Bot boxing hooks in the viewer, ringside - Margaret Pomeranz

THINK the original Rocky, think Karate Kid. No, think again, this is the age of the bot – that is, the robot boxer. The days of men getting up there in the ring and slugging it out are over; we now have remote-controlled machines to do it for us. Bit of a relief actually. Or is it? I found my stomach tensing during the fights because somehow the film had seduced me into thinking one of those machines up there was a good guy!

It all begins when loser ex-boxer Charlie (Jackman) finds himself in charge of his long-neglected son Max (Goyo) after the death of Max’s mother. Max, whom his rich aunt (Hope Davis) is keen to adopt, is given temporarily to his reluctant and money-hungry father during the summer on the proviso that he’s given back.

Charlie’s in a lot of debt and that hole gets even larger in the opening scenes of the film.  

Max is a precocious young thing and one night, when Charlie is stealing spare parts from a