Charlie (played by Hugh Jackman) is a down on his luck, washed-up, ex-fighter who now spends his time piecing together low-end scrap boxing robots, dragging them from one venue to the next to compete in underground matches. Come to find out, Charlie’s got an 11-year-old son he never knew about. Charlie now finds himself with a new tag along, Max, in a last ditch bonding effort before turning over custody. “Real Steal” is a feel-good story with a few surprises that the whole family can appreciate it (don’t worry mom, Charlie’s shirtless scenes turn boys’ toys into a chick-flick in a heartbeat!).
By FELICIA C. HANEY
Nowadays, when boxers are too pretty to get gritty and most matches end in one hitter quitters or 12 rounds of taps and dancing before judges call the decision, fans are left to only dream about watching a real old fashioned bloody brawl without being made to feel guilty about it.
The future’s solution… Boxing robots.
Now, fans get all the gore with none of the long lasting effects. Unless of course you’re Charlie Kenton.
Charlie (played by Hugh Jackman) is a down on his luck, washed-up, ex-fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot robots took over the ring. Left to put together the remaining pieces of his career, Charlie spends his time piecing together low-end scrap robots, dragging them from one venue to the next to compete in underground matches.
One broken payment promise after another, the commitment phobe finds himself running from everything around him until something’s delivered directly to him. Come to find out, Charlie’s got an 11-year-old son, or maybe he’s nine depending on if you ask his absentee dad.
Max (Dakota Goyo) finds himself at the center of a custody hearing after his mom passes and somehow Charlie, who’s already given up his parental rights, finds himself with a new tag along in a last ditch bonding effort before turning over custody – again depending on who you ask.
The estranged pair teams up to build and train a championship contender while building a relationship of their own. But even a cute little face and awesome dance moves may not be enough to con a con man into revisiting the past in order to move on to a better future.
Speaking of future, the film is set in the near future where references like “back in 2016” or a look back on Charlie’s 2007 epic near-win boxing match make this day and age seem like the good ole days.
Problem is the only thing that really looks futuristic is anything computer based – cell phones, cars and computers themselves. Without the occasional reminder, you’d forget that it wasn’t set in present day times.
But all old things are new again and Charlie gets his chance at more than one comeback to turn his downwardly spiraling life into a do-over.
“Real Steal” could probably have given true boxing fans a better taste of the actual sport courtesy of a flashback of Charlie in his heyday, but nonetheless, it is a feel-good story with a few surprises that the whole family can appreciate it (don’t worry mom, Charlie’s shirtless scenes turn boys’ toys into a chick-flick in a heartbeat!).