Sunday, October 16, 2011

Movie Review: Is Real Steel the Real Thing?

Giant robots, a delinquent dad and boxing? Really? Oh yeah, really. I took myself to this movie solo to make sure it was not going to be too frightening or disturbing for my nine year old. And, I admit, the previews looked pretty cool. When I came home, I told my son, “I want to be the kid in that movie.” Needless to say, I brought my son and my daughter to the theatre the following day. Quite frankly, I was happy to jump in for another view. And I was eager to watch my kiddies’ faces.

The verdict from my 9 and 13 year olds? “Best movie EVER!” The kids really loved this movie start to finish. There were only two scenes I considered inappropriate for the younger set. There is a falling scene with the boy while they are in the junkyard. I had a JUMBO sized knot in my stomach, but my kids went with the flow as I told them what was going to happen and the outcome. (Hint: No one dies or gets hurt). It was a little creepy though. The other scene was when dad’s prior life catches up with him and he and the boy are pursued by a group of bad men and the dad is viciously beaten. This was too much and doubly so as the young boy was in the scene and even got roughed up a bit as well. My answer? I sent the kids out for a popcorn refill.

What’s the magic of this movie? For starters, the giant boxing concept is unique and soooo cool. When is the last time you went to a movie and saw something completely new? Visions of and Transformers danced in my head as I felt that familiar excitement of something exciting and new coupled with universal emotional themes of family, love, redemption, and courage.

What a treat. My son is already begging me for a second showing. We were at a birthday party this week and the birthday boy’s grandpa and I got to talking. He had just gotten back from seeing with his grandson at the IMAX theatre and I tell you what, that grandpa, he looked about 9 years old himself when he was describing the movie.

Now onto the piece. On top of everything else, Reel Steel lends itself to “lessons learned” fodder for parents who are interested in that type of thing. Hey, I’m a therapist. I can’t help myself. Discussions about decisions and their consequences, the value of working hard, perseverance, forgiveness, and the ability to reinvent oneself are all easy lessons to grab onto and chat about with your child. Oh, and I forgot the other message, the world is not always fair. Another great life lesson, played out like the rest with absolutely no violins playing in your ear. Nice.

Real Steel is the Real Thing and worth the ride, whether you are cruising with the kids or just on your own sweet time.

Want to rent a good family movie? Check out my review of Aliens in the Attic.

And always remember the power of your every contribution!



  1. Thanks for the review, Maria. Love the "heads-up" before I take my niece. Have you seen Courageous? I heard it is one of the best this season.

  2. Thanks for writing in! I have not seen Courageous yet but the previews look great. Looks like a powerful message about the importance of fatherhood.