Real Steel

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo

Summary: In the near future, human boxing will become obsolete and will be replaced by robots. Charlie (Jackman) is a former boxer who’s had a string of bad luck lately. After his latest robot is destroyed in a fight Charlie is summoned to a custody hearing for his son Max (Goyo). Charlie has never been a part of Max’s life so the two don’t really get along so well, but the one thing they have in common is their love for robot boxing. One day Max finds a robot in a junkyard and the duo fixes it up. Against all odds the scrappy little robot wins match after match and ends up bringing father and son together in the end.

The reason this movie works is because it beautifully blends CGI action with a touching human story. The main focus is on the father-son relationship between Charlie and Max rather than the fighting robots. Dakota Goyo does an amazing job as Max and goes toe to toe with Jackman. All the robot fights were done with motion-capture technology and were choreographed by the great Sugar Ray Leonard to give them authenticity. Having directed “Night at the Museum”, Shawn Levy is a master at blending CGI creatures with human actors. Take note Michael Bay, this is how a robot movie is made.

Trivia: The climactic fight scene at the end is a virtual punch-for-punch recreation of the Ivan Drago/Rocky Balboa fight from Rocky IV.

Rated: PG-13 – For some violence, intense action and brief language.

Grade: B