Real Steel (2011) Poster

(2011)

User Reviews

Review this title
437 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
Feel Good, Fun Movie !
The Little Master20 January 2012
I wasn't expecting much when I saw this movie - and I'm not really a fan of movies where kid's are the lead - but, I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

Even though this was a "formula / underdog" type of movie, it had me cheering for Atom, Hugh Jackman was great and so were the cast of characters.

The CGI was excellent, I really connected to the characters, and it was just a fun, guilty-pleasure (c'mon, boxing robots - who DOESN'T want that !) type of movie.

Not quite "A Space Odyssey:2000" but then again, it's not supposed to be.

FUN. ENTERTAINING. GREAT ACTION.

Recommended !
93 out of 147 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Soooo Cheesy!
martinrobertson30048228 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Real Steel" is the cheesiest movie I've seen in quite some time. After a promising start, flick starts getting over confident in telling its story. A Story we've already seen before in "Rocky" and its many clones.

Set in a future where the only difference seems to be fighting robots. Hugh Jackman plays an out off work boxer and grade A a**hole, who is hopeless at getting new robots fighting. Jackmans life is supposedly turned around when the son he abandoned as a baby turns up and helps in finding an old robot, who ends up being great in the ring.

As I wrote above, the film starts off well. Jackmans playing a character that only cares about money and winning until the kid turns up. Even the kids doing well until he starts teaching the robot how too dance (and yes he even teaches him "the robot," sigh!) and like most over confident child actors, becomes the irritating c*cky kid in the movie.

I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that the old robot wins and Jackman ends up caring about more than just himself by the end off the flick, but the way they go about this is seriously corny, and the way in which Jackman started out makes me not want too root for him so much by the end.

Overall the films story maybe isn't as predictable as you'd think, and is saved from a worst rating by this, and its light sprinkiling off funny moments and cool robot designs. Round one though is better than round two. Which seems determined to out-do "Rocky" and all its many imitators, in an attempt to win the award for corniest movie ever.
128 out of 208 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Great movie, good story. Who doesn't like fighting robots??
gremlins-haunt-my-house27 September 2011
We saw an advanced screening on Sept 22. I thought it was going to be another one of those cheesy, campy, not really believable, warm fuzzy, type of underdog/rags to riches movies. I was actually surprised. It had some great plot twists, it had a real story line. And while yes, there is some language sprinkled throughout, it did make a good family movie for older kids, 10+ (my opinion). The ending wasn't quite what I was expecting, but looking back I think I liked it better for that. Who wants an ending they can see coming the entire movie?

It had some great comedy moments. The relationships between the actors felt genuine and not overdone or forced.

The robot animatronics was good. The robots themselves were fun and imaginative and definitely made me wish we really had this sport. I would so be there!
283 out of 483 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
If SOPA was introduced to avoid movies like these from being copied, I'm totally in favor!
Luis Dias27 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I only found out this movie was a Spielberg production when i saw it on screen. I immediately knew i'd be faced with a lot of cheap kodak moments and teary-eyed kids wrapped in a formula of family-fun Steven has been repeating since ET.

I wasn't wrong. But i had no idea how bad it was going to be. At least Goonies 2, i mean... Super 8, managed to actually be entertaining. This movie has no surprises, it's just predictable turn, after predictable turn.

The acting is terrible across the board, but i can't blame the actors for not putting an effort into such a depressing tale. Goyo is a promising talent, unfortunately the lines he was given are so out-of-character and cheesy for a kid his age, no amount of talent could be convincing. He likes Robot boxing and he's so into video games he's even fluent with Japanese, but he's no nerd, he's all grown-up and can haggle like a moroccan couscous salesman on a couscous black Friday, and to top it all off he looks like the coolest kid ever, even though his mom has just died days ago. And, like that's not horribly incongruent enough, he spends half of the movie showing off his dancing skills like a Bieber wannabe. That's one seriously schyzophrenic kid!

But the bad acting and atrocious storytelling doesn't end there. Some of the people in Real Steel are more cartoonish than the robots: Ricky, Tak Mashido, Farra, look like villains out of a Disney Channel Show. Most of the footage of James Rebhorn and Hope Davis should've stayed on the cutting room floor. They are lost on screen, clearly with no chemistry as a couple and not enough lines on the script to work with. Every time they're interacting on screen you can actually crack a laugh at how they flay their arms at each other clueless, like two crash-test-dummies in slow motion. But the way they keep awkwardly eyeballing Hugh Jackman during every lousy dialog like they're asking to be put out of their misery just makes you terribly sad again.

