Love boxing and rooting for the underdog? Even those squeamish about seeing real people get bloodied can pretty much relax about the violence in this robot-boxing movie released by Walt Disney Studios Pictures. Add an engaging kid for extra depth to the storyline, and here’s a movie that’s proving its mettle at the box office. Thirteen-year-old KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Jonah Menegaz calls it “magic.”
Reviewed by Jonah Menegaz
Real steel. What do you think of when you hear those two words? For some, it’s just “steal”; for others, it’s a competition to see which robot is left standing. Real Steel is a movie starring Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a broke, unlucky dad trying to bond with his son again. Oh, and yes, there are robots beating the metal off each other, too. At first, Charlie keeps losing robot battles and has no money to pay his debts. Then he has to spend the summer with his son and is not a very loving father. But when his son goes with him to find parts for a new robot and finds a Level 2 sparring robot with a shadow function, the magic begins.
Shawn Levy is the director of this movie, and he works great with kids and just about everyone else, too. The movie was wonderfully acted and scripted. Not to mention that the concept of boxing robots is pretty cool. I also thought the special effects were unbelievable — the robots looked completely real. But I’d have to say one thing they could have improved on was what a robot looked like after being hit. The robots could have been dented and scratched a little more and not so good-looking after a couple blows to the head. The music set the mood and carried the emotion in the movie. (What would a movie be without a good soundtrack?)
Overall, this movie is about 4 out of 5 stars, but I would only recommend this movie for around 11-12 and up because of the bad example the characters set. A kid would have to be able to know that he/she can’t go home and start punching things.
And check out the KIDS FIRST! website for the review by Jonah’s brother and fellow KF youth film critic Daniel Menegaz.
Photos: Real Steel poster (top), Jonah Menegaz (bottom)