Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Real Steel

I liked this movie, I thought it was incredibly entertaining, and I recommend checking it out if all you want is a fun movie with heart, action, and great special effects.

Now, I told you that so I could tell you this: Real Steel is probably one of the dumbest movies ever made. This is ostensibly a science fiction film that posits a world ten years into our future that is virtually identical to our present, aside from the fact that robot boxing is now the most popular sport in the country. I don't doubt the appeal of robot boxing, since I rented this movie specifically because I wanted to watch robots boxing, but I don't understand why nothing else is different or changed. Human boxing has been pretty much unchanged for the past couple hundred years while other technologies have moved on, so it seems contrary to reason and logic and science to show a society where nothing but boxing has evolved. Computers seemed to be the same, cars look identical to ours, buildings and roads and even fashion seem the same that we have today. And yet there are robots, but they only seem to be used for boxing.

I think I've made my point and then some. This is a society that simply makes no sense. However, it's definitely a society I enjoyed watching, all though I'll admit the two hour plus running time had be fidgeting on my whenever the film wasn't focused on robots boxing.

So why are the robots boxing instead of humans? Well, according to a monologue given by Hugh Jackman during the midpoint of the film, humans had taken combat between two men as far as it could possibly go, so the only logical next step was to let machines start to kill each other. This is dumb for some many different reasons. First of all, robots don't bleed, so watching them punch each other will never be as satisfying for some people as watching humans destroy other humans. Nobody watches boxing for a logical reason or because they want to see a victor triumph over a competitor. People watch boxing because they want to see two people beat the crap out of one another, with the possibility that one might even die. Robots wouldn't really pack that kind of thrill, certainly not the radio controlled kind in this movie. They have eyes and hands but no real personality.

Here's another reason why I know robot boxing will never replace human boxing: There are six Rocky films. How much you want to be there will only be one Real Steel film?

But I will admit that robot boxing is certainly fun to watch, and this film has as lot of it. The computer effects are amazing and the designs of the robots are pretty cool. This is a neat movie with lots of robots hitting each other. I can't stress that point enough, and that's a good thing in case I'm being unclear.

There's also some nonsense about Hugh Jackman as a broken down ex fighter who's now controlling one of the robots, who also happens to be the only link that remains between him and his estranged son. And Evangeline Lily of Lost fame is also in there as Jackman's love interest. Both of them are very, very good looking, but neither is all that good of an actor. Then again, this script wasn't exactly Shakespearean in its depth or complexity. But Hugh did make a pretty convincing boxer.

Anyway... Real Steel. Check it out if you want to watch some really awesome robot fights, but just be aware that it's really dumb and about thirty minutes longer than it had to be.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

Reviews described this as being sort of like Rocky with robots. That sounded pretty good to me. I want to see it.

Donald said...

It's more like a robot version of Over the Top.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

heh. Good one.

Donald said...

If you ever watch the movie, you'll realize I'm actually not joking.

television lady said...


I have wanted to see this since I saw the preview at Super 8. Granted, I think all your points are probably valid and I knew that it would be mostly ridiculous but I still had interest. Did you see the TZ STEEL? I think it probably influenced both Rocky 4 and this . . . with that Russian being an implied sort of robot, maybe. It's not a great episode but I don't know, relevant, except it's an actual boxer fighting a metal robot getting his hands all cut up and shit. Ouch. Like Hugh Jackman having to go in against robots because that was his last chance or something. . . . I can't remember exactly.
Great review. I'll see it now for sure.