The final scene with everyone crying in rapture at Hugh Jackman performing video-fitness, had me ripping hair out of my head! I'm in awe of all the positive reviews this movie is getting. Either this movie premiered on IMDb's opposite day, or i had no idea this site had such a huge userbase of 9 year olds.
92 out of 158 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Outstanding
George Jozwiak8 October 2011
Any movie that gets the audience involved in a positive way and leaving cheering is an excellent movie. It is like Rocky on adrenaline and with a whole lot better acting. Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and Dakota Goyo all have great performances. Dakota who plays the son really makes the movie, but all the actors performances are great. The guy who thought it boring... well, you lack passion and your soul must be dead. Real Steel is the absolutely hands down best movie I have seen in a long time. You will cheer, cry, laugh and be thoroughly entertained. I had to sit and watched the credits at the end just to catch my breath. Great movie.
317 out of 584 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Could've, Would've, Should've…but Didn't.
Jonathon Natsis17 October 2011
What a little gem Real Steel could have been. Well before its release, and before any intricate plot details became known, this sounded like an intelligent film in which robots are forced to engage in brutal fights for the entertainment of their human masters. Where the story would've gone from there is left to the imagination, but it appeared to have all the makings of critically acclaimed, self-conscious science fiction. The final product differed heavily from initial expectations, however, and we are left with a hollow, albeit bearable alternative prompting those such as myself to ask: What could have been?

In the very near future (2020, according to director Shawn Levy) the human art of man-to-man combat has become obsolete. One-time fighters have been replaced by robots that do the dirty work while their human controllers reap the rewards. Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is one such promoter, recently down on his luck and who lives not for the bright lights, but to make just enough money to survive. At this most inopportune time, he is forced to take care of his estranged son (Dakota Goyo), whose burgeoning friendship with an outdated sparring 'bot named Atom convinces Charlie to give the big time one last shot.

For a movie that has the skeleton to accommodate exploring the concept of human qualities in machines, a la Blade Runner or Artificial Intelligence, as well as (warning: pretentiousness ahead) the theme of 'ethics and morals of humanity', it actually does everything it can to avoid those topics entirely. My hopes for such a film were all but dashed with the casting of a child- a sure sign that the story would be strictly focused on Max and Charlie's relationship, and in that respect the plot seems unnecessarily restricted. This results in an inherently out-of-place scene in which Atom, all alone before a big fight, gazes into a mirror as if to question his existence. Its inclusion into the final cut is sure to whiz above the heads of its pre-teen target audience, while more mature viewers might interpret it as a cheap attempt to inject some heart far too late into the story.

Indeed, its family-friendly status is the biggest letdown of Real Steel. At the forefront is the misguided characterisation of Charlie's son, who is portrayed as, in my opinion, a spoiled brat who's so cocksure of himself all the time that a little part of you wants to see him fail. The child as an authority figure may appeal to those of Max's age, but it detracts from the contrasting, gritty realism of Jackman's character, and shuts down any hope of character-based realism in the process. Other attempts to please the male tween market include obvious allusions to toy lines and video games, as well as a mind-boggling assault of product placement, which becomes more than a little irritating during the second half.

The script is not disastrous. The writers dabble in clichés occasionally, but not quite to the point where it numbs the mind. On a more negative note, the screenplay does allow for an assortment of cringe-worthy moments (which some might call 'heart-warming', depending on personal perspective) that include dancing robots and the introduction of more than one excessively cartoonish side character, again limiting the level of engagement one can make with this movie.

The action set pieces in the film were visually pleasing, exploiting a decent amount of camera angles to give the viewer an intriguing look into the mechanics of robot rumbling. The CGI is impressive, and the clunky (as opposed to slick) movements of the robots actually work well, reflecting what a realistic fight between two heavy machines would look like. Jackman does his best as always, but he alone can't salvage a once-promising prospect that instead settles for being the very definition of blockbuster mediocrity.

*There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on jnatsis@iprimus.com.au and let me know what you thought of my review.*
232 out of 445 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
I am against Corny/Cheesy Actors
Josh Arnup13 July 2012
I had low expectations and I am sure many people did so too, however I did rather quite enjoy the movie for various factors in which I will List: Every scene had purpose - No pointless scenes which have no impact on the audience. The Ending - Original and Motivating, showed it had a moral to the story (If you watched the movie, you would know)

HOWEVER, unfortunately the kid put me off immensely. I appreciate his confidence in acting but his screaming and his cheesy lines were just off putting. I also noticed that his technological understanding was ridiculously high, which is rather unrealistic...And that is an understatement.

