by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
If you’re looking for an action film you can take your family to, Real Steel may be the perfect choice. The fighting is mostly between robots, but it’s more like a life size video game than like the sentient robots fighting it out in Transformers.
Set at some point in the future, though it doesn’t seem to be far in the future, Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is an ex boxer and now robot boxing promoter/trainer who has had a lot of bad luck and made a lot of bad choices, among those being to abandon his son. Robot boxing is a major sport with underground illegal clubs and the big time major fights in sports arenas.
But his life takes an unexpected turn when the mother of his child dies and he takes on his 11-year-old son Max for the summer. Max goes on the road with him with his latest robot but things don’t go well and they find themselves in a junk yard looking for parts for a new robot. Instead, Max finds an old retired model robot named Atom that he insists on taking with them. Turning out to be every bit as stubborn and tough as Charlie, Max won’t take no for an answer.
The journey Max, Charlie and Atom go on over the summer is heartwarming as you see them change, and a surprising champion emerges. This is definitely a feel good kind of movie and the wonderful music of Danny Elfman adds a lot to the feel.
While this movie was somewhat predictable, the unusual setting provided an interesting way to tell a familiar story of underdogs, family and love. Hugh Jackman was great and gorgeous as always and Dakota Goyo as Max is adorable and very talented—can’t wait to see where this kid goes and was surprised to find out he’s the boy who played the young Thor in Thor. While there’s some non robot violence, it’s not extreme so I think this is a perfect family movie if you’re looking for something a little more dramatic and action filled than Smurfs. And there’s just a smidge of romance thrown in as well.
Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action and brief language.
Real Steel is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.