Real Steel – Dakota steals the show
Starring Hugh Jackman (Charlie Kenton), Dakota Goyo (Max Kenton), Evangeline Lilly (Bayley)
Hugh Jackman as a down and out boxer in the sport of robot boxing suddenly finds himself with a son he never knew when the boy’s mother died. At first, he has no interest in the boy, Max, and uses him to get some much needed money to settle his own debts. As part of the deal to sign over custodianship to Max’s aunt, Max gets to spent time with Charlie. The two go on the road where Charlie tries to get into a match to win more money. With all his fighting bots destroyed, they finally found a sparring bot at the metal dumpsite. Max made a connection with the bot while Charlie thinks it’s a total waste of time.
Together, the duo go on a journey to each get what they want – Charlie to win some money, Max to prove his point and get to know his father.
This movie is essentially has father-and-son getting to know each other premise with Hugh as the estranged father and Dakota as Max. While the story is both appealing to adults with the subtext of mending relationships and kids with the fighting robots, it is a movie with heart. It explores the intricacies of human nature and their weaknesses against the mechanical robots. Ultimately, it shows how human can still triumph over our weaknesses with the power of commitment and love, which cannot be attained in the robotic world.
With such star power from Hugh Jackman, this movie promises to be a hit but the star that stole the show was Dakota Goyo who plays Jackman’s onscreen 11-year-old son, Max. This kid has soul and onscreen persona that outshines all the adults in this movie. After all else is said about this movie – the star power, the action and the robots – at the end of the day, it is Dakota Goyo that I crave watching.
Dakota as it turns out is a veteran actor and was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 2007. He was last seen as young Thor in the movie released in 2011. But this boy has a long list of TV and big screen acting credits and even animation voice over to his resume.
Watch out for this Canadian child star, I hope to see him in meatier roles. His star is just going to shine even brighter after Real Steel, probably to become future A-list star of his generation.