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Real Steel Review

The only reason Real Steel exists is because Hugh Jackman needed a paycheck and he didn’t want to play as Wolverine. Other than that the film is as shallow as a puddle. It brings nothing new to the table in terms of story, acting and even special effects. It’s a talentless director trying to channel his inner Michael Bay for special effects, but realizing that he doesn’t have the budget to make an action picture, instead he hires whoever he can to fill the cast list and tries to make a father son bonding film that evokes no emotions from its audience. It does however evoke the feeling of being sick to my stomach. Real Steel is a disaster of a film that tries being two different movies and ends up being nothing but scrap metal.

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer who now spends his time traveling across the country with washed up robots trying to make a little cash. He has no responsibility or care for anyone or anything. He’s in debt with the wrong people and trying to figure out what to do. At the worst possible time his kid, who he’s straight up abandoned, is thrown into his life for a brief moment while his aunt attempts to obtain custody. The mother died and the aunt wants to take the child, but Charlie sees this as an opportunity. He initially tries to sell the kid to the aunt, but ends up doing a little bargaining and scores a deal. He gets some cash up front if he watches the kid over the summer and then when he returns the kid he’ll be given some more cash.

His son Max (Dakota Goyo) is a little bit of a spitfire. He’s got his father’s stubbornness and a curiosity for robot brawling. As the two start bonding they come across an old robot that no one wants. The kid fixes it up and asks his father to help get him some fights. It’s the blind leading  the blind.

Real Steel is so damn pathetic.

The rest of the film plays out in a very predictable fashion. Max’s robot ends up winning a ton of fights and Charlie starts to like the kid. They become close, things get in the way and it all sorts itself out in the end. Not one surprise is tossed in and the whole thing feels like a massive waste of time.

My two biggest gripes with Real Steel are its lack of establishing a tone and the piss poor directing that makes it feel like one of the most generic and uninteresting films I’ve ever seen. The film bounces around, trying to be a lightly serious robot action film and a very kid friendly father son bonding flick. One moment we’re exposed to brutal boxing between robots, powered by really nasty individuals and then the next moment we are subjected to 5 minutes of the kid teaching his robot how to dance while listening to Eminem.

The closest thing to compare this to is Transformers. Michael Bay took childish source material, at least in my opinion, and injected it with enough action and crazy effects to make it at least worthy of popcorn film status. Real Steel has moments of that madness, but most of it is covered with really sappy material that misses all of the right beats. Charlie is a dickhead father who has no redeeming qualities. He’s that same dickhead from beginning, middle and end. The only lesson he learns is that kids can be useful when it comes to making money in the robot fighting league, oh and maybe that he’s a piece of shit that signed his kid away for 100 thousand bucks.

Sure, they hug it out at the end, but that doesn’t really solve all of the past neglect does it? If you’re looking for anything deeper than a paper cut then you will be displeased with Real Steel. If you’re looking for some sweet action between robots then you’ll still probably be displeased because you have to sit through a lot of “cute” scenes between Max and Charlie.

The characters are so wooden and dull that it makes you question Shawn Levy‘s ability as a director. Does he even try and get some sort of emotional response from any of his performers or does he let Hugh Jackman walk around and look tired for the majority of the film? The kid who plays Max does nothing but dance and forgive his father in 10 seconds. Maybe they deserve each other when it’s all said and done. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is a perfect expression for the relationship between Max and Charlie.

You have Evangeline Lilly, of Lost fame, who plays Charlie’s friend/love interest. That’s never really further touched upon, but a feeling of incest kind of comes to mind between the two, even though there not actually related, one moment there treating each other like brother and sister and the next there making out over some half destroyed robot. What kind of message is this sending to the kids?

Real Steel is complete junk. The only thing that didn’t suck were the special effects, but Michael Bay and many others have been doing this kind of work for a while now, so no pass is given here. The characters are the most generic and uninteresting people I’ve seen on film this year and the story plays it so safe leaving no room for surprises. The whole build up is severely flawed. Even suspending your own disbelief doesn’t work for Real Steel. There is absolutely nothing enjoyable in the film and it’s a shame because I enjoy watching Hugh Jackman stray away from his X-Men fame. Director Shawn Levy has managed to take an interesting concept and inject it with the most generic underdog story known. The casting doesn’t help the film at all because of the faulty story and everything else doesn’t really matter. Real Steel packs no punches.

Real Steel – 5/10

*Note: Real Steel is proof that Michael Bay does indeed house some sort of talent. It may not be much, but its miles better than Shawn Levy*

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/pw000920040300 Wilson Reinke

    This movie sounds like shit. Won’t be seeing this one. Well, maybe for Limp Bizkit ;D

    • chunky1909

      WATCH THE MOVIE!! DON’T FOLLOW THE REVIEWER!!

    • MovieGoer3000

      For real, this movie was awesome. This reviewer is a dope. He is one of those people that reviews every movie they see horribly because he thinks he is some sort of 5 star movie critic and film connoisseur when he is clearly not. I’m not sure what people like this ass want out of a movie anyways. His cinema needs are far too complex. GO WATCH THE MOVIE!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/scanfieldfilms Sean Canfield

        Actually, it’s just a shitty movie. In fact, Jeremy likes a lot of really cheesy, dumb movies. Just not this one.

        • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

          BINGO

          • Fake

            best comments on this page so far others were garbage

  • Criss

    for sure you´re a loser, shut up and live alone and pathetic

    • Oungskis

      Fuck u bitch. this movie was trash. Dont make me rape ur mom agaib

  • Cristoff

    First, journalism was not your major. Your Actually funny. Sadly.

