Review: 'Real Steel' a fight film for fathers and sons

Hugh Jackman stars as Charlie Kenton and Evangeline Lilly stars as Bailey Tallet in "Real Steel."

Story highlights

  • "Real Steel" stars Hugh Jackman as a struggling boxing promoter
  • The film is set in the future during a time when robots can box
  • Reviewer says the movie is a "technical knockout"
The trouble with boxing is, people get hurt. Some time soon, according to "Real Steel," the sport will get a radical technological upgrade and human pugilists will be replaced by robots; combatants who will fight to the death every time they climb into the ring.
In a sport like that the machines might get the glory, but you will still find human interest in the corner, where trainers have been replaced by computer programmers, engineers, welders, and if you go down far enough, old fashioned managers like Charlie (Hugh Jackman), an ex-boxer so deep in debt he's nearly out for the count.
Reunited with the 11-year-old son he's practically forgotten, Charlie promptly sells him to the boy's aunt and uncle. But the boy won't be sidelined quite so easily. He's a fight fan himself, and he means to go on the road with his old man and more importantly with the junkyard sparring bot "Atom" he rescues from scrap.
This is "Transformers" for kids, basically -- and yes, I appreciate you might think "Transformers" would have that demographic covered, but apparently nobody told Michael Bay, who pitched his three movies at teens and up.