REAL STEEL is an action-packed, beautifully crafted adventure that will surpass all of your expectations. I went in thinking it would be a decent film but even I was not prepared for the amount of praise that I would be uttering about this phenomenal motion picture. Real Steel was actually recommended to me by the superbly talented actor that plays the mysterious genius in the film, Karl Yune. I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with Karl about his role as Tak Mashido, owner of the champion robot Zeus in the film, and he completely sold me on the movie. I saw the previews and thought it seemed like a fun film but Karl’s genuineness about it really sealed the deal. I was instantly excited and I did something that I never do, went to the movies on opening night. The movie was so incredible that it also inspired me to write a review, short enough not to spoil anything but long enough to get my point across. I am so happy that Karl recommended this movie to me, so thank you Karl. Do yourself a favor and go and see this film.
When we first meet Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) he is haggling with some kids and putting his robot up against an unlikely opponent, not exactly the nicest guy. Charlie ends up being introduced to his eleven-year-old son, Max (Dakota Goyo) after his former girlfriend passes away. Charlie, an absentee guy who can’t even be referred to as a father, was now staring into the eyes of a son that he didn’t deserve. Charlie stays true to what he is and finds a way to make the situation work out in his favor but Max has another plan. They first bond over Charlie’s new robot, Noisy Boy. Max figures out what Charlie and Bailey (Evangeline Lilly) missed. That moment really sets the film into motion.
Charlie and Max take Noisy Boy out to fight and are put up against Midas. Max gets to experience the world of robot boxing and he doesn’t want to give up. While they are in a junk yard, an unlucky turn of events leads Max to a rusty old robot named, Atom. My favorite part of the film is when they take Atom to a place called The Zoo to fight, now those are some intriguing characters. Charlie and Max work together to transform Atom into a legit boxing robot. Atom is unlike any robot and he is equipped with a shadow function as well as a heart that would make Number 5 jealous, okay not that much heart, but Atom is unique and inspiring. He is so unique, that he captures the attention of Tak Mashido and Ferra Lemkova (Olga Fonda) and that is when the action really transpires.
The characters in this film were so well thought out and the actors that were chosen to bring them to life were beyond marvelous. Evangeline Lilly was perfect for the role as Bailey and she had one of my favorite lines that sums up Hugh’s character, Charlie; “You’ve been working with robots for so long you’ve become one.” I am a huge fan of Hugh Jackman, so I expected that I would enjoy watching him but what I didn’t expect was how amazing Dakota Goyo would be. I was only familiar with him from his work in Thor but I have to tell you, he makes you forget that he is young boy. His acting chops extend beyond his young years and I can only imagine the amount of time and discipline that he has already given to his craft. I can’t wait to see how he progresses. He is definitely one to watch.
Since I always believe in saving the best for last, I loved Karl Yune’s portrayal of Tak Mashido. My only complaint about the entire film is that he wasn’t in it enough. I wanted to know more about Tak and his character just makes you scream out for a prequel. I want to know how it all began. I loved Tak’s style and use of scarves. His character was dark, elegant, sinister and kind of sexy because you know he does really, really bad things when nobody is looking. Who doesn’t love a bad boy?
Real Steel was directed by Shawn Levy and is a DreamWorks production. Sugar Ray Leonard served as an advisor for the motion capture technology of the boxing robots, so everything flowed beautifully. The robots looked fantastic and nothing stood out as overly done CGI.
I still can’t believe how much I enjoyed this film. It really does have something for everyone and if you think that this is a movie just about boxing robots, let me correct you. This story is also about relationships, challenges and is a true underdog tale. It really is a beautiful film and it doesn’t get overly sappy. It has the perfect blend of everything and just in case you need one final push, Hugh Jackman wears sweatpants in a scene. What more do you need? I will be recommending this film to everyone for years to come.