Real Steel is essentially Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots (those of you of a certain age know what I’m talking about) with Hugh Jackman. And you know what? I’m okay with that. I can see why this movie is number one at the box office for the second week in a row. It’s a fun movie that’s got heart.
It’s set in the near future when the sport of boxing no longer involves humans. Instead robots battle it out in the ring because apparently the sight of two humans pummeling each other didn’t involve enough carnage to satisfy bloodthirsty spectators (Commentary on where we’re headed as a society perhaps? Nah. That’s too deep for this movie.)
Jackman plays Charlie Kenton, a down on his luck former boxer who is now a promoter in the world of robot boxing and is not doing well… at all. Just when it seems like things can’t get any worse, Charlie finds out the 11-year old son he hasn’t seen in, well, 11 years has lost his mom and now wants to get to know his father, who has zero paternal instincts. Cue the father-son conflict.
After Charlie loses yet another robot in yet another disastrous fight, his son Max finds an old “sparring bot” named Atom in a junkyard and cleans him up. Despite his dad’s initial hesitation, they start getting the bot fights – and they start winning. Cue the father-son bonding. Eventually they end up with a match fighting the undefeated robot champion, Zeus, who was designed by an evil looking Asian computer genius and paid for by an evil looking Russian heiress. Will the underdog Atom defeat the mighty Zeus? Will Charlie realize he loves his son and likes having him around? I won’t tell you – but this is a Hollywood studio movie, so you can probably guess how everything turns out. And again, I’m okay with that because this is a sweet movie.
Real Steel is a great movie choice if you’re looking for something to see with the whole family in tow. And it will be perfect for ‘family movie night’ at home once it’s available “on demand” and on DVD.