"Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots, the movie... right?"
That's what I said when we briefly discussed the upcoming Hugh Jackman flick Real Steel on the latest episode of Jay n' J. I mean really, when you look at the trailers and robot heavy marketing of this film, it's clear to see that that is what the marketing team was going for. And while there is definitely a good chunk of fighting robots in this film, like that other robot franchise there is more than meets the eye.
Not that you won't get an eyeful while sitting down to watch Real Steel. CGI sparks and metal fly all over the place is this movie and it looks pretty good. I hope there were some real life robots in this movie too, but honestly I couldn't tell. I'm not sure if that means that the CGI was that good looking or if the real life animatronics were that fake looking, but either way the effects guys for this flick really did a good job of seamlessly blending the two. So big thumbs up there.
I could also give a thumb up to Hugh Jackman and his kid co-star. They both had some great moments together. Moments that seemed more believable than a lot of the scenes Jackman shared with his love interest (and Canadian starlet) Evangeline Lilly. Lilly was good in a couple pivotal moments, but a couple of her monologues just didn't convince me. Jackman however, really seemed to take the Boxing past of his character seriously. He was really good at convaying his love and passion for the sport, as well as his love for his kid. The acting was really better overall than I was expecting from this movie.
The story too, was better than I thought it would be. There is much more of a story line and character arcs then you'd think there'd be in a movie about boxing robots. Jackman's character goes through quite a shift in perspective as the movie progresses and I was really surprised to be rooting for him by the end of the movie. The director did a great job of giving the audience those sweet metal on metal fight scenes, but not focusing on them. In fact I'd say a majority of the fight scenes don't even show you the whole fight, instead choosing to show you the characters reactions and struggles as the fights are going down.
Real Steel was a pleasant surprise for me. I liked it a lot more then I ever thought I would. So if your kids aren't interested in seeing The Ides of March this weekend, maybe you'll want to take them to this instead.