Friday, May 18, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Real Steel

2011, Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen) -- download

No, I didn't intend on seeing this movie.  C'mon, it's rock'em sock'em robots without the actual tagline "brought to you by the same people who made Transformers and Battleship".  It's also a plucky kid movie along the lines of Stallone's Over the Top, yes the arm-wrestling movie.  What in what way makes this movie sound appealing other than watching robots smash each other to bits?  And you can see that in real life in universities and geek clubs across the country.  I am not sure why I downloaded it but for that tenuous connection to the future that I like to see portrayed.  I wanted to see how they could fit the idea of fighting robots into a society that looked pretty much like now.

Surprisingly, it's not such a bad movie.  Jackman plays a down on his luck fighter, who is also an ex human fighter, from the days when humans still thought it was cool to watch other humans smash each other to bits.  But he sucks and he is unlucky.  Add to the mix an ex-lover who had a child who he ends up with purely to make a buck.  He is not a nice guy, ok he's nice, as he is played by Hugh Jackman and he cannot help but be personable, but he's a downright bastard. Even after he begins to take a shine to the kid, you get the sense he would turn him in for a few bucks.  But the connection between the two is played very well and there is no cloying relationship and the kid is not all that whiny.  He definitely is plucky because it is his idea that turns Jackman's luck around.

But I was disappointed with the lack of world building.  C'mon, you have steel behemoths socking each other other but people don't have personal service robots?  If robotics had evolved to flashy delicate machines that could move exactly like 12' humans, then they should have been present everywhere in life.  I think it was mentioned but it shouldn't have had to be, it should have been visible in all walks of life.  But this was a sports and family values movie so the other stuff was just left on the writing room floor. It is probably better they focused on the stuff the audience actually wanted to see.