Real Steel

Real Steel

4.8 5
Director: Shawn Levy, Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie

Cast: Shawn Levy, Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie

     
 

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A retired pugilist transitions to the business side of the ropes after human boxers are replaced by robotic ones in director Shawn Levy's feature-length adaptation of the Twilight Zone episode "Steel." Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) was a true contender when the sport of boxing was changed forever.

Overview

A retired pugilist transitions to the business side of the ropes after human boxers are replaced by robotic ones in director Shawn Levy's feature-length adaptation of the Twilight Zone episode "Steel." Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) was a true contender when the sport of boxing was changed forever. Now, instead of humans duking it out for the masses, huge, powerful steel robots trade blows in the ring. As a result, former gladiator Charlie has been forced into the role of two-bit promoter, piecing together cut-rate fighting bots from scrap metal as he makes the rounds on the underground boxing circuit. Just when it seems that Charlie has sunken to the nadir of his career, his estranged 11 year old son, Max (Dakota Goyo), offers him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a comeback by constructing and training a true champion. Now the stakes are higher than ever before, and Charlie is about to get a second chance at leaving an indelible mark on the sport he once dedicated his life to.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Who would've ever thought that a movie about giant robot boxers could have real heart and soul? A rousing underbot sports drama fueled by genuine human emotion, Real Steel possesses the power to get audiences cheering not because of the enormous sci-fi spectacle, but because it places equal (if not greater) value on the father-son relationship behind it. With an engaging performance by young star Dakota Goyo and a screenplay that doesn't trivialize the adult drama (not to mention some fun and energetic fight scenes), it's the kind of movie that kids can connect with and parents will be able to enjoy, too. Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) was a true contender just as the sport of boxing was changed forever. Now, instead of humans duking it out for the masses, huge, powerful steel robots trade blows in the ring. As a result, former gladiator Charlie has been forced into the role of a two-bit promoter, piecing together cut-rate fighting bots from scrap metal as he makes the rounds on the underground boxing circuit. Just when it seems that Charlie has sunken to the nadir of his career, his estranged 11-year-old son Max (Dakota Goyo) offers him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a comeback by constructing and training a robot champion. Now, the stakes are higher than ever before, and Charlie is about to get a second chance at leaving an indelible mark on the sport he once dedicated his life to. Real Steel is based on a Richard Matheson short story from 1956, which was later adapted into an episode of The Twilight Zone. Since Matheson has always shown a unique flair for condensing compelling drama and deeply humanistic themes down to their core elements, it would seem unlikely that the concept could work when expanded to feature length. But in the case of Real Steel, screenwriter John Gatins has managed the impressive feat of sweetening the themes laid out by the original author without making them too syrupy or stretching them to their breaking point. And by downplaying the science-fiction elements of the plot early on, he affords viewers the opportunity to relate to the flesh-and-blood characters before metal meets metal and sparks begin to fly. It's a smart move that requires a certain amount of trust in the audience, and it pays off handsomely once the crucial components of the story have been established. But that doesn't mean there's no action early on; a thrilling fight in the opening scenes shows viewers something they definitely haven't seen before, and we're treated to numerous rounds of robot brawling in various colorful settings as the father and son steadily work their way up from the underground. Director Shawn Levy, meanwhile, keeps the action flowing smoothly enough that even the occasional superfluous scene doesn't stall the pacing, and he coaxes a nicely nuanced performance out of Goyo. Max is written with enough sass and attitude that he could have come across as simply obnoxious, but in the hands of Goyo, Max's emerging swagger is well-earned; he's just a boy who's always dreamed of connecting with the once-mighty father who previously abandoned him, and who jumps at the chance to do so when the opportunity arises. Jackman, meanwhile, does a commendable job of getting us to root for a character initially so aloof that he's willing to sell his kid to pay for a machine, but who gradually realizes that no steel creation could ever substitute for his own child. And while Evangeline Lilly makes for a worthwhile love interest and Kevin Durant a truly loathsome villain, the most-impressive supporting character may be Atom, the fighting robot himself. Though Atom's face is little more than a pair of unblinking ovals shrouded by metal mesh, the more Charlie begins to believe in him, the more human he seems to become. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Atom appears entirely tangible when standing next to his human counterparts, but as Charlie's faith in him grows, the audience also begins to project their optimism onto him as well, and that's what ultimately helps to make him more than a soulless CGI creation. Michael Bay, take note: This is how you make a robot recognizably human. Perhaps the weakest link in the movie is the one that we never actually see. Danny Elfman's maudlin score is just about as obvious and uninspired as any ever recorded. His distinctive style a distant memory, Elfman seems to have completely abandoned any effort to be original and interesting. His score for Real Steel is almost depressing in its slavish traditionalism, and it feels as if it's trying to force-feed us emotion that already exists perfectly well in the screenplay. Nevertheless, with its full-metal punch of genuine human sentiment, Real Steel KOs the big-budget Hollywood bravado that keeps us on the ropes all summer and always seems to leave us wanting more. So if the person sitting next to you starts to applaud during the final fight, don't be surprised -- it's a perfectly anthropomorphic response.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/24/2012
UPC:
0786936812756
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:07:00
Sales rank:
8,347

