As an avid Hugh Jackman fan/lover, I picked this movie up for a good watch. It ended up be much more than a good watch. I absolutely loved it! I'm not very big into futuristic, sci-fi, fighting movies, especially when all three elements are combined, but putting Hugh Jakcman in the middle of the story was probably a 'good bet.'
Set in the near future (roughly about ten years from now), bot fighting has become the ultimate extreme sport. Similar to boxing, only using remote/computer controlled robots. Men love it, woman love it, and kids love it. Instead of broken bones and spilled blood, you get mashed metal and leaking fuel, which can make for some expensive repairs.
The ultimate event in bot fighting in the World Robot Boxing league is called Real Steel and people will go to any extreme to make to the top, compete, and with any luck, win.
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|Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton|
Washed up fighter, untrustworthy dealer and a just all around 'bad bet.' Typical Hugh Jackman character...which is why he did such a great job. Charlie Kenton at one point in time use to be at the top of his game as a professional boxer, but then robot boxing came into the scene and Charlie dreamed of being the best.
Being the best doesn't come easy, though. Charlie abandons his girlfriend and their one year old son to pursue his dream. Ten years later he gets the news that his girlfriend is dead and he has custody of his son, Max. If Charlie as a bot fighter was bad, Charlie as a father is worse. He doesn't want his son and his son doesn't want him...at first.
When they come across a worn down, second generation, bot named Atom, who proves his worth as a skilled fighter, they hit the road and take Atom to as many bot fights they can find and begin to make their way to top of the fighting chain. Charlie and Max become closer through the love of bot fighting, but then a bet that went incredibly wrong shows up and Charlie risks losing his son.
In one last attempt to make things right with Max, Charlie takes his son to the Real Steel championship tournament and shows the world the courage to right wrongs, take risks, and become a hero.
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|Dakota Goyo as Max Kenton|
Charlie's tough eleven year old son that's proof the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Actually, I don't think the apple even hit the ground with this one. Max loves bot fighting just as much as his dad, except his only experience is from video games. When Charlie takes him to an underground fight, Max gets bit.
When Max finds a second generation bot, Atom, in the junkyard, he has the crazy idea of putting the bot together and have it fight. Beginning to sound like someone else in the story? His dad doesn't hold out much hope, but he takes Max and Atom to a fight only to have Atom...win! Both Max and Charlie see something, a small something that could not only make their dreams come true, but also bring them together.
Max was definitely my favorite character. His life being raised by a single mother has made him somewhat older beyond his years. He brings a lot of humor to the story (he actually swears more than the adults) and his transition from frightened introverted boy to an independent young man is great to see.
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|Evangeline Lilly as Bailey Tallet|
Owner of Tallet's Gym, Charlie's best friend and the only person who is not afraid to tell Charlie the hard truth, whether it's about bot fighting or parenting. Bailey's genuine kindness toward Max and consistent support to Charlie becomes a strong push to bring father and son together.
Of course, Bailey and Charlie fall in love (they kind of were in the beginning), but the love story was very subdued and at the same time it was definitely needed. Every story needs a strong character that balances out all the other characters and that is definitely what Bailey brought to the story.
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|Dakota Goyo as Max Kenton and Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton in "Real Steel"|
The best part about this movie wasn't really the fighting, but the Father/Son relationship between Charlie and Max. Charlie needs Max to realize that he can be hero by fighting for his son and Max need Charlie to teach him to fight, to dream, and above all how to live to be the best he can be.
Good movie, a lot of Hugh Jackman : ), a hilarious up and coming child actor, makes for a great futuristic, sci-fi, fighting movie.