That being said, I can sense a 'Real Steel 2' and would hope it turns out as good as this first one. Sequels are very hard to perfect especially for this movie, but I digress.

This movie is worth watching and if you plan on watching it, be sure to prepare your tissues.
30 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Great Movie. Perfect Match of emotions, Robo-fight(very Importantly not over done) and some comic scenes.
avinashbhan9 October 2011
I had been waiting to see this movie for a long time, saw it today and it was worth all the wait.

The move has a perfect blend of emotions, Robo-fight(very Importantly not over done) and some comic scenes, what else do you want?

For me the robot fighting was great. Have been following Huge Jackman's movies off late and all have them have been good including this one. But apart from all of that the movie has an embedded message that there are things that sometimes you can not handle or overlook when you have other priorities but you can always make things right, it may be hard but it can be done.

The kid Dakota Goyo did a good job as well.

So I would say go out there and see the movie, worth every penny that you will spend for the ticket.
174 out of 340 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Atrocious
Tim Berendsen21 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie starts out well enough, hugh jackmann at his best: quietly driving a truck along a dusty road. his character, Charlie, is the cliché boxing, two-timing douche-bag roadrunner type, in this case set in a futuristic time (although the only futuristic pieces in the movie are robots and cellphones, and a truck that for some reason has windows where the driver's feet are), where robots do the boxing for you. Charlie is trying to win fights with the robots he buys or puts together from scraps, but does not demonstrate any skill, interest or dedication. He gets distracted and has no heart for the machines he uses. When he gets the news that his ex-girlfriend dies, he shows no emotional reaction, except for trying to swindle her rich sister for the custody of their only son, which he agrees to take on for a summer in order to receive a paycheck. The rest we can predict from here, and does not deviate from our most boring projections.

What could have been nice about this movie? almost everything. The script could have been smarter, funnier, sharper. The characters feel unnatural, especially the lead Charlie. He doesn't seem to know is he's a good guy or just a loser going along with the success of others. In a good movie, the protagonist classically undergoes a life-changing transformation, in this case the bonding of father and son, which changes the father's attitude towards life in general. However, the change has to be believable. In this case, it lacks severely.

When willing to forgive the corny story, the action also leaves a lot to complain. Where is the cool slow-motion tearing apart of metal? where is the cool martial arts / mma type fighting? the makers could have gone completely NUTS on this, but instead it's not very exciting.

BAD, BAD, BAD. Want action and entertainment? not here..
155 out of 308 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
No splitting this Atom, it has got a rock solid heart.
Spikeopath27 July 2012
Real Steel is directed by Shawn Levy and collectively adapted to the screen by John Gatins, Dan Gilroy and Jeremy Leven from a Richard Matheson short story called Steel. It stars Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis and James Rebhorn. Music is scored by Danny Elfman and cinematography by Mauro Fiore.

Set in the near future, robot boxing is a big crowd pulling sport. After a struggling robot operator is introduced to an 11-year-old son he has never known, they stumble upon a discarded robot at a junk yard....

We can all moan about the mimicry of an idea and the clichés that dominate Real Steel, but you really got to hand it to the makers for what they have achieved. They have crafted a family film that's perfect in this day and age. The story is one that any adult Sylvester Stallone fan can acknowledge and appreciate, the human heartbeat pleasingly steady, while the premise of big colourful robots beating the crap out of each other delights youngsters and us adults who are young at heart. Film pretty much does what any other film of this type does, lays on the syrup in the last quarter where second chances and family strife come thundering through the plotting. Undeniably it's hugely derivative, events are joystick operated to get an emotional response from a family audience, while product placement reins and the script often sags under the weight of unoriginality. But it does uplift the spirit and getting to the end is easy since it's so much berserker fun. Yes it's Atom the people's champion, yes it's David V Goliath and yes! It's Balboa V Creed. Nothing wrong with that really.

The cast don't really have to offer up much beyond being adequate within the context of the material, though a muscular Jackman finds good paternal chemistry with young Goyo. In fact Goyo is pleasingly not annoying, always a bonus is that. Inevitably the robots are the stars, they're a triumph of design and visual effects and a sight for sore eyes, while Levy has a good handle on staging the fight sequences; even when cribbing from Balboa. The near future look is terrific as well, with Fiore's colour photography very appealing. Coining in over $290 million at the worldwide box office (over £180 million in profit), Real Steel found the family audience it was looking for, proving once again that there is a market for simple and effective popcorn carnage. It's not high art or intelligently scripted, but was anyone seriously thinking that was going to be the case here? If you want brains with this premise then seek out Twilight Zone episode "Steel", starring the excellent Lee Marvin, otherwise just sit back and enjoy the ride and let the botty bots and human interest raise the pulse and gladden the heart respectively. 7/10