Special Features

Bloopers; Making of Metal Valley; Building the Bots; Audio Commentary With Director Shawn Levy

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hugh Jackman Charlie Kenton
Dakota Goyo Max
Anthony Mackie Finn
Evangeline Lilly Bailey Tallet
Kevin Durand Ricky
Hope Davis Aunt Debra
James Rebhorn Marvin
Karl Yune Tak Mashido
Olga Fonda Farra Lemkova
John Gatins Kingpin
Sophie Levy Big Sister
Tess Levy Little Sister
Gregory Sims Bill Panner
Torey Adkins Large Texan Man

Technical Credits
Shawn Levy Director,Producer
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Mauro Fiore Cinematographer
John Gatins Screenwriter
Dan Gilroy Original Story
Richard Hicks Casting
Jeremy Leven Original Story
Mary McLaglen Executive Producer
Josh McLaglen Executive Producer
Tom Meyer Production Designer
Susan Montford Producer
Don Murphy Producer
Jack Rapke Executive Producer
David Rubin Casting
Steven Spielberg Executive Producer
Steve Starkey Executive Producer
Marlene Stewart Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Zemeckis Executive Producer
Dean Zimmerman Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Real Steel
1. Opening Titles [3:00]
2. Charlie Kenton [7:37]
3. Wheeling & Dealing [8:11]
4. Noisy Boy Has Arrived [5:39]
5. Crash Palace [9:44]
6. Metal Valley [7:07]
7. Atom [7:23]
8. He Was Beautiful [3:22]
9. The Champ Is Here [5:06]
10. The Zoo [7:45]
11. Trainin Atom [7:32]
12. Climbing The Ranks [5:52]
13. Twin Cities [8:01]
14. Fight For Me [6:21]
15. Go Get Him, Charlie [6:28]
16. The Mighty Zeus [9:02]
17. Toe-To-Toe [4:04]
18. Final Round [4:54]
19. People's Champion [3:28]
20. End Credits [5:59]

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Real Steel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
HeavyMetalGamer007 More than 1 year ago
I like Hugh Jackman and most of the movies he's been in, and I would have to say that although it didn't blow my mind, this was a pretty enjoyable movie all in all. I didn't think the end of the movie was very fair, but at the same time it was still pretty good. Don't go into this movie expecting a mind blowing experience, but it is still good and worth at least a watch.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
James and I watched Real Steel on Blu-ray last night and I am happy to say that surpassed my expectations! I am a Hugh Jackman fan (I mean, who isn't?) and I was intrigued by the idea of watching robots box. I was hooked after the first ten or fifteen minutes and gave the movie my undivided attention. The actors and directors did an amazing job with this film. My favorite part was when the kid was teaching the robot to dance. My husband looked at me and said "if we ever get a robot, that's the first thing you are going to teach it, isn't it?" My response was, "duh". If you haven't had the chance to see Real Steel yet, pick it up as soon as you can. It's a real and heartfelt film that everyone will enjoy. Disclosure: I received the Real Steel Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jinny More than 1 year ago
I Saw this in theaters and what can i say IT WAS GREAT. BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR. MY Family fliped over this movie. Finaly a movie we can all agree on. TWO Thumbs way UP. YOU Have to get this movie. Hugh Jackman was AMAZING....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE A GOOD MOVIE AND ENJOY GOING TO THE MOVIES, BUT MY HUSBAND JUST GOES FOR ME MOST OF THE TIME. AFTER WE SAW THIS MOVIE, HE TURNED TO ME AND TOLD ME HOW MUCH HE ENJOYED IT AND THAT HE WAS GLAD HE WENT. IT WAS A REALLY GOOD MOVIE! IT HAS A VERY DIFFERENT STORY, BUT IT IS A GOOD ONE AND IT IS WHAT I CALL A FEEL GOOD MOVIE. IT HAS SOMETHING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO WATCH AND ENJOY!! WE WILL BUY THIS MOVIE! LOTS OF ACTION; IT WILL BE GREAT IN BLU-RAY!!!