It’s Rocky meets Robot wars.
In the future when real boxing has been outlawed, robots are put to battle in a scrap (geddit?) to the death. Massive amounts of money are wagered on bouts and having a good bot can bring money and fame with it…
But Hugh Jackman’s down-on-his-luck ex professional boxer Charlie Kenton doesn’t have the best, in fact he has less than the worst and just cannot manage to get his feet of the ground. He owes debts to everyone and his only way of making money by entering these Robot Boxing competitions is hindered by the fact he just cannot afford a decent robot to win in any of he backwater carnival bouts he enters.
And then up pops Max (Dakota Goyo), Charlie’s son from his precious marriage, who, following the death of his mother ends up being left with Charlie through the summer… And it’s a chance meeting with a cranky, twisted, crooked piece of metal that saves Max’s life that spawns the birth of Atom, Charlie and Max’s underdog fighter…and back to the arena we go.
I absolutely adored this film, even though it was very predictable. It is literally the bog standard Underdog story, battling against the odds for glory and all the key elements are there, even with Rocky-esque training montages and inspirational comeback music in the fights.
It’s a film with heart too as we see Charlie and mac bond like they had never been able to previously. It’s genuinely funny in places and the special effects of the robots are brilliant.
I would however have liked to have seen more of an evil build up to the Big Bad Boss robot that is top of the heap, in order to build his reputation more in anticipation of the big final fight. A bit of evil tactics here, or a penchant for terrorising kids outside the arena, that kind of thing.
But when the end of the film comes I don’t think you will be disappointed. It was a film I wasn’t sure about seeing to start with but one I am very glad I did watch.
Real Steel…Real good!