Home format release is a sparkling print, extras are annoyingly short but the blooper reel is fun, we get a stunt deconstruction, and we learn about the influence a certain Mr. Spielberg had on the production.
23 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
The Heart Of Steel
TourettesPersonal13 October 2011
Based on what everybody said, Real Steal is like Over The Top plus Rocky with Robots. Over The Top because there's a man, his son, and a truck. Rocky because it's obvious. Put these films together and add robots and minus Stallone. Real Steel is not very innovating though but it's excitingly great and has plenty of heart. It's also the return of Hugh Jackman although we just saw him a little last June. There are lot of things to recommend in Real Steel.

The premise isn't really that intriguing. It's boxing replaced by robots. Films with Giant CGI Robots are not innovating since we have Michael Bay's Transformers. But the heart and soul lies to the relationship of Charlie and Max and their robot, Atom. It's fun to watch them. The fighting scenes are pretty exciting. That is what most underdog fighting movies do. The only problem here is the weak major antagonist. It's not really that threatening or a big deal. Ricky was more threatening than the gigantic Zeus.

The filmmaking is pretty decent. Well shot scenes. The CGI robots and the music score are good enough. Nothing to say about the production design except Charlie's truck. It looks fascinating for some reason. The performances were great. We don't see Hugh Jackman in action movies after two years and there's a small cameo of him, flipping off two characters(it's obvious but I won't tell you the title). Here in Real Steel, Jackman is energetic and somewhat perfect for the role. Dakota Goyo is a bit charming. Chemistry of him and Jackman shines through the film. It's fun to watch them together.

There aren't much new here in Real Steel but in the end, it's enjoyable and has plenty of heart. The climax isn't so much overwhelming but it intends to be more heartfelt. Again, it's like Over The Top which the father is trying to make his son proud and Rocky because it's boxing and add some robots in it. Even without thinking much about the robots, there is always human heart in this film. Hugh Jackman does it again. The underdog fighting movie genre does it again. It's really a fun film for the whole family.
83 out of 161 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Cheesy
rorrr3 January 2012
This is a high budget cheesy piece of garbage with boring dialogue, predictable plot and one-dimensional characters that nobody cares for.

At first it reminded me of A.I. Artificial Intelligence (which is a brilliant movie), but then as movie went by, I got more and more disappointed. You see, AI was smart, it had a very interesting plot, it had scale, it had interesting characters, interesting dialogue and good humor, it was real good sci-fi. Real Steel has none of that, it's just a bunch of special effects and a few actors who don't give a sh*t about their roles.

The worst part is predictability. I could see where movie was going an hour in advance, and that made it just so damn boring.
122 out of 246 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Unless you're under the age of 12, seriously...don't bother.
DJRMewzique6 February 2012
When this film was first announced about a year ago, I immediately added to my film schedule months in advance: It had a cool name and hey, it was a movie with robots and the always hot Hugh Jackman! Then the trailer came out, and the story was revealed to be touching family film about a dad and his estranged son with robots thrown in. A sweet family film? Ugh. I immediately took it off my viewing schedule. Then the reviews came out, and even Entertainment Weekly gave it an excellent review, saying that it is actually way better than you would expect. Pair that with big box office, and my curiosity started to come around again. Finally, it got an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects, and thus, I no longer had a choice.

And I am here to tell you that you should not believe everything you've heard...my initial reaction was wrong, my second one was right: "Real Steel" is a big load of absolute junk.

Set in 2020 or something, when boxing has been replaced by robots, Jackman plays Charlie, an ass ex-boxer who impregnated a girl and whose son comes back to haunt him fourteen years later when she passes away. "Forced "to spend a summer with this kid, they realize they bond over boxing robots. Robots, mind you, that seem to FEEL something when they are hit (like, c'mon...).

With an absolutely juvenile script that is just as much pieced together from every cliché family movie just as some of these robots are pieced together with junk, "Real Steel" is nothing more than a high-tech Lifetime movie with one of the most preposterous scripts of the year. Every line is meant to tug at your heartstrings and make you feel fuzzy inside when it's not trying to impress you with its mediocre visual effects. It's tries to be nothing but "cute" from start to finish, so saccharine that it quickly ends up nauseating.

