Okay, I’m just going to say it: robots are cool. I don’t think I know anyone who’s not excited by the possibilities of robots and how they might be used in the future.
In Real Steel, a movie that takes place in the year 2020 and hits theatres today, robots have advanced to the point that they can move like we do. They move so well and look so cool that they’ve taken over the boxing ring, and put real boxers, like our main character, Charlie Kenton, out of business.
Now that he can’t get in the ring himself, Charlie manages boxing ’bots… badly. In fact, it’s not until his 11-year-old son, Max, comes into his life that he has any success at all. When the pair finds a robot named Atom buried in the mud at a junkyard, they discover he has all sorts of hidden talents. But can Atom take on the more highly advanced fighting ’bots? We’ll have to watch to find out!
Here are a few observations about the movie:
1) It packs a punch. The special effects (a mix of real robots and motion capture technology, which is a type of animation that uses the movements of real actors as a base for animated characters) bring the robots in the movie to life in amazing ways. The boxing scenes are well done and not too brutal on the whole.
2) It’s surprisingly heart-warming. Not only is this a great underdog story, but the actors who play Charlie and Max (Hugh Jackman and Canadian Dakota Goyo) do a good job of drawing us into their story and making us care about them. As they come together as a father-son duo, we can see how they each become stronger — regardless of any robot muscle!
3) It’s [sort of] two movies. The first 30 minutes are almost exclusively about Charlie, who at that point is entirely selfish and seriously down on his luck, and consequently is a little more up-aged — there’s a bit more swearing and the robot fighting scenes are more violent. Once Max arrives on the scene, however, Real Steel becomes much more a family film and there’s a lot more to like.
Overall, I liked Real Steel. That said, the PG rating is just a suggestion and the fight scenes might not be for everyone. A good rule of thumb — if you can handle the robot fighting in the Transformers movies, you can probably handle Real Steel.
What do you think, blog readers? Will you see this one? Skip it? Let me know in the comments below!