This film doesn’t require a very long review. I get the feeling that the script to ‘Real Steel’ could have been written by a 12 year old. It’s corny and sweet. No real value, but not every movie needs to be. I have to admit, the story of a down on his luck dad, and his spunky long lost son made for a sweet film, even if they were bonding over robot boxing in the future. I think they made a Twilight Zone episode based on the same short story by Richard Masterson. I remember the original short story being a lot tougher than this, but whatever. This is a film you can bring your 12 year old to, and not worry too much. There’s some violence and mild language but not enough to really make you uncomfortable watching it with your child. I don’t think any self respecting adult would buy the premise of this film, but no need. Hugh Jackman is good as the down on his luck guy who starts out as a jerk but then learns to love his son, Max (Dakota Goyo). Yes, the script feels like it was thrown together from other family pictures, like the scene where Max promises the robot that he will keep his secret that they can understand each other or when they teach the robot how to dance. Sometimes a movie can make you invest in a story that’s corny and ridiculous. It’s a shamelessly sweet story, as the script focuses more on the father and son learning to love each other than the boxing robots. The boxing robot scenes might make an adult roll their eyes, but it’s a good way to kill a few hours with your tween. I wouldn’t bring really young kids to see this film, but the film plays it mostly safe. And it should.
So, simply put. I’m giving “Real Steel” three stars. It exceeded my very low exceptions going in but turned out to be a sweet film with a gimmick. This film is called “Real Steel”, and the kids should get a kick out of both the spunky kid, the down on his luck boxer and the fighting robots. It runs a bit too long (127 minutes) but if you need a film to bring your tweens to, this is a nice bet. You should be mildly entertained. I know I was. Sometimes criticizing a film harshly, really isn't worth it. Sometimes a film is simply entertaining, and kind of sweet even if it is kind of silly. This film is one of those.