'Real Steel,' a movie about robots that box, opens today at a theater near you. The very-popular Hugh Jackman stars, but there's a catch: To watch 'Real Steel', a pre-set amount of your nation's legal tender will have to be exchanged with a representative of your local theater for admittance. Legal tender that was earned, most likely, at a place that you don't enjoy spending time. Will you enjoy spending time watching 'Real Steel'? As a service, here's an answer for every question that you could possibly have about 'Real Steel.'
Q: Is 'Real Steel' a good movie?

A: No.

Q: Will I leave 'Real Steel' in a good mood?

A: If you can get past the fact that you just watched a movie that wasn't very good, yes.

Q: What is 'Real Steel' about?

A: As mentioned in the introduction, it's about boxing robots. I'm not sure what else you really need to know. That either appeals to you or it doesn't.

Q: Why do the robots fight? Do the robots not like each other?

A: The robots are not sentient (at least, I don't think they are -- there's a kind of confusing subplot about this possibility that gets dropped fairly quickly) so they don't speak, and there is no known animosity between the robots.

Q: Why would Hugh Jackman take a role where he doesn't speak?

A: Hugh Jackman plays a human named Charlie, not a robot.

Q: I see. So 'Real Steel' leaves the possibility that Charlie is actually a robot open ended? Like in 'Blade Runner'?

A: Oh, man, this is not going to be your type of movie.

Q: If the robots aren't sentient, why are they fighting?

A: Controlled remotely by humans, the robots fight for sport in front of an audience.

Q: Why would people pay to see this?

A: Well, Hugh Jackman has a pretty strong following and seems like a nice enough guy. I mean, his Wolverine movie wasn't very good, but he still has a lot of good will left over from the X-Men movies, so...

Q: No, why would anyone pay to see robots box in the setting of this movie?

A: Oh. Because 'Real Steel' takes place in the somewhat near future when human boxing has been banned. To replace human boxing (from here on just referred to as "boxing"), robot boxing was invented.

Q: No one really watches boxing today for a plethora of reasons, why would an entire new industry need to be created to replace something very few people still care about?

A: Nobody really asked for a third Ryan Gosling movie to be released in a three-month period of time either, but that now exists too.

Q: Speaking of 'The Ides of March,' will you repost that picture of your friend who looks like Ryan Gosling's mask in 'Drive' for no other reason than spite?

A: Yes.

Q: How many times in this post have you mistakenly spelled 'Real Steel' as some variation of 'Reel Steal' or 'Real Steal'?

A: Seven.

Q: Seriously, what's the plot of this movie?

A: Charlie (Jackman) is a down-on-his-luck former boxer who owns a robot named Ambush. Charlie receives notice that his ex-girlfriend has passed away. Charlie sired a child (Dakota Goyo) with this ex-girlfriend and has to show up for a custody hearing. Charlie's ex-girlfriends wealthy sister, Debra (Hope Davis), would like to have custody.

Q: Does Charlie's robot fight with Debra's robot with the winner gaining custody of Charlie's son?

A: No. Charlie actually doesn't even want custody.

Q: Why are characters in movies given such unrealistic names like "Dakota"?

A: Actually, that's the actor's real name. In the movie he plays "Max."

Q: Has anyone in the world been born after the year 1995 with the name "Matt," "Jack," or "Steve"?

A: No.

Q: Wait, in the trailer I see that Charlie and Max spend some time together. How did Charlie gain custody when he didn't want custody?

A: Charlie realizes that he can make a few dollars off of his ex-girlfriend's wealthy family. He receives $50,000 with the caveat that he must take Max for the summer because Debra and her husband are going to Tuscany.

Q: Wait, what? How does that make sense at all?

A: It makes sense because this scene was most likely written on a Friday after 5 p.m.

Q: So Charlie and Max bond over their love for Ambush?

A: No, poor Ambush gets destroyed pretty early in the film. Then Charlie purchases another robot named Noisy Boy, but that robot gets destroyed, too. Then Charlie and Max find an older robot named Atom, who they bond over and love.

Q: Wait, so Atom is Charlie's third robot in this movie? Why would I care about his third robot anymore than his first or second robot?

A: Because the musical score swells more often when Atom is on the screen than it did for Ambush or Noisy Boy.

Q: Is it true Evangeline Lilly is in 'Real Steal'?

A: Yes. Though, in the second half of the movie she's pretty much regulated to the role of "robot boxing spectator." To the point it felt like director Shawn Levy just put her in a room and said, "OK, Evangeline, we need 18 different shots of you looking happy about something that just happened in the robot boxing match. Then we will need 18 more of you looking concerned or forlorn about something that just happened in the robot boxing match. I'll leave it up to you if you'd rather go more 'concerned' or more 'forlorn.'"

Q: Is 'Real Steel' the best movie ever about robot boxing?

A: By default, 'Real Steel' is the best movie ever about robot boxing.

Q: If you're going to be blurbed in this weekend's commercials for 'Real Steel,' what quote do you think will be used?

A: 'Real Steel' is the best movie ever!" Mike Ryan, Moviefone

Q: Should I see 'Real Steel'?

A: Eh? (shrugs)

Q: Is that an endorsement?

A: Sort of. Again, 'Real Steel' will not in anyway be confused with a movie that's good. But, for whatever reason, I did leave the theater happy. Though, people who have had lobotomies sometimes appear happier after that procedure, too.

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter

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Real Steel
Based on 34 critics

A boxing promoter (Hugh Jackman) and his son build a championship contender for the robot ring. Read More

categories Movies