Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Movie Review: Real Steel (2011)

Real Steel (2011)
Director - Shawn Levy
PG-13; 127 Min
Charlie - Hugh Jackman
Max - Dakota Goyo
Bailey - Evangeline Lilly

So I had to kill some time while waiting for my new glasses (I wear contacts except at night watching TV, so it's been 5 years since I got new ones, and if I were to wear those while driving on some random occasion I wouldn't have been able to read a stop sign nor avoid an entire crossing of deer), so yeah, I had to kill some time and I happened to be next to a movie theater so I did something I never do and I just walked in and picked a movie that was starting.  That movie was Real Steel.

This is the exact type of movie I would never pay to go see if I had taken some time to think ahead and plan a trip to the movies, but since it was between that, 2 films I have already seen, or a few things that looked absolutely horrendous, I ponied up the $6.50 matinee price and found myself seated in a room with approximately 12 other people, 6 of which were children.  Thankfully my favorite back right corner seating area was empty so I settled in for what I assumed would be an average viewing experience, if that.

As for the movie, I'm not going to dissect it, but guess what? It wasn't terrible! I mean, it really didn't totally and completely suck! It certainly wasn't one of the worst films I've seen this year and in the end I sort of thought I liked parts of it just fine.  Of course, let's be real (is that a pun? I have no idea), the movie was pretty awful in some regards.  I mean, Jackman as a deadbeat dad who has zero acting ability sort of gives it away that this will not be another Rocky, but then we find out that this is exactly Rocky except it takes place with human controlled robots fighting each other for prize pools.  Actually, this is a cross between two great Sly Stallone films - the great boxing one and the equally great (am I serious?) arm wrestling one, Over the Top, except in this reincarnation Jackman doesn't give a damn about his kid at first whereas Sly at least had some love for his bratty rich kid in the other.

I've rambled.  Put it this way: this is actually entertaining.  It is completely dumbed down with scenes involving the father/son/girl relationship (Evangeline Lilly from Lost fame looks hot but adds little), but the scenes of robot fighting and the way it is shot actually worked well.  I have no idea who the audience is for this but I'm guessing it is really really wide, so if you're looking to see something corny and don't want to be mad when you leave, I think this one does the trick.

*** out of 5

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