DETROIT (WWJ) – Real Steel is the 2011 version of “Rocky.” It’s a movie that’s designed to have audiences cheering for the underdog, and, that’s exactly what happens. By the final scene of Real Steel, the audience at the screening I attended was cheering and clapping at the outcome.
Real Steel is anything but “real.” But, it’s a movie, so it doesn’t have to be. And, that’s part of the fun. It’s about a washed-up professional boxer by the name of Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman). Charlie’s sport has been taken over by giant robots who pummel one another to the death; actually until all that weakest robot is good for is the scrap heap.
Charlie is pretty much a vagabond, traveling from one underground boxing event to the next, earning just enough money to get by. After his ex-wife dies, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son, Max, and together they build (and train) a championship contender that Max names “Atom”.
Beneath all the fist-fighting and the focus on robot boxing, there is another story at work here. That one focuses on the three underdogs: Charlie, Max and Atom. And that’s really the heart of the story.
Real Steel is fun to watch. And not just because of the story; but because it’s nice to see so many familiar Detroit landmarks shining on the big screen.