Real Steel Parent Guide
Considering the age of the child protagonist and his appeal to young viewers, it's too bad film editors couldn't have punched out of few of the profanities in favor of a more family friendly bout.
Parent Movie Review
Carnage is what crowds want when they come to the sports arena, according to one fight promoter (Anthony Mackie). And when humans can’t provide enough of that, technology fills the void.
Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is one of those has-been human boxers in a world where robots have taken over the ring. Now instead of strapping on sparring gloves, he travels around the country stopping at seedy carnival venues, underground fight clubs and anywhere else he can secure a match for his robots. Unfortunately, his ego and ambition for money means he’s not particularly careful with his machinery. As a result he talks too big and takes on too much. Then he hauls the broken bits back to Tallet’s Gym where he hopes Bailey Tallet (Evangeline Lilly) can piece the metal fighters back together for the next match.
Just as his unpaid debts and broken promises start to catch up with him, he learns he has an 11-year-old son (Dakota Goyo). The boy’s aunt (Hope Davis) is eager to adopt the child. However her husband (James Rebhorn) wants one last childless summer in Italy before he commits to parenthood. Never one to overlook an opportunity to secure some cash, Charlie makes an under the table deal with Marvin. In exchange for $100,000 cash, he’ll take Max for eight weeks.
Reading his dad for what he is, Max exhibits his own proclivity for getting his way once they are together. After digging an old sparring robot out of the junkyard, Max insists on accompanying his father on the fight circuit.
Most of the movie’s action takes place inside the boxing arena where mechanical combatants, controlled by humans, brutally beat one another. During the fights, limbs are severed, heads are decapitated and fluids spill out of the damaged robots. Occasionally, however, human blood is spilt, like when a debt collector (Kevin Durand) shows up to beat overdue payments out of Charlie. But along with the action, the film portrays some positive character development as Charlie and Max’s shared interest in robots contributes to their growing relationship.
Set in the not so distant days ahead, the film hints at the moviemakers’ vision of the future. Wind turbines dot the landscape, electronics supersede current technology and an abandoned zoo serves as an amphitheater for back-alley battles. (Automobiles, on the other hand, look surprisingly similar.)
Unfortunately, the creative concept of the script, which brings the game of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots to a whole new level of intensity, gets a foul for brief alcohol depictions and plenty of cursing by adults and youth. Considering the age of the child protagonist and his appeal to young viewers, it’s too bad film editors couldn’t have punched out of few of the profanities in favor of a more family friendly bout.Directed by Shawn Levy . Starring Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly . Running time: 127 minutes. Theatrical release October 7, 2011. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Real Steel rated PG-13? Real Steel is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some violence, intense action and brief language.
Violence: Robotic boxers engage in matches that result in severed arms, crushed heads and demolished machines. A car windshield is smashed during one match. In a contest with a bull, a robot throws the animal to the ground. Men engage in fistfights (one involves a child) that result in bloody injuries. During one altercation a man brings a crowbar as a weapon and a man is kicked viciously. Characters break into a place of business. A child falls down a long cliff. A boy punches an adult man.
Sexual Content: Women are seen in bikinis and cleavage baring tops. A couple kisses. A sexual relationship is intimated between unmarried adults.
Language: The script contains numerous terms of Deity, mild profanities, some crude terms for male anatomy and infrequent scatological slang.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A main character is depicted with a hangover following a night of drinking. Other characters drink in bars and social settings. A prominent beer product placement is shown. A child suffers effects from consuming an energy drink and excessive amounts of a caffeinated, carbonated beverage.
Other: A man agrees to sell the rights to his child.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for Real Steel after the break...
Real Steel Parents' Guide
Product placements are prolific in this film. How many did you see? Watch for a list at the Brandchannel.One of the prominent product placements in this movie is for beer. Should filmmakers allow alcohol promotions in a movie that is intended to appeal to many children? Why are beer and other liquors so often advertised at sporting events?
What legal ramifications could Charlie face for selling Max? What advantage would rich people have over others if there were no penalties for buying children? What other advantages do the wealthy have in his story? As a result, why is Max’s robot Atom so eagerly embraced by the crowds?
Although this film has a know-it-all child, how does he differ from many other similar characters? In what ways does he show his dependence on adults? How does he help his father step up to the responsibilities of adulthood? What positive things happen in their relationship?
The most recent home video release of Real Steel movie is January 24, 2012. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Real Steel
Release Date: 24 January 2011
Real Steel releases to home video in either a 2-disc (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack) or 3-disc (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) package. Both offerings include:
- Four featurettes
- Deleted and extended scenes
Related home video titles:
Another father reassesses the direction of his life when he discovers he has a daughter in the more family friendly movie The Game Plan. And a young boy befriends a metal man in Iron Giant. Futuristic stories looking at the role of androids in society include I, Robot, Bicentennial Man and Star Wars. The sport of boxing has enjoyed cinematic immortality in the Rocky franchise.