Movie Review: Real Steel

“Real Steel” on IMDB

Sci-fi/Action, 127 Minutes, 2011

This movie was completely – and I mean utterly – formulaic.  It was unabashedly and aggressively manipulative – I mean Michael Moore was taking notes during the screening.  The plot was full of holes a giant robot could dance through.  Seriously: if you’ve seen “Rocky” or “The Champ” or “Over the Top” then you’ve seen this movie already.

This movie was also FUCKING AWESOME!

Do you know what makes average things better?  GIANT ROBOTS.  Do you know what makes giant robots better?  MAKING THEM FIGHT.  This completely average movie has giant robots fighting.  This makes it, at the risk of repeating myself, FUCKING AWESOME.

Unlike the spent “Transformers” franchise they didn’t bog the robots down with personalities or “funny” (sometimes funny and racist) personas and didn’t complicate things by having more characters than you could reasonably follow.  The effects here are just as impressive in their way but lack the scale and bombasticness we’ve come to expect from a summer-blockbuster.

The characters are almost impossibly less than single-dimensional but the actors sell them with likable grace.  The pacing is quick enough (although at just over two-hours it probably could have shed 30 minutes and been just as effective) and while some very important things are totally glossed over they’re never really missed.

This is a feel-good sports movie; period.  Like all of them, it doesn’t matter that a scrappy, busted down competitor with no funding or training couldn’t hope to stand toe-to-toe with the champ.  He does and it’s great.  Damn I’m a sucker for an under-dog… and for giant robots.


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  1. I loved your review- you’ve got a great and very conversational writing style.

    Also, giant robots. Can’t forget those guys.

  2. Paragraph Film Reviews

    Love it! I’ve seen this twice in six months, it was almost better on a TV than in the cinema because I was half cut (with a bunch of colleagues) and we were all almost crying at the end, despite not even paying attention to the story – which as you say is just ‘Over the Top’!

    Great film.

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