Hugh Jackman is a huge talent but I’m afraid his character, Charlie, in “Real Steel” is saddled with such a flawed personality that it’s hard to warm up to the family drama part of what is basically an action film for Transformer Fans. Charlie is a washed up boxer saddled with debt and struggling to survive in the fight to the death world of Robot Boxing. He has a confidante in life long friend and Gym owner, Bailey (Evangeline Lily, who looks much better than “Rocky” trainer, Burgess Meredith) and a son, Max (Dakota Goyo) who shows up after the death of his mother. Charlie works a deal with the rich husband of Max’s Aunt (Hope Davis) and he pays Charlie a large sum to sign Max over, but the catch is, he has to take Max for the summer. Charlie treats Max as more of a paycheck than a son and the two join forces for differing reasons to turn their newly found junk-yard robot, Atom, into the ‘Little Robot That Could’. The technical skill director Shawn Levy brings to the Robot fights is impressive and young boys should be wowed by it, but the violence and thematic content should have parents paying attention to the PG13 rating. The script is wanting, the human interest story is bogus, and I never really warmed up to Hugh Jackman as a Brooklyn accented bad boy, maybe because the Broadway skills of “The Boy From Oz” star (his song and dance bio of Aussie performer Peter Allen) was so impressive. Let’s just say if you liked “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” this might be a nice diversion.
My GPA: 2.4