Real Steel packs a punch, and I mean a real hard punch, by the visuals, by the standards of motion captures birthing as a new age spectacle, of Shawn Levy- from Date Night, And Battle of The Smithsonian's fame- reaching out from his home of 20th Century and making an absolute no holds barred brutally enjoyable film that I will just tell you deserves your time and your laughter. Your gasps and your general appreciation, because, as daft, stupid, predictable, un-nuanced the film is, it's a great old reverting action fest of metal, gleaming steel, oil bursts, photorealistic wonders galore that you shall ever embrace and grin at and nod too and get emotionally attached to. It's like crying over a film like Kong, you feel for these characters and you root for the main robot, you root for Atom, you root for the win, you are rooting for this Father/ Son relationship to work.
Charlie, a loner, a gambler and a father of a 11 year old son is on the road, piling out the metal, betting his Borg of a machine against, rough back alley fights, and against bulls. In a world where real life violence isn't enough, remote controlled, voice activated, memory imprinted Robots are pitted against another till la fight to the death, till thick oil spills and sparks illuminate the arena. But he isn't the most sympathetic, after the death of his sons mother he must get custody, but at a chance moment and clarity of money he sells the kid off to buy another borg, but will have to hold on to him till the aunt/ Uncle that have brought him are done with their business. He hasn't seen this child for years there's no emotional attachment, there's no remorse, power, love, just a very head held high young chap who has something in his blood, a thing for robots and boxing. So on the road they come across Atom, a sparring bot, he can take lots of hits, but can't deliver the dirt. Duration running Charlie sees a light, money through this fantastic memory imprinting bot, which soon gets Charlie out of his own arse of never boxing again and training up it up, to become a league runner and getting not only a gleam of cash but an admiration for this young chap, everything that Charlie was.
Story aside, the young newcomer taking the stance as Charlie's son is powerfully grand, he's fun, witty, and charismatic and gives Hugh a run for his money. Hugh himself isn't just a big name to boost the box office ratings but can deliver this lost soul aesthetic as he does so well in Wolverine but done on such an impacting scale here, a realism affordable of his cash in his wallet after a day's wrap.
The visuals far exceed many Hollywood blockbusters, now the power house that is WETA allowing people to use motion capture now in a location instead of a steely grey soundstage, where now the performance is there for both actor and director and for the techy dream house to work their magic, a power tour de force. Shawn levy whom has made some favourites of mine- Date Night- BOTS- others I loathed- The Pink Panther- Just Married, but here he seems turbo charged, to create a dramatic action piece that will give the box office a good feeding and audiences for something to admire. Elfmans score is superb, very steely, very turbo charged, though it hinders on the trademark of a very spine chilling chorus, but also re using his unused piece from The Kingdom, gaining its rights back, or just feeling it's his score his alone, since its use in Rango and redefining it to his wits for this magnificent romp whom it's score adds everything. The boxing fights depths added through this very night club esquire type score.
Daft, full on, impacting, rough, rapid, still a tad over long, it's a grand scaled family feast to enjoy, and certainly don't go expecting Blade Runner type dialogue or Minority report style, nor don't go with a presumption of "oh it's like Transformers" now this film has more credit than that piece of tosh!