Monday, October 17, 2011

Real Steel (2011)

Real Steel
Director : Shawn Levy
Stars : Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo
Rating : 4.5/5

Summary : 

This movie is set on 2020, where Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is an ex-boxer who is struggling to make ends meet in robot boxing industry, with his last remaining robot torn up by a bull during a circus performance, much to the amuse Ricky. Charlie's luck made a turn, when he was summoned by the court to settle the custody for his 11 years old son, Max (Dakota Goyo) due to the recent death of his ex-wife. Meanwhile, Charlie took advantage of the fact that Aunt Debra, who happen to be his ex-wife sister and wanted to get custody of Max, by demanding 100 grand from Debra's husband in order for Charlie to give up the custody. However, Debra's husband wanted Charlie to keep Max for a few weeks while he and Debra went for a holiday in Italy. He gave Charlie 50 grand up front and the rest after he came back from holiday.

Charlie used up most to purchase a Japanese Robot, Noisy Boy much to the amazement of Max, who is a big fan of robot boxing too. Max had never seen Charlie before, therefore was reluctant to be found under his father care when his Aunt Debra away for holiday. On the other hand, Max was so excited that he was exposed to the robot boxing industry while tagging along with Charlie. The air headed, Charlie who dismissed Max advise, lost Noisy Boy instantly during an underground battle. Bailey (Evangeline Lilly), is the owner of the boxing gym and daughter of Charlie's mentor. She is constantly being supportive for Charlie, although he had given up on himself.

Bailey telling Max about his father's glory days
One day, while both father and son went to a restricted junkyard to look for scrape metal to build a new robot, Max fell down a muddy cliff and was save by a discarded robot, Atom. The story dwells into how Max fall in love with the robot that he found and encourage Charlie to trained Atom to participate in the battle, from underground to national stage. Charlie made use of Atom's shadowing ability that can mimic his owner movement by asking Max to perform dances with Atom when making their appearance in each battle.

After rounds of success in the underground battle, Max and Charlie was invited to participate in the World Robot Boxing Championship. While being there, the Russian billionaire, Farra Lemkova, the owner of Robot Boxing Champion, Zeus noticed Atom uniqueness and proposed to Max to sell Atom for 200 grand. Max instantly refused, but Charlie was appalled and tried to persuade Max to change his mind. However, Max had such strong will that he won't back down and after winning the battle, the furious Max made a public announcement to challenge Zeus in a battle. Charlie nearly had a panic attack and quickly stop Max from saying more.

Later, Aunt Debra was back to collect Max and Charlie was paid the remaining 50 grand. Charlie refused the payment, but Max was already pissed off after finding out Charlie sold him for 100 grand. Charlie tried to make amend when Max wish to fight with Zeus was granted.

Spoiler :

Zeus dominated from the start by collapsing Atom several times. The strong willed Atom manage to be back on his feet every time. But after Atom's voice command  goes faulty, Charlie switch to use Atom's shadowing function. This is the time when Max felt touch by his father, Charlie determination to help him win the battle. They found out that Zeus weakness was inability to sustain long fight due to power shortage. Charlie make use of this by receiving many blows from Zeus until he goes weak and started the counter attack. When Atom starts attacking Zeus, the crowds rose to cheer and applause. They never would have taught Atom can survived so many rounds with Zeus.

Finally, right before Zeus beginning to collapsed, the ending bell was ring. The final tally from the judge showed Zeus still win the match with higher point, but was jeered by the crowd. The end scene showed Max, Charlie and Atom gave the classic victory punch in the air while the crowd cheered on.

Review :

Throughout the movie, Max demonstrated his maturity despite being 11 years old, and he taught Charlie that money is not everything and to never give up for what you wish for. This is a movie about the success of an underdog, Atom in the national stage and how Charlie, who used to be a good boxer found back himself when Max insisted him to fight with Atom in the World Robot Boxing stage. The fun part is watching Max and Atom dance together during each of their appearance. I like the fact that this is a pure and sincere movie without the secret agenda about technical sabotaging or conspiracy. I rate this 4.5, only due to the lack of background story on the reason for Charlie being such a sulky person who tried to avoid the boxing stage.

Plot 4/5
E value 5/5
Rating 4.5/5