“Real Steel” & The Real Deal on Fatherhood

Just got back from “Real Steel” and I must say that I really enjoyed it.  This is the kind of movie you would want to see in the theatre.  It opens in American theatres on October 7th but it opened up here at Al Shati Qurum in Muscat on October 6th!  The action is great and a real treat to see on the big screen.  The acting was especially good, particularly that of Hugh Jackman and the boy-actor, Dakota Goyo,  making the movie even more fun to watch.

One recurring theme throughout the movie was of fatherhood, but more specifically of failed fatherhood or “deadbeat dads”.  I think this movie is a good reflection of the failure of fathers in our generation and the increase in “disposable marriages” and “disposable parental responsibilities”.  In this futuristic movie (they never actually tell you what year it’s supposed to take place), human boxers are replaced with robot boxers.  Hugh Jackman plays the role of Charlie, an ex-boxer and struggling robot boxing promoter, who is suddenly in contact with his 11-year old estranged son and has to deal with the mistakes of his past.  Don’t worry, I’m not about to ruin the movie for any of you who haven’t seen it!  Some of the movie lines that cut to the heart of the issue of fatherhood are:

1)  “That’s how you are.  If something doesn’t work, you throw it away?” (not an exact quote but was the basic meaning of the line)

2)  “You forget who I was.  You deserve better than me…It’s for your own good, kid.”

3)  “Stubborn kid!” (Charlie says about his kid)  “Surprise. Surprise.” (His girlfriend says in response, meaning that he’s just like him or “a chip off the old block“.)

4)  “What do you want from me?”  “I want you to fight for me.  That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”  Sad response that could describe any child’s longing for affection from their parents.

5)  “You sound like your father.” (A compliment in this case paid to a female character and she smiles, loving the sound of that.)

6)  “Your problem is you.”  (Great truth for just about any one of us out there.  We can be our own worst enemy!)

7)  “I know I’ve done all kinds of wrong by this kid. I’d just like to do one thing right.”

In this movie, one important criteria to determine how long a robot fighter will last in the ring seems to rely on how durable the steel is.  Atom, “the leading robot character” is special in that, as a sparring robot, his steel is very durable and he can really take a licking and keep on fighting.  Likewise, the complexity of human relationships depends very much on how endurable we are willing to be with those in our lives.  Are we willing to bear with the failures and flaws of others?

I recommend seeing this film in theatres while you can.  I loved it and thought is was actually quite a deep movie, as well as a lot of fun!  Here’s a pretty cool trailer that manages not to give the whole movie away:

8 responses to ““Real Steel” & The Real Deal on Fatherhood

  1. Ooo, been looking forward to this! BTW it’s “Hugh Jackman” 🙂

  2. Trying to imagine how this came to be: Barton Fink springs to mind, maybe?
    Writer wants to make a movie about fatherhood, studio wants to make “Transformers”…this is the compromise?

    It sounds like an interesting movie…or at least without the boxing robots it would!

  3. @Bonnie,
    U should definitely watch this in the theatre with Eric! Thanks for the correction. I wrote that review so quickly after watching it so I wouldn’t forget the movie quotes, ha!ha! “Hugh Jackson”!? Sometimes I feel I’m slowly losing my mind! 😦

  4. TLS,
    Some think this came to be as a result of Steven Spielberg’s childhood issues! Come on now, what man doesn’t want to see some good old boxing robot action? ha!ha! “Rocky + Transformers = Real Steel”!

  5. It is mentioned in the movie and the movie synopsis that it is set in 2020!

  6. I read it in the synopsis but didn’t notice it in the movie. I must have missed it (?). Will listen/watch for this detail when I get the movie on DVD. 😉

  7. Real Steel is a great movie! I watched it online on watchrealsteelonline.co.cc and loved it! If you like boxing, its for u!

    • Yes, it was a great movie. I think it’s also good for those who aren’t into boxing that much either. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

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