x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Real Steel

Hugh Jackman stars in this sci-fi sports drama.

Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo and Evangeline Lilly
*** 

Jackman, one of Hollywood's most charismatic and beloved actors, stars opposite giant fighting robots in Real Steel. Set in a futuristic world where robot boxing has replaced the human equivalent, the Australian Wolverine actor plays Charlie Kenton, a manager whose luck has eluded him and who finds himself in debt, without a robot and stuck with his estranged son Max (Goyo) for the summer.

Although they initially clash, the pair rebuild and train an unlikely robot, which becomes a popular underdog, giving Charlie a shot at the big time and at personal redemption.

A curious film, this sci-fi/sports drama gives you everything you want from a glossy, effects-driven piece, including a surprisingly engrossing storyline.

While it does borrow quite heavily from Rocky and practically every other sports film, the viewer is swept up in Charlie and Max's journey. This is thanks to the filmmaker wisely choosing to showcase the human story over the artificial action (take note, Michael Bay), and by the inevitable climactic fight, it would take a hard-hearted film fan not to feel like cheering them on.

Jackman isn't that convincing as the initially selfish and manipulative lead, but he and Goyo make a great combination. Ridiculous at times, but always entertaining and fun.