Movie Review: Reel Steel

Posted: October 29, 2011 in movie reviews, movies
Tags: , , , , , ,

This movie proves it IS possible to make an engaging, engrossing movie with a good story and lot of heart, involving robots that kick each other ass. Reel Steel is the movie Transformers could and should have been.


Reel Steel

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lily, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie

Reel Steel is one of those movies that will leave you with warm fuzzies about it. There’s nothing too complicated about it and it doesn’t try and be something it’s not. Sure aspects of it are about the pretty pretty toys and fancy technology, but there’s no overall evil force, there’s no real villain. It’s about the underdog. It’s about a father reconnecting with his son. It’s about a man trying to find what makes him happy and…It’s about robots that kick each other’s ass. How would any of that NOT appeal to you?

I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about Hugh Jackman as Charlie. He didn’t quite fit into the role, but once his son, Max (Dakota Goyo), came into the picture it was like all was right with the world and I think both the Hugh (the actor) and Charlie (the character) felt the same way. Something just clicked.

The movie takes place in a time where people thirst for violence and money making opportunities only with no loss of life. Thus, humans built robots to fight to the death. Charlie, who makes his living fighting robots for money, learns the mother of his child has died. He agree to give-up his parental rights to the kids aunt, but the uncle has a problem…He wants to take his wife to Spain for two months. Without the kid. So Charlie agrees to “watch” his “son” for a price of course.

It was always inevitable that the pair would fall for each other, and as much as Charlie fought it, he did have natural father instincts. Hugh Jackman played Charlie just right, a little cocky, a little selfish, and very reckless, but once Max came into the picture the layers began to peel away.

The robot action was no disappointment either. It somehow managed to blend “old school” with “new school.” I appreciated that they used a boxing ring for their matches (like the rock ‘em sock ‘em robots) rather than some uber-sleek, shiny futuristic arena. It was completely believable to me. I really think a couple decades from now we will be watching unmanned robots kill each other. I mean have you seen the X-Box Kinect? We are super close.

Overall, this movie had a lot of heart and there’s a David and Goliath ending that is truly fantastic. Hugh Jackman also has a wonderfully inspired moment at the end that brought tears to my eyes. Michael Bay take note! You can have a successful movie involving ass-kicking robots!

Rating: 4 Stars.

  1. Larry says:

    my favorite robot in reel steel is Atome he is Awsome

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