Real Steel (12A)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Hope Davis

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The Independent Culture

"Courage is stronger than steel" runs the meaningless tagline of this futuristic boxing movie in which the prizefighters are all robots. Battling to be heard above the metal-on-metal clangour is a heartwarming (read: terribly soppy) story of a broken family.

Hugh Jackman, recently outed as a close pal of Rupert Murdoch, plays deadbeat dad Charlie who, in need of cash, offloads his estranged pubescent son (Dakota Goyo) to relatives, but then bonds with the kid during a summer hiatus on the fight circuit. The boy, you see, has regenerated a decrepit robot and persuaded dad to train it in the rudiments of boxing. And you thought Transformers was silly. Like the recent Warrior, this is designed for 13-year-old boys who spend more time gaming than they ever do watching movies. That's why the film can get away with so many crude plot developments and hackneyed stuff about relationships – they will look like new to audiences who have never cared for anything other than action.