Real Steel (2011)

Real Steel
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: John Gatins
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis, James Rebhorn

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) was a rather successful boxer until an injury and a general shift in the sport from human to robot boxing ended his career. Now he spends his days with trying to get enough money to get by through at best second rate fights with robots that are rather close to the junkyard. When circumstances reunite Charlie with his estranged 11 year old son Max (Dakota Goyo) and let him find a robot that actually is from the junkyard, against all odds things start to look up for all of them.

I honestly expected this movie to be worse (well, at least as bad as a movie with Hugh Jackman about boxing robots can get). I expected this film to be craptastic and it wasn’t. Not that it’s excellent, but it’s honestly pretty nice.

The best thing about the film, apart from the robots which were pretty damn cool, was Hugh Jackman, unsurprisingly. The only time he seriously jolted me from my suspense of disbelief was when Charlie says that he doesn’t dance. To here that from Hugh Jackman’s lips was just… no. But then again, it works pretty well as a huge Meta-Joke.

Dakota Goyo was pretty good, too. Reminded me a bit of Anton Yelchin – and there are certainly worse people to be reminded of, especially acting-wise. And Kevin Durand was the personified slime. We should have seen much more of Anthony Mackie but at least Karl Yune was very nice to look at, too.

So, cast and (predictable but satisfying) plot worked nicely.

What didn’t work so well were the soundtrack (which sounded like somebody heard the brilliant Daft Punk Tron soundtrack and figured that music like that is all the rage now so they better had to use it for their film but unfortunately nobody involved actually liked this kind of music so it ended up sucking pretty hard) and the treatment of women.

I mean, there is only 3 women in the entire film. One is the personality-free blueprint of the Hollywood Female Ideal(TM) and the other two are set up to be rather antagonistic. For the Russian who ruins boxing forever (presumably by bringing her female parts to the show) this might be objectively true, but Max’ aunt really doesn’t deserve the crap she gets from this film the entire time. At least she gets a bit of vindication in the end, but still. [The sad thing is that I don’t expect it any different any more.]

Summarising: Nice entertainment.

2 thoughts on “Real Steel (2011)

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