Set in the near future, where robot boxing is a top sport, a struggling promoter feels he's found a champion in a discarded robot. During his hopeful rise to the top, he discovers he has an 11-year-old son who wants to know his father.
A soldier is dumped on a waste disposal planet and lives among a community of crash survivors on the planet and takes it upon himself to defend his new home when genetic engineered soldiers are ordered to eliminate the crash survivors.
Paul W.S. Anderson
Jason Scott Lee,
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother.
In the near future when people become uninterested in boxing and similar sports, a new sport is created - Robot boxing wherein robots battle each other while being controlled by someone. Charlie Kenton, a former boxer who's trying to make it in the new sport, not only doesn't do well, he is very deeply in the red. When he learns that his ex, mother of his son Max, dies, he goes to figure out what to do with him. His ex's sister wants to take him in but Charlie has first say in the matter. Charlie asks her husband for money so he can buy a new Robot in exchange for turning Max over to them. He takes Max for the summer. And Max improves his control of his robot. But when the robot is destroyed, they go to a scrap yard to get parts. Max finds an old generation robot named Atom and restores him. Max wants Atom to fight but Charlie tells him he won't last a round. However, Atom wins. And it isn't long before Atom is getting major bouts. Max gets Charlie to teach Atom how to fight, and the ... Written by
Director Shawn Levy notes in the DVD commentary as the bull comes out of the chute to fight Ambush, that two bulls were used, but that the better performer, Kujo, only had one horn. In that shot, a second horn was added with Computer Graphics. See more »
Throughout the film, Atom's shadow function switches back and forth between mirror and mimic for no apparent reason or command from Charlie or Max. It appears to have no difference except that it is apparent the shadow function goes mirror as the robot and the person are face to face and mimic when the robot is observing the human who's not looking at him. See more »
My response to Real Steel is almost parallel to Hugh Jackman's reaction to the robot fighter Atom in the film. Upon initial advertising and trailers, I wasn't impressed by the film one bit. It looked like another film that glorified the "coolness" of robots, and then tried to tack on a contrived story of a father and son relationship. Never did I believe I'd see it and actually award it a positive score. Just like in the film where Jackman doesn't believe Atom has what it takes to be a successful fighter, and then is greeted with a rude awakening.
The film takes place in the near future, 2020 according to director Shawn Levy, where human boxers have been replaced by large metal monstrosities that do the dirty work while the humans occupy the controls and the commands for them. Charlie Kenton (Jackman), a former boxer, now spends his days using the robots to fight, but finds himself in a rough patch of failures.
After being informed his ex-girlfriend has died, whom he had a child with, Charlie must now take care of the kid for three months until his aunt and uncle return from their second honeymoon. The kid is eleven year old Max, played efficiently by Dakota Goyo. The two meet awkwardly, but experienced moviegoers like myself know that these two will soon become a cheerful father and son duo.
During a junkyard visit where Charlie and Max are searching for new parts for their robot, they stumble upon Atom, a small, yet relentlessly strong bot who is abandoned but still able to fight. They repair him, and then discover that with voice recognition and shadow effect, where the robot mimes the moves of a human) that he is a bot with a strong amount of potential for success. The rest of the film depicts the father and son's efforts to take Atom all the way to the championship.
The digital effects work very well together, and are much more eye appealing than the similar ones used in the Transformers series. For one thing, the fight scenes are coherent, entertaining, and extremely well scored by Danny Elfman, who this time gives us some delightfully different music.
The robots are captured using a variety of digital techniques. Some are animatronic, some are used through motion capture animation, where actors get fitted for special suits and imitate the motions of the character, and some just plain ol' CGI. All of these three techniques are blended very well together, and make for a very entertaining visual spectacle. Even the motion capture isn't as sketchy and glitchy as it normally is. In Ang Lee's Hulk back in 2003 it was clearly jerky and underdeveloped, in Mars Needs Moms, this same year, it was unnecessary and obtrusive, but here, it seems the effects team has gotten their act together.
I think the only fault here is the screenplay. but what makes it a bit better is the fact that the cast approaches it with optimism and the mentality that they will "make it work." Jackman certainly does, pulling off a sleazy, ignorant father who grows to appreciate his son and his job a bit more, and Dakota Goyo, like I said before, hits almost every note just right. The problem is the screenplay hammers us with several movie clichés we've seen many times before. The rags to riches story has shown itself many times, not to mention one's rise from humble beginnings to a successful career. At least Real Steel recognizes the movies it's paying homage to, like the whole end scene that slightly mirrors Rocky.
Director Shawn Levy has successfully made success out of two underdogs; the film itself and Atom. His previous flicks like Just Married and Night at the Museum were lightweight innocent features that failed to include anything on the same level as Real Steel. By the end, the film had given me a feelings I like to possess when I come out of a film I thought was going to be lackluster; reassured and surprised.
Starring: Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo. Directed by: Shawn Levy.
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