It was a slow weekend for cinema, so my daughter – Glee Girl – and I decided to contribute to Hugh Jackman’s fortunes and purchase two tickets for Real Steel.
Finished laughing and groaning yet?
This is a “popcorn flick”, pure and simple. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of my greatest cinematic experiences took place during viewings of popcorn flicks. Sitting there with my movie buddy and watching the flicker in her eyes when lights go down and the screen fires up, is nothing short of magical.
As for Hugh and his version of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, what can I say?
Keep your expectations realistic and you won’t be disappointed. Jackman is Charlie Kenton, the quintessential down-on-his-luck everyman North Americans love who finds himself saddled with a young son he never knew, who is meant to win over both his dad’s heart and the audience’s.
He succeeds, of course. As do the various robots fighters, none more than Atom, the dilapidated “sparring bot” whose “Shadow Mode” allows him to duplicate Charlie’s knowledge of boxing and hold his own against the robot fighting champion, Zeus.
I’ll let you figure out if father and son ultimately bond and train Atom to be a champion.
And before I forget, LOST’s Evangeline Lilly is along for the ride as Charlie’s long-suffering love interest. Her inclusion led to one of my more interesting conversations with my daughter.
GLEE GIRL: (Watching wide-eyed as Charlie slides into bed with his sleeping, estranged girlfriend) I thought she didn’t like him? But she’s smiling…
THE HOOK: People don’t have to like each other to share a bed . And besides, when you truly love someone, it’s forever.
GG: What are you, Shakespeare?
I love that kid.
SPEAKING OF DAUGHTERS…
Before we part ways, I suppose there is time for at least one douchebag-inspired tale of woe.
It was the peak of check-out and I was waiting for the guest elevators with a large crowd; when one arrived the crowd surged forward. One large Italian family was the most aggressive and so they went away with the spoils.
What they didn’t go away with was their ten-year-old daughter.
And they saw her, believe me. My eyes caught the Mom’s, but she just let the doors close. The crowd let out an audible gasp, but the little cherub was unphased. I asked if she knew which floor their room was on, and she answered “yes” in a Disney-worthy voice. We took the next elevator car together and I gave her some advice.
THE HOOK: Now, if you’re smart little girl, you’ll start crying when you get upstairs. Really pour on the waterworks and you should be able to snag yourself a brand-new doll.
CUTEST LITTLE GIRL EVER: That sounds good! I like dolls!
The car arrived, she disembarked to… no one.
Not one member of her family was waiting to greet her or go back down and retrieve her.
I guess they figured they could always have more kids.
- Real Steel Review (digitaltrends.com)
- Sugar Ray Leonard on Training Hugh Jackman For Real Steel and His Dancing With the Stars Favorites (popsugar.com)
- Hugh Jackman Reveals Embarrassing Jennifer Garner Sex Scene Secret (huffingtonpost.com)