Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Real Steel

Noisy Boy prepares for battle.

I wrote a piece on sport in the movies as an introduction to The Fighter (2010) for the RBC Film Club, in it I stated that boxing has been the sporting genre that movie lovers and critics alike seem to have a great affinity for. Well there was a very different type of boxing movie at the RBC on Friday and Saturday night last week. Best described as Rocky with Robots, the American science fiction film Real Steel (2011) is set in the near future where the great sport of boxing has gone high tech!

Charlie Kenton, a washed up conventional boxer, lost his chance at a title bid when 2000 pound, eight foot tall steel robots took over the ring. Now a small time promoter he earns just enough money pitting his scrap yard robots in low-end bouts travelling from one underground venue to the next. Charlie who owes large sums of money to the wrong people, discovers he has a son from one of his past romantic liaison’s and now has to appear at a child custody hearing following the death of the boys mother. He’s more than happy to sign young Max over to the boys Aunt, but she cannot take custody until after a prearranged trip to Europe!  The boy is therefore left with his father until after the summer. Charlie agrees to help his newly found son build and train a new robot.
Charlie trains Atom.

Directed by Canadian Shawn Levy, whose body of work I’m not familiar with, and starring Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, Lost star Evangeline Lilly as Kenton’s love interest and the twelve year old Dakota Goyo as Max Kenton. Loosely based on a 1957 short story Street by Richard Matheson, Real Steel is absolute nonsense, entirely predictable from the very first scene and the product placement is diabolical, but the whole thing is terrific fun. The robots are totally believable and the films highpoints are the brilliantly staged fights between them, like the recent Planet of the Apes movie; motion capture technology is used. As my colleague said a great Saturday night movie, the RBC will be selling popcorn next?

Atom's ready for his bout.

No comments:

Post a Comment