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Cheesy, Cliched but still Fun!

  • Danish Bagdadi

    Danish Bagdadi

    Rated 
    3.0
    Desimartini | Updated - March 09, 2014 8:11 AM IST
    3.7DM (324 ratings)
    Real SteelWatch trailerRelease date : October 07, 2011

    Does being cliched and cheesy automatically disqualify a movie from being a good, enjoyable watch? I definitely don't think so and 'Real Steel' is a perfect example of that. This one inspite of being loaded to the brim with cliches emerges a winner purely on the ability to connect with its audience.

    Charlie (Hugh Jackman) used to be a real boxer before human boxing was outlawed and replaced with robot brawls. Charlie now is a hustler who plays his own robot in boxing arenas to make money, a fight that goes wrong leaves him in great debt and without a robot. With no money to buy a new robot and no robot to play so that he can earn money Charlie seems headed nowhere.

    However a stroke of luck reunites him with his 11 year old kid Max (Dakota Goyo) whom Charlie abandoned as an infant. Max's mother is dead but Charlie makes a deal with the kids aunt & uncle that in return for a large sum of money he will sell them the guardianship papers for Max. They agree with only condition being that Max spends the summer with Charlie. Max takes quite a liking to Charlie even if the other way around is slower than expected. Max finds weaker robot which he names Atom, while salvaging for robot parts. Much against the wishes of Charlie, Max convinces him to put Atom in the boxing ring. The small, weak robot isn't expected to last but somehow pulls off a miraculous victory. As he takes part in more fights he continues winning against tougher foes thus earning Charlie more money and Max some proximity with his long-lost father. How long will Atom's winning streak continue? Will Charlie have to hand over Max back to his aunt and uncle at the end of it all?

    The script is pure hokum filled with a barrage of cheesy emotional moments bound by every cliche you can find from 'Rocky' to 'The Champ'. But somehow thanks to the performances and the overall direction it feels earnest and that's what helps it overcome the obstacles. Infact inspite of knowing how manipulative the screenplay is and also figuring out how things will end, I found myself pretty wrapped up in the moment of things in the last hour of the proceedings.

    The robot brawls are brutal but fun and the combination of VFX and animatronics models are employed seamlessly. Though I have to say that it isn't quite cutting edge and this has been done before if not better.

    Hugh Jackman plays the same lovable rogue he has done so often before while Dakota Goyo thankfully isn't irritating. Jackman & Goyo work well together and have a credible father-son bond between them. Everyone else is only an accessory to the proceedings.

    'Real Steel' has some good effects, effective performances & the script inspite of being cliched and at times cheesy knows how to push the right buttons to form that emotional connect. Go watch it, you too might find something to enjoy.

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