  • Ashleigh Solis

    i went and saw this movie for my high school newspaper and it was the bomb i cant wait till everyone else can go see it when it comes out

    • Chanky1909

      That’s the spirit! I went to see it myself and it WAS the bomb.

  • Colscott

    Jeremy you are pathetic, I have seen the movie in theatres where the audience cheers. You are sadly somebody who feels he must be negative to have self worth. Good luck in life you will need it.

    • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy

      Since when was it considered pathetic to have an opinion? I appreciate the comments because I love talking about movies with people, but seriously, a personal attack because I didn’t enjoy a movie YOU liked? I love me some trolls!

      • Colscott

        You don’t have an opinion Jeremy you are dissecting a wonderful film just so you can feel better about yourself. Go out, try to find a date, do something. Right now you are just sad. I am not a troll, I am very worried about you. REAL STEEL ROCKS!

        • Anonymous

          Haha, whatever you say!

        • STinG

          I liked the movie too, but dude, you’re having at Jeremy’s throat for an opinion. He dissected the movie, because that’s what a reviewer does and most of the flaws he pointed out were present in the movie (I called them out). Chill out…

          On another note, the very commenter said he’d see a movie for Limp Bizkit… HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!! xD

      • Jimena

        Well, being myself a filmmaker, I must add to my previous comment that there is no solid, mature critic in your criticisms, which I find fortuitous, shallow, sand quite frankly they sound more like those made by one who never made itThat attitude is indeed pathetic and you just made a plain, damn, resentful, world-hating foolof yourself.

  • Beau Barney07

    This review of laughable, and the so called writer is completely off base and utterly pathetic. Great movie and touching story!

  • Anon241
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  • guest

    i don’t think they’re attacking you for having an opinion but you’re attacking a movie for being in your opinion generic and the way you do so is by writing a fairly generic review that also has very little depth to it. you make generic claims about the movie without truly expanding on why you find these claims to be true. i for one saw the movie and loved it. however, just because i enjoyed it doesn’t mean someone else won’t but when they don’t and choose to put that opinion out there as some type of authoritative review of the film i hope there is some explanation.

  • Cappecino

    I disagree with this review, I actually really enjoyed the movie, and choked up at a certain few parts.

    • Oungskis

      Because your father raped you so u get sad at dumb things

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  • rain

    what does max mean when he said “your secret is safe with me” at the end?

    • http://twitter.com/AstralWriter Jason Allen Goodlin

      That Charlie really cares about his son, and actually loves him. Charlie is supposed to be tough as nails. He felt compelled to tell Max he loved hims and wanted to apologize for everything. Spending time with his son is almost like the The Game Plan movie. The two bonded due to being so much alike.

  • jay

    real steel is an amazing movie.
    you can shut your fucking hole and go get a life kid.

    • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

      Yes sir! On my way!

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  • Ash

    i saw this movie, and it was a really cool movie, i enjoyed the movie and was very
    entertained by it, and isnt that the reason people go to watch a movie? I dont agree with this review at all, if u want a cool action packed movie which will have u talking about how good it was afterwards, watch Real Steel. The movie also led me to feel different emotions, mostly adrenaline from all the cool robot boxing, i mean who doesnt like that? especially in the end, you will be gripping ur chair and hoping Atom doesnt lose, well if u want to have a good time and be entertained, i highly recommend this movie

  • Gabby

    Stfu! This movie is great and entertaining. And only a loser who doesn’t understand it would say those things. No one wants to hear a opinion like that and why don’t you just keep offensive ones like that to yourself.

  • RealSteel

    Take a Hint, every one pretty much love the movie.

    • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

      I usually try and refrain from Rotten Tomatoes, but for once they’ve got my back! http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/real_steel/

      Only trying to prove the point that I’m not the only one in the world that disliked it. Props to everyone that did find something enjoyable in it! Perhaps I’ll give it another go on Blu?

  • Lewks

    The smell of angry Americans around here, so delightful. You guys just can’t get enough of cheesy movies stuffed with more than enough fitting cheesy emotions. I find this review describing my exact thoughts after leaving the Cinema.

  • Bluroon

    The acting is not that bad, the only bad is the story, very generic and predictable.

    • Sandman82

      good review. 5/10 would be a fair rating.

  • Gaurav Kapil

    I really liked the movie. Sort of Robot Rocky. And I agree with reviewer. This was a story worth of 6 hrs, fast forwarded to crap-wrap within 2 hrs.

  • Shawnleah4

    Movie was pretty sick! Just finished it. Surprised to see this review but to each his own. I find it funny tho to see you talk trash about rotten tomatoes but then act cool about them after reading the review from them. Lol. Either way. Your review sucked in my opinion and will never read one from you again. Your terrible at it

  • Velvetlips47

    Loll. i saw it last nite i wanted to shut it off. great review this movie was a piece of shit. especially that little fucktard kid yelling in the middle of the ring

    • Chuleta

      I think this review is spot on. I hated the movie. It was absolutly horrible. I’m going to pretend I never saw it.

  • chunky1909

    DON’T BELIEVE THE REVIEW!! THE MOVIE IS ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!

  • Jimena

    Jeremy, Jeremy: only a sad and angry and frustrated person like you can make such a pedantic, wannabe deep critic on a film that by all means is a family one.

    I strongly suggest that, rather than being such a plain, sad, evidently frustrated filmmaker, you go out there and try in fact to create something yourself.

    I think Real Steel checks all te boxes in its genre and I must also say that it really made me laugh and have a great time -and believe me, I am not a robot/transformers/whatever film of the kind, so for me it’s a real first and I really like it.

  • deville

    This was a truly heart-touching and amazing movie. Your review seems to be needlessly critical and even senseless. What people do for traffic these days 😛