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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Poe
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My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

‘Real Steel’ gives real action to viewers

When I saw the preview for director Shawn Levy’s “Real Steel,” the first thing that came to mind was the game “Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots.” The movie is truly an exact duplicate of that game in the sense that the robots are controlled by humans and a victor is determined by smashing your opponent until their robot is disabled.

While I thought the movie was going to be the biggest joke to hit the big screen since “Piranha 3-D,” it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated.

It’s easy to assume that it’s going to have that “Rocky” feeling to it, where the underdog steals the show, but how the movie leads up to it took me by total surprise.

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“Real Steel” takes place in the year 2020. The sport of boxing has changed dramatically. No longer is it round-for-round bouts of man versus man. The audience and revenue are simply not there anymore.

People want more chaos and no-holds-barred fights, and they found that robots were the only way to keep their blood lust sated.

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer down on his luck, who owes several thousand dollars to loan sharks.
In an attempt to pay off his debt, Kenton pits his robot in an illegal underground boxing match.

When Kenton’s luck diminishes, you see the character for what he truly is; a compulsive gambler who is writing checks he can’t cash. We even see a much darker side of Kenton when we find out a deal is made for the custody of his 11-year-old son, Max (Dakota Goyo), in exchange for a large amount of money.

What Kenton doesn’t know is that this deal he’s made doesn’t drive his son away, but ends up bringing them closer together. The two really end up depending on one another throughout the film and this is where a lot of the feel-good moments keep you in your seat and wanting to see what happens next.

Despite having Jackman being one of the only well-known actors in the film, he delivers a knock-out performance that’s not only convincing, but truly sincere and not blown out of proportion.

One particular scene in the movie is when he shadowboxes with a robot named Atom.

While Atom is nothing but a mere exoskeleton controlled by Charlie’s movements, I swear at times when the two meet eye-to-eye, that they are going to have a conversation together. If “Steel” truly dealt with artificial intelligence, it would have delivered a totally different movie experience.

The special effects and the soundtrack didn’t make or break this movie. Don’t get me wrong, the robot fights were pretty intense, especially while listening to songs such as “Till I Collapse” by Eminem and “One Man Army” by Prodigy and Tom Morello that make you want to stand up and cheer.

But the true magic that made this movie special was the plot and how the characters eventually come together to work towards a common goal. I sincerely appreciate the time and effort that Levy put into this film and how he was more concerned with character development than bells and whistles.

Overall, I would recommend seeing this movie for multiple reasons. The robot fights are a must-see. It’s like remote-control “Transformers.” Second, those feel-good moments really show that when you want something bad enough, you’ll be willing to fight for it.

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