Friday, October 07, 2011

Movie Review - Real Steel

Real Steel

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis, Karl Yune, Olga Fonda, and more...

Directed by: Shawn Levy, Screenplay by: John Gatins, Story by: Dan Gilroy and Jeremy Leven, Partly based on a short story. Original Music by: Danny Elfman

Premise: A washed up boxer who's been eking a living on fights using the very robots that drove humans out of the sport, gets saddled up with his estranged kid for the summer after he's hit rock bottom. When looking for replacement parts to cobble another robot together, they come across an out of date training/sparring robot named Atom that might just bring them together. (Rated PG-13)

Review: I'm a total sucker for robots. The first time I saw the preview for this film I was pumped. Rock-em-Sock-em Robots life sized - oh yeah! Then throw in Hugh Jackman, some great CGI, and Steven Spieldberg/Dreamworks, and I knew I was in for a fun ride. And it did not disappoint.

Jackman and Goyo have a great rapport which only deepens as the film goes on. The extra layer of both story and character added in by Evangeline Lilly was well done. And though silent, Atom, adds layers all his own.

The films shows kids that you reap what you sow, especially the bad stuff, but also to cling to your dreams even when you think there's no way to make them possible again.

Some really wonderful and subdued visuals. Lots of play with reflections, which I really liked. With boxing as a sport and the robots themselves, the whole production team had fun and it shows. Flashy players, battered players, players with personality. And an underdog story with multiple layers. 

The fights themselves were fun, going from just punches and destruction to the art that is boxing and just the stubbornness to stay your course. By the last fight, you'll be just as pumped as the audience in the film.

Since it's a near future in the film, I loved all the little technological touches, quite believable while still showing a world we're quite familiar with. The cell phones were rad with their crystal circuitry and batteries had definitely come a long way.

Very subtle nods here and there to the rock-em-sock-em robots and other robots from Japanese anime and manga. Beautiful integration of the CGI with Real Life as well, almost seamless. And since there was that much CGI, it makes the IMAX well worth it for extra eye popping detail.

Overall it was a fun and heartwarming film about redemption and reaching your dreams, even if not in a way you ever expected. Kid friendly, though there will be a few points that may not be too clear for them, so expect some possible questions. Definitely worth seeing.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission in IMAX)   

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