This is more max's idea than Charlie. Charlie doesn't think it will work. But again, in true Disney fashion the robot starts to win and Max and Charlie bond and... well you know how this stuff goes.






Probably the one disturbing thing about Disney's new movie "Real Steel" is that it is conceivable that mankind will evolve to the premise.


The premise is that giant Rock 'em Sock em robots will take over as the objects in out competitive fight industries. You see, "Real Steel" isn't just about boxing robots, it's also about what brings about boxing robots.


Hugh Jackman stars as Charlie Kenton, a former boxer who had a decent career, but like all other human boxers could only take so much. He is now sating his appetite for fighting by operating a boxing robot partnership.

The fighting robots came about because as time progressed people wanted more and more violence in the ring and human beings can only take so much. The robots can sit in the ring and go toe to to [as it were] until all their parts fall off thus satisfying the need for more "blood". Okay, okay so motor oils and hydraulic fluids a only symbolic blood, but you get the point.


Charlie lives with his gal pal Bailey (Evangeline Lilly) who owns her dads gym where his robots work out; she keeps them in shape, but she longs for the day that Charlie will settle down and stop trying to make a buck with his low level bots.


Charlie is as mediocre with robots as he was when he personally fought.


But things are looking up when he buys a slick fairly new robot with a great history. It has been fighting overseas and mostly forgotten. Charlie hocks everything he - and she - own to buy the robot and...

It gets the crap beaten out of it!


But Charlie has suddenly has received custody of his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) who initially hates Charlie and the fact that he has to live with him for the summer... but likes the robot fighting stuff. It reminds him of a giant video game at which he is most adept.


However, now they have no robot again and no way to make money, until...


Yeah, in true Disney fashion, they find an old sparring robot discarded in a junkyard covered in mud. They take it home and with the help of Bailey, clean it up and get it ready for boxing.

Predictability is a foregone conclusion here, yet "Real Steel" is still entertaining. It has the right amount of underdog feel to get you involved in the action - exactly what it's suppose to do. You can feel good cheering for the violence because the only thing spilt is motor oil.


"Reel Steel" is what you get when you merge "Rocky" with "Iron Giant", a fun film where the robotic underdog makes you proud of his efforts.   -- GEOFF BURTON