Set in a 2020 where robot-fighting has replaced boxing, Charlie Kenton is a former career pugilist whose pivot to robot boxing has been a rocky road. With his brash personality, Charlie finds himself deeper in debt and with no robot to bet on. Well, that is until he finds out his ex-girlfriend died, and his son, Max, is now in a custody dispute involving his Aunt Debra and her wealthy husband, Marvin.
Seeing an opportunity, Charlie extorts Marvin for $50,000 so he can buy a classic boxing robot, but he also gets saddled with Max for the summer. Cut from much of the same cloth as his estranged father, Max is way into robot boxing and turns out to be a huge help to Charlie, especially after he discovers a junkyard robot named Atom who’s much more than the sparring machine he appears to be on the surface.
The movie features incredible fight scenes with an army of actual boxing robots created with Jurassic Park and Avatar technology, as well as the absolutely charming moments where Max and Atom dance together. As a result, Real Steel is one of the best robot movies of all time that also comes wrapped in a heartwarming story about the intense bonds between a father and his son.