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Review: Real Steel

Boxing robots. Enough said.
By ANN LEWINSON  |  October 5, 2011
1.5 1.5 Stars

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is in debt and out of work, his job made obsolete by Asian ingenuity — which is to say he is America. In 2027, boxing has been outlawed, so this former prizefighter ekes out a living managing king-sized Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots on the rodeo circuit. Saddled with the son he never knew (charmless Dakota Goyo), he and the boy bond over an old sparring robot that little Max vows to take all the way to New York's Bing™ Arena, where Japanese robots financed by Russian oligarchs rule. Soon Max and his junkyard dog are dancing into the ring like Prince Naseem. A mash-up of The Champ and a Twilight Zone episode in which Lee Marvin played the washed-up boxer, Real Steel is set in a future without weight categories and, it would seem, common sense. But even in its fist-pumping finale Disney's economic parable remains pessimistic: America wins the popularity contest, but the Asians win the purse.

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  Topics: Reviews , Boxing, Hugh Jackman, fighting,  More more >
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