At first glance you would think that this film would be rather boring if you had not seen the trailers but it is anything but boring. You have strong believable visuals with a blending of the real and CGI to give you an experience like none other. You can almost feel the battles that you see on the screen and almost smell the oil and metal that is being pulverized by these metal giants. The film draws you in and leave you in tears at the end as you cheer for the little junk yard ‘bot.
Real Steel is about the journey that an ex-boxer has to take as he starts from nothing and has to make it back and doesn’t even know how. Everything that he does ends in failure and more debt and he can’t even see what is good right in front of his face. Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) used to be a boxing contender and would always give as good as he got but when the fans wanted more he found that he just wasn’t what they wanted any more. A new kind of boxing had emerged, the boxing done by gladiatorial boxing machines. Each bot was a wrecking machine that would be able to take and give damage that a human fighter just could not do. This was the sport now and to adapt Charlie tried to get into it. The only problem is that he was always too impatient and forgot what had been taught to him while he was boxing. He forgot that sometimes you have to wait for the opportune time to get the job done right.
Max Kenton (Dakota Goyo) is practically alone in the world since his mother has just died. His Aunt Debra (Hope Davis) and he husband Marvin (James Rebhorn) want to do all they can to have him as their own. Marvin to please his wife and keep her happy, Debra so that she can keep her sister close and not let Max be trapped in the live that she knew Charlie would give him. At the same time Charlie is stuck doing small time shows and exhibition just to try and make ends meet. He owes everyone money and just doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut and instead makes bets that he knows that he will not be able to keep. It is during one of these exhibitions that he finds out that his ex-girlfriend, Max’s mother, has died and that he needs to be at a custody hearing to decide Max’s fate. While saddened about the what has happened to Max he sees it as a way to get away from a very bad situation and then after getting to the court house sees it as an opportunity to make some quick cash.
Both father and son are lost and it is going to take both of them together to find out what a true relationship and love really is. That is if they can survive that long to get there. Charlie used money that he received from Marvine to be able to buy a legendary fighting bot named Noisy Boy. It is top of the line and high tech which has Max going on and on about the features and has Charlie thinking that this is the quick ticket to getting his life back together. The problem is that Charlie doesn’t care about how the bot really is supposed to be used and winds up getting it destroyed in a fight where he thought he could have made $50,000. Not knowing his bot quickly gets it trashed and he blames it on the machine instead of himself. With nothing else to do but keep going forward to save his own but from loan sharks and creditors he breaks into a junkyard to get parts to build a bot.
It was in that junkyard that Charlie and Max find one another as father and son. Charlie show real concern for the safety of his son and risks his own safety to try and save Max when a mud bank gives way. What really saved Max was the outstretched arm of an old G2 sparing bot named Atom. Max is not going to leave it behind and Charlie just sees it as a stubborn streak and a waste of time. It is not till they get back to Tallet’s Gym and a very irate Bailey Tallet (Evangeline Lilly) waiting for them. She is secretly in love with Charlie but is pissed at him for not having the money to pay his rent and the fact that he just trashed another robot. It is Max and his stubborn attitude that Atom is his and will fight for him that makes her a bit warmer as she gets the bot up and running.
From that point on in the film we are taken from fight to fight as Max and Charlie really get to know one another. It is also Max’s stubborn attitude that pulled Charlie out of himself to once again be the boxer that he once used to be as well as teach him the lessons that he had forgotten along the way. This is one film that will leave you in tears as you root for the little bot named Atom as he goes up against the undefeated Zeus.
This is a film that you will want to have on the shelf so you can watch it over and over again. No matter how many times you watch it you will seem to always be affected at the same points in the same way. You will cheer with the bot and cry as its pain and almost humanness as it try’s to fight for Max and the love that the child has for his savior.
I give this film a Musing review of