I wanted Rocky with robots, and I got it and so much more!  Do I need to say anymore?  Well, adhering to my own review structure on the website kind of dictates that I do.  Boo!  So let’s talk some more about a film I heard about so long ago, but never bothered to research or learn what the subject matter was until I saw my first trailer this past summer.   All it took was one viewing of the trailer and I knew, I had to see this one.   The subject matter instantly struck an emotional accord with me, and believe me…I long for and want to feel something in the dark world I live in.

Real Steel is an American sic-fi film that stars everyone’s favorite mutant, Hugh Jackman.  But wait a freaking moment.  It should also be billed as a sports film too.  The feature is directed by Shawn Levy and is somewhat based on Richard Matheson’s 1956 short story Steel.   And believe me, no punches were spared (excuse the pun…I had to) in the manufacturing of animatronic robots and the motion capture technology required to bring them to life, but more about that later.

So imagine an HBO Sports premium boxing event or even better, an underground fight club with robots.  You have that visualization?  Good.   Keep it locked there.  We are living in a world where robots have replaced humans in boxing.  It’s also during the same time when our protagonist, Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman), loses his real-life chance to become a boxing champion.  Why?   It’s because of what I just told you.   Did you forget already?  The robots have taken over the sport because people wanted more gratuitous violence and all that’s left for the former human combatants are roles as promoters or cart pushers at Wal-Mart.  By the way, I’m kidding about the last part.   But do you really think that pays the bills and miscellaneous living expenses like being a pro athlete does?  Of course it doesn’t!   But wait!   There’s a messiah.   Yes, it’s true.  There’s another Kenton.   Charlie’s son, Max (Dakota Goyo), teams up with his father to build a robot, which no one is going to believe, that actually has a fighting chance, and a whole lot of heart, to earn a spot as a contender for the championship.   It’s a true underdog story, robot style of course!   If Rocky is like fabric softener, then this industrial-sized version of Rocky is like listening to old school Metallica, when they were actually a real “heavy metal” band.   Crank it up, dude!  Oh yeah…there’s also a love story too…surprise…surprise!

Now, do you want to hear something really cool?   I know you do!  Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard was brought on board during the production of the film to be an adviser during the robot boxing brawls.   How effin’ cool is that!?   The other interesting thing to pay to attention here is the heart of the story, which really focuses on the relationship between father and son, much like the importance of the family relationships explored in the Rocky franchise.   I’m sorry.   I can’t help myself.  I’m a huge Rocky fan.   Those films mean so much to me.   You hear that Stallone?   I guess you can say that the bond between father and son here in this story almost artificially creates a heart within Atom, the robot, and you quickly forget that this machine is not a living-breathing organism like us.   Whenever that happens in a fictional movie like this, I dub it “one hell of a story,” and that’s truly what matters in my opinion, not flashy 3-D effects.  Like Marky Mark said, “can you feel it, baby?”  But there’s more!

In addition to the father/son story, the adult love story and the heavy metal clanging of the robots, there’s something more that I haven’t seen in a movie since last year’s How To Train Your Dragon, there’s the ET-like bond between boy and robot.  It’s actually quite endearing.  Heck, it could even be tear jerking for some.  There’s nothing better than a theater full of people getting into he story just like it was a real life sporting event.   Boom!  Boom!  Thunderous applause!  I love that energy!  But come on…you didn’t think Executive Producer Steven Spielberg was going to let us down in this department, did you?  In addition to Real Steel being real awesome, one could also say Real Steel has real heart and I raise my glass to the inevitable sequel.  It’s a day one purchase for me on the Blu-ray format.  A film for all ages to enjoy…Real Steel.


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

3 Responses to “REAL STEEL Has REAL HEART”

  1. Matt Goodman

    Every time I see this trailer, I keep thinking it’ll be the worst movie of the year. I’ll give it a shot though.

  2. Sean Ferguson

    I hope this is good. The concept is a little cheesy but hopefully the execution of it is good which it should be with Mr. Spielberg involved.

  3. Gerard Iribe

    I may give this the ‘ol matinee treatment.