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Friday, October 14, 2011

Real Steel

I have been a fan of Robot movies since I was in grade school. I first fell in love with the genre back when I first saw Short Circuit with Number 15. I don't know if you can still remember him. Then there was the adorable David from Artificial Intelligence, and Andrew from Bicentennial Man, which was, by the way, the first robot who made me shed a tear.

When I first saw the trailer for Real Steel, I was a bit skeptical with the title, which I believe could've been improved in one way or another, but then, the title won't speak of the entirety of the film.With its lead, Hugh Jackman, the film could attract more viewers without even looking at the title of the film.

The movie is set in the near future, around 2020 or even later, where Boxing is an obsolete sport for men but a trend for robots.Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer who now works with Robots to compete on underground boxing matches. During his road trip, he encountered two men with news that his wife is dead and he was left with his 11 year-old child whom he had not seen since birth. He was prepared to give up the child from his custody and decided to leave the child with his aunt for a price.Charlie is set for a challenge when he has to take care of his child for the entire summer along with 100 grand. After a series of losses and Charlie nearing to declare bankruptcy, they accidentally stumbled upon a sparring robot, who, by the determination of his kid, Max, was able to conquer the impossible and that is to become one of the best fighter.

One of the strengths of the movie is that it has provided enough characterization for the lead. This is not the type where metals are clinkering like junk from a metal shop. The conflict with Charlie's character, as he struggles with financial problems and his fatherly responsibilities is very convincing. Atom (the robot), also provides a human-like charisma. This is one underdog story where its viewer may not be aware of. Dakota Goyo who played Max is even better as the sarcastic, stubborn kid who can outshine Jaden Smith.

Real Steel is not your typical action movie. It combines a witty comedy and an exceptional combination of technology with a satisfying character development with its protagonist. Though the film may feel so generic, this movie excels in making the audience feel involved with the characters. It is also satisfying to see that the robots featured in the movie does not have that 3D feel, they were actually animatronics, and from that point, they have succeeded. This is one robot film that could kick the last 2 Transformers movie. I have more fun with Real Steel than Transformers 2 and 3 combined.

The credit goes to Shawn Levy, whom I mistakenly identified as "Eugene Levy." Shawn made good movies like Date Night, which I adore a lot, and Cheaper by The Dozen and the not so good Night at the Museum series. Real Steel is the movie for those who still have hangovers with the Summer movies. I, for one, is very impressed with the message of the movie which is the importance of family but most of all the concept where human intelligence and capacity is far greater than any machine we are now dependent with.



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