Real Steel

"Good"

Real Steel Review


Undemanding audiences will love this rousing father-son tale of redemption set amid the cacophonous crashing of boxing robots. But the script is seriously contrived, and the movie is directed without even an inkling of subtlety.

In the near future, Charlie (Jackman) is an ex-boxer who now controls massive robots that have taken over the sport. A stubborn failure buried in debt, he has no interest in his 11-year-old son Max (Goyo), whose mother has just died, but agrees to care for him until his rich aunt and uncle (Davis and Rebhorn) return from holiday. But Max is far more savvy with robots than his dad. And with the help of Dad's lovelorn pal Bailey (Lilly), Max defies Charlie's expectations with his scrapheap robot Atom.

The story is structured as a standard story of redemption, so we know that Charlie will turn himself around. But the problem is that Charlie is such a jerk that we despise him both for the way he bullheadedly destroys his life and how he so cruelly dismisses his son. This is laid on so thickly that we can't develop any sympathy for Charlie, despite Jackman's enormous charm; all of our allegiance is with Max, who is wise and knowing and sees things as they are.

There's also the problem that much of the film centres on noisy robot battles, which are clearly where director Levy's interest lies. He puts all of his energy into making these key moments in the plot, but we never remotely care what happens when two metal beasts are bashing the bolts out of each other. And it doesn't help that Levy directs the cast to give over-the-top performances that desperately try to wring every drop of angst from each scene.

Visually, the film looks great, with a realistic depiction of the future. And the robots have believable presence on screen; Atom even seems to have a soul, although his connection to Max is far more moving than Max's relationship with his dad. Even so, we find ourselves cheering through the final scenes, knowing exactly how it's going to end but getting caught up in the manipulative rah-rah filmmaking just the same.



Real Steel

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 127 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th October 2011

Box Office USA: $85.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $299.3M

Budget: $110M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: ImageMovers, DreamWorks SKG, Touchstone Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, 21 Laps Entertainment, Angry Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 126 Rotten: 84

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Susan Montford, ,

Starring: as Charlie Kenton, as Max Kenton, as Bailey Tallet, as Finn, as Ricky, as Aunt Debra, as Marvin, Marco Ruggeri as Cliff, as Tak Mashido, Olga Fonda as Farra Lemkova, as Kingpin, Sophie Levy as Big Sister, Tess Levy as Little Sister, Charlie Levy as Littlest Sister, Gregory Sims as Bill Panner

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.