Saturday, October 15, 2011

Real Steel review

Real Steel is the latest film from Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy. Levy has mostly done family comedies in the past, but with Real Steel he goes into more action-drama territory.

Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed up boxer who is desperate for cash. Charlie was a world-class boxer, until the boxing game changed. Now robots do all the fighting. Charlie is high in debt and finds scrap metal to put robots together. When Charlie's ex-girlfriend dies, his son Max (Dakota Goyo) becomes his. He sells him away to his Aunt and Uncle, but is forced to take him for the summer. Charlie and Max go through the fighting world until the find a bot called Atom. Atom and Max quickly bond and Atom becomes a likable underdog.

Goyo is a great young actor and has a lot of great chemistry with Jackman. Jackman is perfect for his role. I can't say a lot of great things about the rest of the cast. Kevin Durand has great moments as Ricky but Evangeline Lilly and Anthony Mackie are useless as Bailey and Finn. Meanwhile Ogla Fonda and Karl Yune are good as main rival Zeus' trainers.

Steven Spielberg produced this movie and you can feel his touch on it. Instead of just focusing on the robot-on-robot carnage, he focuses on story and relationships. Max and Atom's bond together was fun to watch, and you could see Spielberg's effect on the film. While the film is mostly serious, it has its funny moments too.

My main complaint is that the movie was too long. It was over two hours long, but it could have been shorter. The robot action was good but it didn't blow me away. There were several scenes that could have been cut out.

The ending is great even though its predictable. It gives a fun, action climax to the film. Overall, I liked Real Steel but it didn't blow me away like some other films this summer.

THE FINAL GRADE:  C                                            (5.7/10)

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