Real Steel (2011)

Boxing, Bot style

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a washed up boxer taking part in the newly popular robot boxing circuit. Soon, he discovers that he had fathered a son (Dakota Goyo), and realizes he still has a chance to make it to the top in robot fighting.

It is definitely nice to see Hugh Jackman doing non X-Men stuff again, and also being pretty good in the role. That said, I thought overall, Real Steel was a little tropey (for you TVtropes fans out there). Dakota Goyo’s character, including his appearance, was basically Outlaw Star’s Jim Hawking to Jackman’s Gene Starwind. Jackman and Goyo had pretty decent on-screen chemistry, but both were characters that have been done completely to death in other movies, anime, shows, etc.

Also, as far as the plot went: It turns out I very much did see this movie before. Only when I saw it before, it was without robots and it was called Rocky.

That said, the robot brawl scenes were pretty epic. Real Steel’s strength was in its special effects, and that led to some pretty exciting fights, especially in the climactic fight.

I guess that’s the problem I had with Real Steel: Pretty much all the parts of the movie that were not fight scenes were not holding my attention. A lot of the plot details, even for a movie, seemed to work out a little to nicely in the end. Overall, Real Steel would be a good popcorn flick to watch once at the movies or maybe a rental, but I definitely don’t see myself buying this on DVD to watch over and over again. I wouldn’t say Real Steel is a bad movie, but a lot of it just felt a little tepid, and that goes back to my review for Rise of the Planet of the Apes where I feel like there is a dearth of quality science fiction movies coming out.

Score: 2.5/4