All Metal, Some Muscle and very little Heart. That’s Real Steel for you.
What’s it about? It’s about a “Once-upon-a-long-time-ago” boxer who is basically a loser at whatever he does. He doesn’t have any money, keeps buying robots on loans, loses Robot boxing matches and is basically a big loaf. Until one day his ex-girlfriend dies and his abandoned son comes to his doorstep. His life changes for the good and he starts having more focus. In between, they stumble upon a Domestic Robot, who turns out to be a brilliant boxer and almost wins the Boxing World Championship.
What works? The movie is total paisa vasool. Hugh Jackman is brilliant as the stubborn ol-boxer. His comic timing is spot on and he carries the movie on his broad shoulders. Dakota Goyo as Jackman’s son is awesome. He dances well, acts well and emotes beautifully. Their chemistry is what keeps you entertained. The Robot fight sequences and the background score are powerful.
What doesn’t? Real Steel tries hard to go from the light hearted, spirited film to a tear jerker. What the film lacks is the emotional connect. The director tries hard to lift the emotional quotient of the film towards the climax to give it a heart. Because only when you connect emotionally, does it create a huge impact. Unfortunately with ROBOTS fighting, there is not much tension and the audience really isn’t concerned about the hero. So, the director in turn tries to find the emotional connect outside the fighting sequence. So he goes into slow-mo teary sequences of a euphoric son and a loving girlfriend. But none of that actually works. Also, there are a lot of “Coincidences” and “Liberties” taken. There is mystery about the Robot that is never solved. It’s just too convenient.
Is it Worth it? It’s a decent watch in the theatre. The robot fight sequences would look best on a big screen and hence worth the visit. But don’t go looking out for a classic. It’s a timepass fare which is almost there. Well, Real Steel is almost the Real deal.
Rating : 6 / 10