Right down to the kid using "shadow technology" to make his robot do some silly hip hop dance moves. Like, really? What person over the age of twelve enjoyed this film? "Real Steel" is nothing more than a scrap yard of emotional manipulation that really has no redeeming qualities for any adult. But yeah, your kids will probably like it.
60 out of 115 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Predictable
Sebastian Menares8 January 2012
If you think this is kind of a Rocky Balboa movie, you're totally right.

Real Steel is a soap opera made into a movie. Family values, dad gone wrong and from that on you know how it goes.

This is Rocky Balboa wrapped in I Robot, with a little bit of really cheesy dialogs.

I even heard of people who cried with Real Steel, really?, I mean REALLY?!. I can't imagine how could you cry with this if you know how it's gonna be from the first scene!. I hope this is made like this on purpose, cause if it isn't, God, that went really wrong.

Poor, this is simply poor.
14 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
2 hours WASTED!!!
S(p)am11 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
when this flick ended the only thing that would cross my mind was "at least it was not the worst way to spend 2 hours of my life". coming to rethink of it though, i can't recall of any worse.

arguing with some civil servant over bureaucracy to get some paper issued is actually more fun.

let's see what i can recall of this film to justify my point.

1. the father; a 35+ y.o ONCE-talented boxer who ALMOST won to the world champion.

a. decides to take on robot-boxing at which he SUCKS yet he still gets to fight (?!?!) b. has a relationship with his trainer's hot daughter ... NO WAI! c. repeatedly loses money yet he still gets to spend more(wanna know how. got jealous at this point) d. has abandoned his ex-gf when pregnant and now she's dead decides to sell the custody of his son to the boy's rich aunt (life's a bitch :P) but he still gets to keep the boy temporarily for some lame reason.

2. the son; dislikes his father at first (but why?!?!)

a. has a flair at playing video-games, hence controlling fighting robots (the movie's point not mine) b. believes the 40 y.o robot he finds for his father at some junkyard has potential (seriously?). more than that, he comes to believe that the robot has a soul (yep). c. reprogrammes the robot (most 11 year olds actually do that, no biggie. at 11 i reprogrammed a satellite)

3. the trio (father-son-robot); win fights, get admitted to the world championship and ALMOST win the fight to the most advanced robot EVER made and manage NOT to get wasted from round 1 'cause as foretold the robot's got a soul (my 1996 Cyrix can beat your i7 EASY, apparently it has more SOUL)

4. they all live happily ever after and the whole world loves them (you didn't expect that did you?)

there have to be even more clichés which i refuse to recall.

god i seriously need to somehow delete those memories from my brain ... any 11 y.o. interested in doing that for me? (can't be hard. can it?)

point taken?
60 out of 116 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Impressive CGI and Poor Story
Claudio Carvalho21 January 2012
In 2020, boxing is no longer fought by humans that have been replaced by robots. The former boxer Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) drives his truck to promote fights with his robot Ambush. When he has just lost a fight, he is summoned to a hearing and forced to take care of his unknown eleven year-old son Max Kenton (Dakota Goyo) since his mother has passed away.

Charlie loses another fight with the Noisy Boy robot that his girlfriend Bailey Tallet (Evangeline Lilly) has just bought and he goes with Max to a junkyard to collect part of robots to build a new one. However, Max finds an old sparring robot named Atom and Charlie teaches him how to fight box. Atom becomes a winner and Max and Charlie becomes closer to each other. However Charlie has an agreement to deliver Max to his aunt and her wealthy husband.

"Real Steel" is a film with an impressive CGI but a poor story. The idea of using robots to box is uninteresting and silly, and the relationship of the annoying Max and Charlie is strictly a business and never a father and son love. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Gigantes de Aço" ("Giants of Steel")
30 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Just terrible.
aeigamidia3 November 2011
I don't know what Hollywood producers are thinking any more... Or maybe I do: cast a kid that looks like Justin Bieber, and focus the whole movie on his constant whining, screaming, yelling and in general acting like a spoiled brat, because apparently it sells! Lines that will keep ringing in your ears for a few hours after the viewing (in pre-puberty whiny childish voice): "Do something!!", "Why are you not fighting back!!!", "I don't like hamburgers!". And let's not forget forced touching moments with the appropriate music, tears in their eyes and the family re-uniting just because some robots are punching at each other. Was this movie made by Disney? I don't know or care, but please don't give your money to watch it.
67 out of 133 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
You've got to be kidding me!
Sunny Kanagi16 October 2011
This one was a total clichéd Hollywood movie. The movie began well with lots of hope that this movie was going to be a stunner, but I guess I was wrong.

let me put it in simpler words. You would predict the movie before its even over.

