October 7, 2011 Real Steel
Studio: Touchstone Pictures Rating: PG-13 for some violence, intense action and brief language.
Seeing big robots fight it out really isn't new. Terminators and Transformers, anyone?
But I don't remember them stepping into a boxing ring before.
That's the premise of "Real Steel." Set in the near future, human pugilists have been retired. Now, mechanical men fight for our entertainment.
It's the childhood toy "Rock 'em, Sock 'em Robots" come to life.
Hugh Jackman stars as Charlie. He was once one of the top boxers in the world, but now he's working the robot fighting circuit. Sometimes he's legit, but most of the time he's involved in the underground fighting game.
However, he's not doing well. Charlie's main machine is pulverized in an underground fight...so he breaks into a junkyard with his son Max (Dakota Goyo) to find parts for a new robot.
Charlie and Max haven't had a very good relationship, but that starts to change when Max makes a big discovery as he sifts through the rubbish.
He finds and old discarded sparring robot. Charlie says the machine, named Atom, doesn't have a chance against the prime fighters of the World Robot Boxing League, but the kid believes in Atom. Working with the robot, Charlie discovers Atom is a quick learner. He teaches him some of his old boxing moves to keep him upright and swinging in the ring.
You could easily dismiss this movie as a brainless, heap of boys and their toys. But you would be wrong. Jackman's lovable rogue has you cheering for him, especially as he rebuilds his relationship with Max.
I was surprised there was so much story here. I cared about the characters...I rooted for them..and I wanted Atom to win it all. To tell you how it ends would be too big of a spoiler...but I think you'll like this film...regardless of whether Atom brings home the championship belt.
Plus, it's got big robots pounding each other into mechanical mush. What's not to like?
On my rating scale, "Real Steel" earns a TRIPLE.
TWO AND A HALF MEN Tonight at 7:00 PM It Never Rains in Hooterville
After realizing that Jake's childhood is almost over, Alan makes a last-minute try at father-son bonding; Kandi embarks on a new career