Boxing’s triumph at the box office

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Boxing films are back on our screens in a big way, with recent films such as The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, and Tom Hardy’s Warrior suddenly making the sport sexy again.

Boxing has always been a popular subject in Hollywood; classic ’70s and ’80s titles such as Rocky, Raging Bull and The Champ are among the greatest films ever made. However, up until the likes of Million Dollar Baby and Will Smith’s Ali, the genre was going through a fallow patch.

It isn’t just boxing that’s back on the agenda; over the past decade our inner geek has been satisfied with retro robot remakes. With the help of the lovely Megan Fox, the Transformers movie was smoking hot and led to every 10 year old in the country asking Santa for their very own Transformer, while I, Robot was another favourite, with eerily human-like robots that had us all fascinated.

Hugh Jackman’s new Real Steel movie cleverly combines robots and boxing but with a fresh, modern twist, and a story that really packs the punches. The film is set to beat its way to the top of the box office when it is released on 14th October.

Real Steel sees Jackman play Charlie, an ex-boxing champion. The year is 2020 and the world of boxing has changed as robots bring a whole new level of endurance and skill to the sport. The purpose-built machines are bigger and better than their human makers and able to withstand spectacular punches.

These new boxers have the crowds cheering, but Charlie has been left with a worthless skill and little else, except his adoring young son, Max. The game may have changed, but Charlie still has his fighting skills and, with Max’s help, the father-son duo aim to create their own contender.

Atom is an old robot that the pair discover buried in a junkyard. He’s small, dated and built to defend, with no chance of winning or even surviving a fight against the huge, modern robots. However, sometimes it takes the ambition and determination of a boy to make dreams come true and Max bonds with the old robot. Through his child’s eyes, Max sees the boxing champion that Atom could be and is determined to help him win.

Atom may be old, slow and small, but with some training Max believes he has the potential to be a winner. He encourages his dad to take the chance and train the robot up to be a champion. Can Charlie use his boxing skills to teach this old bot new tricks and get him back in the ring?

On the surface of Real Steel is a modern, futuristic world where times have changed and a whole new sport has come into being. Steel robots are almost indestructible, meaning the fights are action-packed with punch after punch. This metal on metal battle brings boxing to the max for a fight like you have never seen before.

Beneath the glory and excitement of robot boxing, however, we see a regular guy who is struggling to find his place within this ultra modern world. Hugh Jackman is our all-action hero with a heart; boasting the punches and the power alongside a vulnerability that is rarely admitted to in action films.

Not only is Charlie struggling professionally, but also as a dad, letting his young son down time and time again. The discovery of Atom has the exciting potential to change this and we learn that sometimes we have to take a chance on the underdog.

> Watch the trailer.

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Watch a clip from the movie…