Movie Review | Real Steel is a Real Winner!
Real Steel will be in theatres nationwide on October 7th, but I was able to see an early screening of it in Los Angeles last week. Based on the previews, I knew it was going to be more than just an action movie. The heart of the story is about the relationship between former boxer Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) and his estranged son, Max (Dakota Goyo). At first, Charlie has no interest in being a part of his son’s life, but Charlie begins to see a lot of himself in Max as they bond over training a junk yard robot to be a fighter.
Atom is the robot that Max finds and becomes attached to while he and his father scrounge around in a junk yard for spare parts. Atom doesn’t speak and may or may not possess human intelligence (that’s for you to decide!), but he is sure to win the hearts of the audience the same way he won Max’s and Charlie’s.
Real Steel neatly blends the father/son relationship with the action-packed and breathtaking robot fighting scenes. Hugh Jackman and young Dakota Goyo have perfect chemistry; every word and interaction between them is 100% believable. I couldn’t stop watching their eyes because they were filled with such depth and emotion throughout the entire film.
To create such a realistic look for the robots, the film makers used a combination of motion capture and computer animation. Real boxers, whom Sugar Ray Leonard worked with on their technique, were filmed during fight sequences and then the computer animation of the various robots was placed over their bodies during the editing process. This also meant that a lot of the time the actors were delivering lines to empty air. Just knowing a little bit of the process of how this film was made allows me to appreciate every little detail of Real Steel.
Real Steel also has a terrific cast of supporting actors and actresses. As a huge fan of the TV show LOST, I loved seeing Evangeline Lily as Bailey and Kevin Durand as Ricky. Bailey has never stopped believing in Charlie, and she is exactly what he needs to bring Atom to the top, while Ricky is the exact opposite and has this ability to tear Charlie down.
When I watched Real Steel, it was evident to me that so much love went into making this such an amazing movie theatre experience. During the fight scenes, I felt what Atom felt when he took blow after blow. I felt what Max felt when he cried for Atom to get up one more time and keep fighting. I felt what Bailey felt when she saw that Charlie had come alive again. I literally felt as if I were stepping into these characters.
Real Steel is the kind of film that has a little bit of everything that makes it the kind of movie you can watch over and over again. There’s action, drama, a sprinkle of romance, and an amazing story of how a father and son find each other again.
If you see any movie on opening weekend, let it be Real Steel. It doesn’t disappoint!
Real Steel will be in theatres October 7th! Don’t forget that this is a movie you can take your whole family to. I recommend it for ages 11 and up, but parents should watch first and decide if it is appropriate for their younger children. Note: this is not a boy’s movie. Girls are going to fall in love with Atom, too.
*Disney/DreamWorks provided me with an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for an advance screening of Real Steel. All thoughts expressed are my own.*