Fascinating ‘hybrid’ hit | Inquirer Entertainment

Fascinating ‘hybrid’ hit

/ 07:39 PM October 21, 2011

As I watch “Real Steel,” I recall two films—“Rocky” and “The Transformers”—and I’m amazed how “synergistically” the new film has been able to fuse those two flicks together.

From “Rocky,” it gets the seminal story of a down-and-out boxer who emerges triumphant in the end.

And, from “Transformers,” it tweaks that movie’s huge robots to craft its own really tall tale about a new sport and gaming event in the near future that replaces human fighters with boxing robots that brawl to the “death.”


It really is fascinating to see how Shawn Levy’s futuristic action-drama has been able to combine elements of those two flicks to come up with its own “hybrid” hit. In addition, the production and its storytelling are decisively canted to appeal to male adolescents and teens, especially the young gamers who practically live in amusement arcades.


The film’s official star is Hugh Jackman, but its real human protagonist is an 11-year-old foundling (Dakota Goyo) who turns out to be the neglected son of Jackman’s character.

Fighting machine

Jackman’s luck changes when his kid unearths an old robot and reboots him into a really hot fighting machine.

“Real Steel” succeeds in exciting its intended audience. For older viewers, however, the film could occasionally be a turn-off, because its manipulative gambits are so obvious.

In addition, the movie’s soundtrack has been amped up so loudly to generate an artificial sense of “excitement” that it’s sometimes a pain to listen to it.

Finally, Jackman judiciously keeps his performance from going completely over the top, but the film’s adolescent star is something else again: He heaps one cute or overly emotional gimmick on top of another with great cheek and gusto, playing his “endearing” waif persona—to the max!

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TAGS: Entertainment, Hugh Jackman, Movies, Real Steel

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