Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thoughts on "Real Steel"

D' and a friend really wanted to see "Real Steel" this weekend.  I really wasn't interested, but eventually agreed to take them both.  The premise seemed interesting enough and we hadn't been to a movie in a really long time (for us).  Turns out that we were extremely fortunate the choose the movie that we did.

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer/current down-on-his-luck robot boxer who is limping from one fight to the next all the while running from one debtor or the other.  He eventually learns that he has an 11-year-old son (Dakota Goyo) whose mother recently passed away.  He agrees to sign his parental rights away fro $100,000 to the boy's aunt if he agrees to care for Max for three months.  Charlie and Max soon bond over an obsolete sparring robot named Atom, which possesses the uncanny ability to absorb a lot of damage and dish out Charlie's boxing moves.  Atom, Charlie, and Max quickly find themselves winning increasingly impressive fights and unprecedented attention for their unconventional fighting style.  It all culminates in one final "David VS. Goliath" battle against the unbeatable robot fighting champion, Zeus, before Max goes to live permanently with his aunt and uncle.

Real Steel does a great job of drawing you into this crazy premise of robot fighting and Rock'em Sock'em action, while also working to realistically redeem Kenton's loser image and patch his rocky relationship with his son.  The prodigal parent isn't perfect (not even at the end), but he ultimately gives his son what he needs -- in terms of his short-term emotional stability as well as his long-term stability.

Real Steel has been out for nearly a month, so it might not be around much longer at the theaters.  Check it out if you have the chance.  There is something for pretty much everyone in your family, especially if your kids are starting to outgrow cartoons, but still crave family-friendly action flicks.

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