component of the Rocky series with a few extra surprises.
The robotic action featured in the movie is incredible. Unlike the over the top action of Transformers, Real Steel keeps everything tame and believable. The in-theater audience was so taken in by the emotion and triumph of each fight, it was difficult to tell where the crowd track in the movie ended and the audience’s cheers began.
Over all, Real Steel has something for everyone. It’s a heartfelt tale about father and son, a story of triumph over impossible odds, and a really fun action movie.