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Mike Wilder brings you movie reviews. Each week a Selection of reviews for new releases and older films plus movie comparisons.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Review of Real Steel (2011) by Mike

Title: Real Steel

Original UK Release Date: 14th October 2011

Original US Release Date:  7th October 2011

UK Rating: 12

US Rating: PG-13

Director: Shawn Levy

Genre: Action/Science Fiction

Plot: A washed up boxer, making a living in the futuristic sport of robot boxing, is reunited with the son he abandoned. Together they make a journey into forgiveness and hope.

Mike's Review

            This film is the reason I decided to do my own movie reviews. After hearing a review for this film from BBC Radio 1’s movie reviewer, I decided to start my own review page. She reviewed this film seeing nothing more than the robots. She totally missed out on the whole plot of the movie, and then her comment “the climax takes a long time to come and it happens right at the end” made me want to climb into the radio and tape her mouth shut. I know where I expect the climax of a film to be, and I know it is nowhere but at the end of the film. Yes this film has big giant robots in it, but the plot is way more than that, it is a story about redemption and doing the right thing no matter how hard the journey. I got that much from just seeing the trailer, she saw the whole thing and missed the whole point.

            Ok rant over.

            This is a good film, not a great film but very good. Hugh Jackman is good in this but to be fair he is good in most things. He gets to show off a bigger range of his acting skills than he has in the X-Men films. He plays Charlie Kenton, a former boxer now heavily in debt due to pushing his fighting robots too hard and expecting more than they can give, like fighting a 300lb bull! This also stars Evangeline Lilly in I believe her first role since the series Lost ended. She is also very good in this. However, the star of the film is Dakota Goya as Max Kenton. He shines as the child thrown together with the father he doesn’t know. He enters the world of robot fighting with his father and manages to rescue a robot from a scrap pile. He then convinces his father to enter the robot in the fights. You really get to experience the wonder of the Robots through him. The other star is the robot he rescues, Atom. Although not sentient, the director manages to bring him to life with good camera angles and subtle sounds. You really start to feel for the robot and you manage to forget the fights aren’t real. The other very clever part of the film is the setting. It is set in the near future, but the only really futuristic thing is the robots. There are no fancy cars or clothes and this enables you to connect with the film easier.

            The climax of the film (at the end!), is a big showdown with the undefeated champion. Instead of just two robots bashing each other, you get Atom, the underdog, controlled by Max, and helped by his father. You see and feel each blow the robot takes and through the acting skills of Dakota Goya, you forget it’s a machine and you can’t help but cheer him on.

            This could have been an average film, but the fine performances by the cast and the skill of the director in bringing Atom to life with just the use of camera shots and clever subtle sounds turns this film in to a joy to watch as you take the journey with father, son and giant robot.

8 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Dakota Goyo as Max Kenton


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