A retired boxer makes a transition to the business side of the ropes after human boxers are replaced by robotic ones in this adaptation of the Twilight Zone episode entitled Steel.
Charlie Kenton was a true contender when the sport of boxing was changed forever. Now, instead of humans fighting it out, powerful steel robots trade blows in the ring. As a result, former gladiator Charlie has been forced into the role of two-bit promoter. Charlie finds himself piecing together cut-rate fighting bots from scrap metal as he makes the rounds on the underground boxing circuit.
Then, just when it seems Charlie has sunken to the lowest point of his career, his estranged 11 year old son offers him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a comeback by building and training a bot champion.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots Meet Rocky
In the not-so-distant future the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech. Charlie Kenton, played by Hugh Jackman, is a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000 pound, 8 foot tall steel robots took over the ring. Now working as a small time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money to survive by working and promoting fights as he moves from one underground boxing venue to another. In this robotic world of boxing it all comes down to a no-holds-barred arena and against all odds, both Charlie and his estranged son Max get one last shot at a comeback.
I did enjoy Real Steel and the best way to describe it is Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots Meet Rocky. This is a movie about hope and second chances and if you like the Rocky motif you will also enjoy this extended version of the old Twilight Zone episode Steel. While I enjoyed Real Steel, I’m only giving it three and a half Lloyd’s because for a two hour movie, it drags from time to time. I don’t think there were many scenes that could have been deleted as for the most part they all seem needed to carry the theme throughout the movie. But some of the scenes kind of make the movie stall out from time to time. While this would normally call for a major trashing of the movie in a review, the slow parts once again reveal the fact that Hugh Jackman is a great actor with a great screen presence.
When it comes to the rest of the cast there’s really only one more person to mention as Real Steel is pretty much a two character movie. Relative newcomer to the big screen – Dakota Goyo – plays Max Kenton the eleven year old son of Charlie. While Goyo’s performance gets off to a somewhat rocky start, as the movie progresses his talent begins to shine. It’s almost like Hugh Jackman pulls a great performance out of this young star. For being his first major role on the big screen, Goyo rises to the occasion and here’s hoping we see more of him in the future.
As already mentioned Real Steel is a movie about hope, comebacks and second chances. There are some very touching moments here as both a reunited father and son discover what’s really important in life. If you’re looking for great action, you will find that here in the midst of a wonderful story line. As for rating, with a PG-13 classification we have to say Real Steel is cautionary family-friendly. I debated on what to call this movie but in light of the fact that the young star is cast as an eleven year old, I went with the cautionary classification. There’s a lot of action and a lot of violence in this movie. If you do plan for the eleven and up crowd to see this movie, it will best viewed as a family. That way you can talk about the encouraging portions of the movie and second chances after the final credit roles.
Enjoy the show!