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Real Steel

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Mark Suszko
Real Steel
on Jan 25, 2012 at 5:21:45 pm

Saw this on DVD last night. It would have been great on a large screen, but was enjoyable at home as well. Jackman's accent is as tortured as his character's psyche in this very formulaic boxer's comeback movie, but the sci fi setting with the robots puts a very entertaining spin on the same old story.

The plot is a little strained by uncharacteristic behavior swapping between the dad and estranegd son, where the 11 year old has all the maturity and wisdom and the dad is the reckless, impulsive dolt who blows chance after chance to make steady but unexciting progress... The film is more of a riff on the wrestling and MMA world than pure boxing, and a time or two I got tiny whiffs of The Running Man from it. But those were enjoyable. I found Jackman the hardest thing to like in the movie, between the crazy on-off accent and his character's wild mood swings (which I blame on the script and direction more than the actor).

The main thing anybody is going to watch ths movie for is the robots and combat scenes, and those are well-delivered, even though they take some shortcuts explaining how much of the robot is remote control and how much is AI, which makes it difficult at times to invest in the character of the protagonist robot. Does it have awareness, or is it just a cute puppet? The movie dances around both ideas but won't fully commit to either.

Kids are going to love this movie, adults will think it a little simplistic but harmless fun.

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