REAL STEEL Friday 14 October, 2011

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots: The Movie. Is surprisingly good.

Let’s not get carried away though. This is essentially a re-hash of Rocky, Over The Top and Kramer Vs Kramer…with massive robots knocking the hell out of each other.  Admittedly I’m a sucker for massive robots so this film is already half way there for me.

It is possible to have too much of a good thing.  That’s something that certain bearded producers may want to try and hammer into a certain OTT director of another series of ‘massive robot’ films.  Where Real Steel triumphs over it’s far noisier neighbour is that it gives us just enough robot but allows the humans room to make us care about what the robots are up to. In the recent Transformers movies I’ve found myself wondering what the hell was going on and why I should care.

This is no Glengarry Glen Ross though. The dialogue at times is a little wince-inducing and some of the plot events are telegraphed like an ineffective jab but on the whole this is about as good as a robot boxing movie is going to get.

Hugh Jackman is OK. I sometimes wondered if he was a little confused as to how to play his character on the whole he gets the job done. Evangeline Lilly is really only there for eye candy which is a real waste as she’s a pretty solid actor but her character is a bit part at most.  The kid is just another hollywood identikid (where do they come from? I’d like to know so that I can make sure I never go there).

The real star of the show is the impressive CG work. These robots are exactly what you want to see if you go to watch a robot boxing film. Their movement is fluid and realistic which really helps sell the effect. They look quite a lot like Transformers but I think all robots will look like that in films from now on.  I wonder if that’s what our future robot friends will look like too.

I was a little bit worried about the savagery of the beatings on show early on the film.  Because these are robots trying to kill each other the film makers can go that bit further but it’s pretty unpleasant.  I think mainly because I got a shuddering glimpse of a future episode of Robot Wars.

So I wouldn’t normally include a film here which the best I can say about is that it does the job.  However, this site is for geeks and I’m presuming you’ll all like robots and there are very few good robot films and this is one of them so I though it only fair to flag it up to you.

If you like Rocky films and you like Robots then you’re going to love this.


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  • Brown says:

    Shouldn’t the movement have been clunky and michanical rather than “fluid”? They could have saved themselves a lot of time if they’d just hired Hugh Grant to play the robots. Can’t get more clunky and michanical than that. Wrap him in tin-foil = job done.

    • geekspeller says:

      Haha. I’ll see your Hugh Grant (who I think you’re being a little unfair to…only a little, mind) and raise you a Colin Farrell. Also, I don’ think I want to see fifteen foot high metal bastards that have been modelled on the boxing prowess of Mr Four Weddings Actually Hill.

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