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Real Steel Movie Review

I gotta feel, a feel for Real Steel! At one time, Charlie Kenton, (Hugh Jackman) was a great fighter.  These days he’s just fighting to keep his head above water.  The year is 2020.  The sport of boxing has morphed.  The growing demand for violence in the ring was more than any human could withstand.  MMA & UFC didn’t take the match to the death.  That’s when promoters created the WRB World Robot Boxing League.  These mechanical gladiators could simply ‘knock their blocks off,’ to coin a familiar phrase.

To be honest, the “Real Steel” movie trailer wasn’t doing it for me.  I saw it a few times with the outdoor billboards.  Suffice to say, my expectations were low.    Then I saw the film with a packed movie house filled with real people, not industry insiders.  The audience reaction told me everything I needed to know.  They laughed, they cheered & had an absolute blast. I myself happen to be an industry insider, but I took something away this from the film.

The heart of the story is about second chances.  Charlie gets one reconnecting with his estranged son, Max, (Dakota Goyo.) Max gets his shot at having a real dad.  Finally there’s Atom, an outdated sparring robot that’s left for scrap.  Yeah, these three stray dogs are woven together into a very predictable plot.  I didn’t care.  This isn’t “The Godfather,” or even “Harry Potter.” At the end of the day it’s a story of a boy & his robot.

Dakota Goyo stands out as the “Real Steel” scene stealer.  He’s now the “It” kid in Hollywood.  Also along for the ride is Bailey, (Evangeline Lily.)  Her scenes are few, but she’s definitely the emotional anchor.  Then there’s the bots.  The lineup: Ambush, Midas, Noisy Boy, Zeus & Atom.  Can you say Most wanted stocking stuffers of this holiday season?!?  Nice job by director Shawn Levy.   Four principal robots were built for the production.  They provided the actors with something very real to react to. (Usually they have to stare at a tennis ball on a stick!)

“Real Steel” is a for Real People who loves movies.  Industry insiders will scoff, but who cares about them? They’re the movie misfits.  Just because a movie isn’t Oscar-worthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good time.

Real Steel is Rated PG-13 & is thankfully only presented in 2D, but also available on Large Format Screens.

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