The good things about the movie were Hugh Jackman, some good action scenes, new movie concept about Robots boxing and not humans.

Bad things were clichéd story and how everything seems to work well for the kid and his father throughout the movie. Everyone seems to be really agreeable in this movie. The kid does manage to get on your nerves and so does many other actors.

The movie failed to evoke any emotions during the second half. I was past caring about any of the characters. I cried watching Kung Fu Panda-2 but not this movie.

One thing i can say for sure is that a 10 year old kid would definitely love this movie and suckers for typical clichéd and corny Hollywood films.

And if this movie managed to win an Oscar I would certainly be shocked.
37 out of 69 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Very definitely a kids movie.
jamesunna20 October 2011
Wtf! I mean W-T-F! This film was shocking. OK in 2000 the special effects alone would have made this a great movie but its 2011 now and the special effects in this are pretty much the norm.

This film had a good IMDb rating and so i thought I'd give it a go at the cinema. What I got was vomit inducing sentimentality, characters that were either borderline parodies of themselves or entirely unbelievable and a story-line that left a lot to be desired. In addition the science required a suspension of disbelieve that was beyond me. I mean; fighting robots that operate via voice recognition, or even more laughably in "shadow mode" where they simply copy what they "see". Where's the immersive VR suites with biofeedback? That would have been a lot more believable. Fighters controlling their robots via the web from the comfort of their homes. It wouldn't have taken a lot to make this aspect of the film a lot more believable. Also it was set too near in the future. By the time we have robots as advanced as these we won't be filling up trucks with fossil fuels (something I noticed happening more than once - sponsorship from big oil?)

In its defence the kid actor was pretty good insofar as he could be with the sh1t script he's been given and the idea that kids would speak Japanese in the future due to the superiority of their online games was a nice touch (though I think Chinese is just as likely).

All in all a huge disappointment. I left the cinema after the final showdown about 5-10 minutes before the film ended when I just couldn't take any more of the attempted tear jerking. My friend left after an hour and preferred to sit outside playing on his phone until the film ended. An 11 year old might like this. Any adult with a normal IQ will not.

Oh, and watch out for the prolonged Budweiser product placement at the beginning of the film. Considering this is a kids film I thought that was a little bit naughty!
57 out of 112 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Forced sentiment and uninvolving sports action leaves generally average and predictable noise for children only
bob the moo27 March 2012
Let's ignore for the minute the fact that this film was pretty much critic proof – it really didn't matter what was said when it released, those that saw the trailer and thought "two please" were going to be there no matter what to see robots hitting each other. I apologise if that sounds snobby, but I don't mean it that way because in fairness, although I waited for the DVD, I still came to the film prepared to leave my brain at the door and enjoy some family-friendly sports action. Sadly I wasn't quite prepared for how low-level the vast majority of the film is.

I'll deal with my personal problem with it first – the sports side simply isn't exciting. I say that as someone who gets weepy very easily when it comes to sports movies – the underdog coming good to defeat the champ while the music swells thing pretty much always has me pretending that I need to blow my nose in another room for the next 5 minutes; but yet here? Nothing. The final fight is reasonably good and at least doesn't totally overdo it, but I never felt into the fights, never felt the drama of the or got lost in them as a spectator. And again, at the risk of repeating myself, I say that as someone who was on the edge of my seat during the main fight of Rocky 6. Real Steel doesn't really deliver in this realm and it is a real shame because that is an easy string to pull for the audience.

Part of the reason it doesn't work is the fact that it is all special effects. They are very good effects, but they are still special effects and I found myself watching it with a bemused curiosity like I did when Robot Wars used to be on BBC2 on a Friday evening. Indeed, that is how it was for me – just bemusement rather than investment because the things are not real and never even felt close to being real. This isn't helped by the way the film is as predictable as it is clunky. The direction of the fight story (from junk yard to title shot) is as obvious as the emotional journey (bad relationship to good one) and the writers seem to have struggled to raise their energy for such a predictable trudge, because the dialogue is corny as hell and clunks around the screen more than the robots do. The cast do what they can and I did feel for Jackman working his heart out, but even he struggled to make it work.

Of course working with Goyo, he was always in a tough spot because this kid is annoying from start to finish. It doesn't help that Goyo is given dialogue that doesn't suit his character but also he spends most of the film being an ass, just like Jackman has to do; so after a while you realise that while you know where these characters are going, you don't actually like them very much for a big section of the movie. Lilly looks cute, not much else while Mackie gets a nice pay day for doing nothing much.

