Real Steel is–surprisingly–well crafted and super fun!!

Hugh Jackman in character in a boxing pose in front of a large boxing robot in a similar pose.

Okay, I wanted to see Real Steel from the get-go and I will admit that it was 100% because of Hugh Jackman (He had me at Wolverine!).  But I was not expecting much, to be honest.  I would’ve been happy with 2 hours of watching Mr. Jackman. (I know…very  artistic of me.)  How awesome is it that I ended getting way more than I expected.  A well crafted, perfectly paced, strongly acted, fun family movie–with fantastic robot action and well…Hugh Jackman.  🙂

It has many familiar themes.  The father/son issues.  The guy with potential who loses it all.  The supportive friend that happens to be a girl and in love with the loser dude.  The underdog wanting to triumph arch.  The use of robots to show violent carnage.   Yup, all pretty standard.  But, as I’ve said before, what matters most is the execution of the themes and how fresh it feels and Real Steel feels fresh and original.

I had a blast watching this movie.  Hugh Jackman is wonderful, as usual–he was made to play this part–.  And new rising star mention has to got to Dakota Goyo as Jackman’s son Max.  The kid is a natural and will should have a promising career. 

Yet, the real big stars here are the robots–especially ATOM!  They’re awesome and beautifully rendered.  The look completely real because they are!  Legacy Studios actually built real robots for the film.  And the boxing matches are motion captured and look super cool!

Check out this blurb from WiKi –it makes me giddy–I’m such a geek:

Jason Matthews of Legacy Effects, successor to Stan Winston Studios, was hired to turn production designer Tom Meyer’s robot designs into practical animatronic props, saying, “We have 26-and-a-half total live-action robots that were made for this film. They all have hydraulic neck controls. Atom has RC [radio-controlled] hands as well.”[15] Star Jackman said executive producer Spielberg “actually said to Shawn, ‘You should really have real elements where you can.’ … Basically if they’re not walking or fighting, that’s a real robot.”[16] For scenes when computer-generated robots brawl, “simulcam” motion capture technology, developed for the film Avatar, was used. As Levy described the process, “[Y]ou’re not only capturing the fighting of live human fighters, but you’re able to take that and see it converted to [CGI] robots on a screen instantaneously. Simulcam puts the robots in the ring in real time, so you are operating your shots to the fight, whereas even three, four years ago, you used to operate to empty frames, just guessing at what stuff was going to look like.”[17] Boxing hall-of-famer Sugar Ray Leonard was an adviser for these scenes.[10]

Now I hear they’re thinking of making a sequel–sweet!!  Something else to look forward to–and 2 more hours with Mr. Jackman! 🙂