Real Steel: "His Name Is Atom. Get Him A Fight"

Director: Shawn Levy
Writer:    John Gatins
Starring:  Hugh Jackman
              Evangeline Lilly
              Dakota Goyo
              Anthony Mackie
              Kevin Durand
Rating:   ***

Release Date: 14/10/11

An interesting and action-packed film, based on the novel 'Steel' by Richard Matheson.

Charlie (Jackman) is a washed-up fighter who now spend his time training robots ever since humans were banned from boxing in favour of cyber fighters. Whilst Jackman does a terrific job with his performance and is able to provide plenty of reasons to care about him, the story lets him down. It falls into every action cliche it can and the story just feels very generic.

He's an opportunist and slippery customer, which puts great pressure on his relationship with his late mentor's daughter Bailey (Lilly). A sticky battle for custody of his son Max (Goyo) means he has Max over the summer, and he struggles to connect at first. It is things like this that all the cast portray brilliantly, and help you empathize, but it also makes the film feel old and recycled. They are fine storylines, but very over done plot points all the same. Lilly is relatable and extremely likable in the role, and Goya managed to not annoy me. This is an excellent feat when it comes to children in action/horror films. So I must say well done to both and their brilliant performances.

The relationship that's awkward at first soon becomes close and care free as Charlie and Max bond over their love for the robotic fighting machines and they rebuild an abandoned bot, Atom. The father son thing has been done, and it is a tad boring to be honest, but the chemistry and performances are believable and genuine, so the actors have to be commended on that. Of course Jackman is able to turn his life around and is forgiven for his shady past, redemption plot line cliche...check. It gives his character a journey, but one we have seen before, and it just feels a bit lazy to be frank.

The end was sweet when Charlie had to box to control the robot, as it allowed Jackman to show the characters passion for the sport. I just found the slow-mo and over the top music a bit over-done, and it distracted me from what could have been a brilliant scene. Everything ends pretty happy, and of course Atom is crowned people champion...obviously.

Real Steel could have been a really intriguing and different idea for a film, but unfortunately lame cliches and obvious plot lines left this film just a bit bland. The action, I will say, was brilliant and the effects excellent, and the acting from all was superb and it almost saved this movie, but unfortunately the end result was just alright. It is out in cinemas 14th October, and I'm not going to tell you not to see it, I'll just let you make up your own mind.
  Real Steel - Trailer