The sequel will come of course and it will be more of the same because it will sell like this one did, however it is hard to not be disappointed with it. OK it is for kids but why does that excuse it from being a good film? The sports action is noisy but heartless and everything else about it is clunky and predictable; the effects look good and technically it is impressive but it just never gets going and it always feels like the producers decided that the concept and the effects would get people in the door, so as long as they deliver on the concept (robots hitting each other) then there is no real need to worry the details (details like character, dialogue, heart and general plotting). Average at best this.
10 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
One of the worst movies ever
Joachim T (imdb-4788)28 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It's very rare that I don't expect much and much less is delivered.

The story is complete crap. No details of it makes sense. A fighting robot costs only 50k? A robot from the waste yard can almost kill the undefeated champion? A 11 year old boy can extract a 1000 pound robot ALONE while it is dug up in earth AND about 50 meters down a cliff?

Wow...that story was uninspired. The actors were doing their best and you see their potential. But this movie has not only crap story but incredible artificial emotional scenes.

I really wonder what possible reason Hugh Jackman or Evangeline Lilly could have had to play in this movie other than a really big load of money.

Don't watch this movie, really. Even if you are on of the "I didn't expect anything and so it was cool" guys. It's really not worth your time. If I had not promised to watch this movie with a friend I would have gotten out after 30 minutes max not being any curious what would have happened next.

Only nice thing were the animations. Real good work. Soundtrack was really crappy by the way.

So 2 stars for the good acting of a real bad story and 1 for the animation.
32 out of 59 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
"Real Steel" is the Real Deal
Jon Ochiai8 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Real Steel" is awesome. I did not expect this going in. It is more than just "Transformers" meets "Rocky" doing "rock-um sock-um robots". I saw Hugh Jackman on Jimmy Fallon talk about what made him enroll in the project. "Real Steel" beyond the visually astounding CGI glitz and spectacle is the touching story of father and son defining love and respect. Again, not all that surprising given Steven Spielberg is Executive Producer. I'm a fan of Jackman. "Real Steel" may be his crossover hit that leverages his amazing gifts, playing a real guy, and not a superhero. He is awesome, as well. As Jackman describes "Real Steel" is about second chances, and redemption. Sure the story's climax pits underdog undersized fighting robot Atom against the ferocious indestructible Zeus. For me, "Real Steel" resonates in its human voice. Hugh Jackman as Charlie confesses to his son Max (scene stealing Dakota Goyo), "You deserve better… than me." Charlie asks Max, what he wants from him. Max answers, "I want you to fight for me!" Yes, "Real Steel" is fighting for love with everything you have. "Real Steel" is the real deal.

Set in the near future, 2020, human boxing is now obsolete. Robot boxing is the reigning form of entertainment that gives audiences the brutal carnage without damage to human life. Jackman is Charlie Kenton, former boxer now manager of second rate robot boxers. As "Real Steel" opens we witness his robot Ambush being demolished at amusement event at a county rodeo. The promoter Ricky (arrogant and sleazy Kevin Durand) knows Charlie from his boxing days. It turns out that Charlie owes some bad people a lot of money. Charlie returns home to his love Bailey (beautiful and radiant Evangeline Lilly) with Ambush in tow. Bailey confirms that Ambush is a complete loss and reminds Charlie that he has no money. Bailey owns her father's boxing gym in the city, and her father managed and trained Charlie when he was a contender. Bailey can't support Charlie and keep the gym afloat.

Charlie gets word that his old girlfriend died, and he now has custody of their son Max (Goyo). Irresponsible Charlie pretty much abandoned Max and his Mom when he was born. Max is 11 years old. Max's Aunt Debra (unforgiving and taut Hope Davis) wants full custody of Max. At a court hearing in Texas, loutish Charlie expresses no interest in being a father. Instead he brokers a deal with Debra's wealthy husband Marvin (decent James Rebhorn) to sign custody away for $100,000. Charlie needs the money to buy state of the art champion robot, Noisy Boy. The catch: Debra and Marvin are vacationing in Italy for 2 months. So Charlie gets to forge a relationship with Max, or not. Really for Charlie this means having Bailey look after Max. Goyo is natural as the smart cool gamer kid, who is a fan of robot boxing and street dancing. Seems he also inherits his Dad's stubbornness. He also insists on calling Jackman, "Charlie". Max knows he is being played at least initially.

