October 17, 2011
The Hollywood sports movie typically follows the triumph of an underdog against all odds. We have seen it in "Rocky," in "Mighty Ducks," in "Cool Runnings," even in "Ice Princess," and so on and so forth. As it was quite evident in its trailer, "Real Steel" will undoubtedly follow this same tried and true formula.
Despite being very predictable, and yes, cheesy, "Real Steel" still succeeds to entertain the audience. I believe this is mainly because of the interesting premise of robot boxing replacing conventional boxing in the near future (this movie is set in 2020). The special effects of these robot boxing matches were very exciting and exhilarating. The action in the boxing ring still remains raw, palpable and realistic, even given its mechanical fighters. This is definitely NOT like the messy Transformers.
A big factor is also the goodwill and charisma of lead actor Hugh Jackman in the two aspects of his character Charlie. He had earnest performance as the father trying to establish a relationship with an estranged son. He also had a very energetic performance as an ex-boxer now the controller of a Robot Boxer. He is very likable in both aspects, as well as with his chemistry with his co-stars, Dakota Goyo (who played his headstrong son Max) and very pretty Evangeline Lilly (who plays his girlfriend Bailey).
Therefore despite already knowing how this film will end, even as early as the trailer several months ago, I would say that it will still be worth one's time to go and watch the awesome action sequences on the big screen. I think these adrenalized action scenes strike a good balance with the rather hokey yet unavoidable (given the father and son theme) melodramatic scenes. There is something for everyone here.