Before we start, do yourself a favour and get the Rock’em Sock’em robot jokes out of your system. I’m serious, get it all out there. Just shout them out. I don’t mind, I can wait.
Done? Good. Because while watching this movie, I wasn’t thinking about the similarities between the sixties’ toy and this story.
Have you ever played Mike Tyson’s Punch Out? Because that’s what I kept thinking about more than I thought Rocky.
Hugh Jackman plays Charlie, an underground Don King of robot boxing. He finds out some girl died and her son, who just happens to be his son as well, will be in the custody of her aunt. Now he has to take care of his son for the summer, and try to rebuild the relationship while he competes to gain cash. Wait, isn’t that the plot to Over The Top, also with Sylvester Stallone?
During a scrap search, he finds a fully-functioning sparring bot, called Atom. (Should have just called him Little Mac, or the anagram of Rocky, at this rate.) He gets in fights of the minor league, like an an abandoned zoo to fight a hobo robot. Pretty much ike when Homer Simpson was a boxer in that one episode. Over time, he gets a league fight, where he runs into the champion robot fighter in the world called Zeus. Wait Zeus? Oh crap, they are now being inspired by Hulk Hogan’s movie No Holds Barred. Was Tiny Lister playing the robot in this movie? Hell, it’s run by a russian woman that I can’t get over the fact that she’s exactly like Brigitte Nielsen in Rocky 4.
So, from all those films I mentioned, it shows that this movie is not exactly a creative movie. That being said, the film is actually really entertaining. They did a great job getting sympathy and emotions about the main plot of a father-son reunion. Jackman and the boy, played by Dakota Goyo, have such a great chemistry and are very convincing as a team. The love interest, played by Evangeline Lilly, was also really well done. All the villains in the movie are convincing and realistic in the film. You are cheering for the robot, and the people behind it, and you get excited and worried whenever they do well or fall behind.
The short story it was based on, was written in the fifties, if you can believe that, by Richard Matheson, the same guy who wrote I Am Legend.
Real Steel takes the underdog story, which has been done many times over, and continues to make it entertaining and gripping. I highly recommend it, especially if you are the fan of the underdog story.