Evangeline Lilly is beautifully understated and generative as Bailey. Too bad she isn't given more to do, as well. She immediately is drawn to care for Max, because he is like Charlie, but void of his painful disappointments. In a wonderful scene she tells Max about the man Charlie was as a boxer. Although, he was 25 and 19, unfortunately all by knockout, he battled toe-to-toe with the number 2 contender in the world. Her Bailey loves Charlie so much, and is waiting for him to step into the great man he can be. Jackman shades Charlie as a powerful man, who lives life fully, leaving nothing behind. Of course the glaring paradox is his relationship with Max. Screen and story writers John Gatins, Dan Gilroy, and Jeremy Leven strike the right tone with their "Real Steel", they know it's the people that inspire, not the stunning special effects. Director Levy touchingly focuses his narrative as well.

Charlie's "Noisy Boy" is torn to shreds in an underground cage match. While searching for repair parts in the junkyard, Max uncovers another robot, Atom. Atom is a second generation sparring bot, as Charlie points out to Max. So Atom is built to take punishment, not inflict it. Unfazed Max is determined to fight Atom in matches. Using his hacker skills Max merges Noisy Boy's voice command feature with Atom's Shadow Function—Atom can flawlessly imitate every movement he sees. Charlie trains Atom giving the robot the punching combinations and instincts of a human boxer. Charlie and Max leverage this advantage over other fighting bots, and soon find themselves fighting in the WRB, World Robot Boxing. The reigning WRB Champion is Zeus, technological marvel designed by creator Tak Mashido (elegantly arrogant Karl Yune). Zeus is programmed with artificial intelligence that learns from his opponents and evolves. Zeus's owner is the gorgeous and canny Farra Lemkova, well played by Olga Fonda. Human instinct and courage is matched against calculated advanced technology. This is Charlie's last shot at greatness, and his chance to come to terms with his past.

In "Real Steel" Sugar Ray Leonard trained Hugh Jackman to box, and was the technical adviser for robot boxing in the ring. Jackman looks quick, strong, and lean. Too bad none of his boxer action sequences made it into the final cut. All this gives "Real Steel" a visceral authenticity. The real deal is Jackman and Goyo's heartfelt chemistry. Yes, that they become father and son is predictable. It's supposed to. Jackman is powerful and compassionate as he believably transforms into the hero. Goyo is wonderful as the innocent kid, who just wants to believe in something. In a poignant scene with both as Charlie fails to protect Max, he whispers, "I'm sorry…" "Real Steel" at times is shamelessly hokey, and I loved it. In the end it is about love, and all that you fight for. "Real Steel" gets it right.
68 out of 138 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Entertaining, but incredibly mediocre film
Jose Cruz3 October 2012
This sci fi "action" film is an entertaining, though still standard Hollywood fare, besides the basic premise, it is completely standard and clichéd ridden, its structure, story and characters are all taken from basic Hollywood models and they follow the standard script by the book. The basic premise of the film is that in the future people like watching joystick robot fights instead of real people fighting, a rather absurd premise, but interesting all the same. Though it also seem rather ludicrous that a massive highly sophisticated machine such as those 3 meter robots would cost less than a car.

I would recommend this to someone who likes the ludicrous premise but not to anyone else. I found it to be an enjoyable guilty pleasure, but I wouldn't recommend it to any of my friends.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Maybe i just expected too much
saquib4510 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I went in to the theater expecting a lot from this movie..I was disappointed by the end of it. Hugh Jackman's acting was worse than the kid playing his son..Evangeline Lilly had a very little role- a major part of which was cheering for Jackman's robot to win. The plot - lots of questions left unanswered. Why did the owners of Zeus want to buy atom - the old sparring robot? Does Atom actually understand people? Does he have special qualities? There's a scene where atom is looking at himself in the mirror..which builds up anticipation in the audience about atom having human qualities etc etc..which is very conveniently is left out by the makers of the movie.Disappointing. 4/10.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Meh....
deeya_rulz28 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Meh...... Solid family entertainment I guess. Kinda clichéd at times, son teaches dad to grow up?! How many times have we seen this?! Could have done without them. The robot fighting is pretty bad ass. But when you think about it, in a world where robots are built to fight for sport, not security, not too protect humanity you'd think the rest of technology would've caught up with this advancement. I mean, gas guzzlers, iPhone 5, hp crystal-pads hardly sync with autonomous battle bots. At the very least you'd imagine these bots being used as some form of law enforcement or security, but no. There are still no autonomous GREEN vehicles, yet they have built robots that can anticipate maneuvers and react accordingly with speed and precision. In the universe of Real Steel, somewhere down the line, human technology veered off from the advancement of the human race into the satisfaction of primal pleasure. Again the plot is clichéd but okay, the rest, characters, dialog, direction was good but nothing you'd look at twice.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed