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Judging from the above image, steel may have a gotten a little TOO real.

"Times have changed. Fighting has changed -- but the crowd, they never change. They just get bigger."

Or, as it's become known on the Internet, Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots: The Movie.

Based on a Richard Matheson story first adapted for The Twilight Zone, Real Steel takes place Twenty Minutes Into the Future, where human boxers have been supplanted by robotic warriors who can dish out and take far more damage. Former boxer Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) now works on the outside of the ring as a robot handler, exhibiting in town fairs and underground robot fights to make ends meet, when he suddenly gets his estranged son Max dropped in his lap after the boy's mother dies.

Needless to say, neither Charlie or Max take well to this at first, but they slowly manage to bond over Atom - an obsolete robot they find in the junkyard after Charlie's previous 'bot gets trashed, with the ability to mimic the moves of others and the resilience to survive just about any punishment. Together they rebuild Atom and train him to fight, aiming for the championships through the underground scene for Charlie's last shot at a comeback.

Tropes used in Real Steel include:
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range / Everything's Better with Spinning: Twin Cities can turn both his heads 360 degrees.
  • Abusive Parents: Charlie, for most of the film.
  • Actor Allusion: When Charlie gets the idea to have Atom dance for a pre-fight ritual, Max wants Charlie's help and he goes "I can't dance, you're on your own there". Never mind all his stage musical experience...
  • Advertised Extra: Noisy Boy, Midas, and Ambush appear on many posters. They disappear after the first act.
  • All There in the Manual. This website gives some detail on the movie's universe, particularly the history of robot boxing.
    • A video about Atom also explains his origins: He was a Sparring Robot for former Robot champion Gamma.
    • The Blu-Ray has Charlie's background in a fake ESPN documentary.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Atom fights with arm components from Ambush [1], the voice command processor from Noisy Boy, courtesy of Max, and Charlie's boxing moves programed in via his shadow function.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Yes, we already have remote control robot fighting, albeit on a much smaller scale.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Tak Moshido, Zeus's creator. Backstory on the film's website reveals that he was the original creator of Noisy Boy, Charlie's second robot, and was also one of the revolutionary inventors of robot boxing.
  • Berserk Button: Do not call Finn "homeboy".
    • Correction: Do not be a condescending Caucasian redneck and call him 'Home Boy'. And don't think it's OK for you to do so even if he first calls you "partner".
  • Bilingual Bonus: The kanji on Noisy Boy.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Charlie and Max have won the hearts of everyone in the world, earning them and Atom the title of the People's Champion, but Zeus retains his title as undefeated champion (which mirrors Rocky in that it was more about going the distance and making the invincible sweat...and leaving the way open for a sequel!)
    • Max is probably going to follow his adoptive parents rather than Charlie, but they did get their glorious WRB fight and Charlie's sister-in-law has clearly been won over by the sport, meaning that Max might not have to leave it behind in his new life.
  • Blood Sport: There are no more restrictions on where the fighters can hit, and fights in less legitimate venues are often to the "death". An early scene also has Charlie explaining that human boxing was slowly turning into this in its waning years, right around the time the WRB took over.
  • Blue Eyes: Atom.
  • Boxing Lesson: Charlie gives these to Atom, who can then mimic his movements.
  • A Boy and His X: Charlie initially has no interest in Atom; it is his son who does most of the initial work and fights all of the fights until Charlie takes over for the WRB matches. Ironically, it reflects on his and Max's relationship.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Charlie's first impression of Max.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: A variation: Charlie gives Max back to Debra and Marvin after Ricky beats both of them up, causing him to realize how unfit he is to be Max's father.
  • Brought to You by The Letter "S": Ambush has an "A" on his chest.
  • California Doubling: Detroit doubled for Texas.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Voice-controlled robots necessitate this, though human operators are typically far enough apart that it doesn't matter.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Midas' handler has no problem playing dirty in the ring.
  • Cool Car: Charlie's International Harvester Sightliner.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of the DVD release showcases Atom and Ambush as if Ambush is a significant character. Ambush is in the movie for all of five minutes and is completely trashed. Zeus would have been a better choice.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Most of the robots seem to have these; justified as the robots are built to simulate human boxing.
  • Creator Cameo: Screenwriter John Gatins plays Kingpin, the promoter who heads "The Zoo".
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Zeus knocks down Atom with his first blow. Atom then gets back up.
    • Heck, pretty much every battle Zeus has ever been in pretty much had this result.
  • Cute Shotaro Boy: Max.
  • David Versus Goliath: Atom is significantly smaller than most of the opponents he faces. The fight promos between Atom and Zeus specifically refer to the match as such.
  • Disappeared Dad: Charlie, who has been out of Max's life for nearly all of his eleven years of living. Needless to say, his late girlfriend's sister and husband dislike him for it.
    • The husband dislikes Charlie because the latter tried to grift him out of 100K for a kid he didn't want.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Atom standing up against Zeus. So much that Zeus starts malfunctioning - see Suicidal Overconfidence.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Subverted. Atom does indeed knock Zeus down near the end of the fight, but Zeus is able to get back up. However, by this point in the fight Zeus is low on energy, and had he not been saved by the bell, Atom probably would have been able to knock him out.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Max.
  • Derelict Graveyard: Charlie goes to one of these to look for spare parts. He finds Atom.
  • Despair Event Horizon: See Heroic BSOD.
  • The Determinator: Atom takes a huge amount of punishment and just keeps getting back up.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: How Charlie loses the Ambush fight.
  • Drop the Hammer: Metro's Weapon of Choice. According to the WRB rules, using a weapon is illegal; however, as Metro is mostly an underground fighter, there isn't a really big deal made of it.
    • Zeus has pistons for fists, making him an example of this as well, though a fairly original one.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In the scene where Atom is activated for the first time, director Shawn Levy told Atom's puppeteer to mirror everything that Dakota Goyo did, without telling Dakota. The look of wonder on Max's face as he sees Atom sitting up, looking at him, and moving with him is genuine.
  • Evil Debt Collector: Charlie has a run-in with one, Ricky. He and his goons drive Charlie to the Despair Event Horizon, but during Atom's fight with Zeus, is hoist by his own petard by trying to renege on a deal with one of Charlie's old buddies.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Midas' handler. He's portrayed by the movie's stunt coordinator, and apparently the guy is missing an eye in real life.
  • Fake American: Hugh Jackman (Australian) and Dakota Goyo (Canadian) playing Charlie and Max.
  • Fan Service: The bikini girls at The Zoo, and the girl in the robot costume holding up the round cards during the league matches. Farra Lemkova has a kind of Sensual Slav / Kim Kardashian thing going on.
  • Finishing Move: Deconstructed. With Midas on the ropes, Charlie has Noisy Boy wind up for the big one- giving his opponent enough time for a counter-punch to the gut, leading to Noisy Boy's destruction.
  • Fight Clubbing: Charlie's first few fights, and Atom's first real win takes place at an illegal ring in a former zoo.
  • Follow the Leader: The influences of Transformers and Rocky are clearly felt. Not quite enough to qualify for X Meets Y but enough to mention.
  • Funny Background Event: When Bailey sits down in the bar to watch Atom's fight with Twin Cities, the guy next to her clearly tries to get ready to hit on her, but cannot even get a word out before she turns her attention to the fight.
  • Foreshadowing: Bailey tells a story about Charlie's fight against a major championship contender and tells about how Charlie fought him relentlessly, pushed him to the limit, and tired him out -- and ultimately lost in the final round.
  • Gadgeteer Genius:
    • Max manages to greatly enhance Atom overnight.
    • Tak, Zeus's creator, is hailed as one, and apparently is one of the revolutionary figures in the robot boxing world.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: Literally, but more feasibly than usual.
  • Gonk: Metro, compared to the other 'bots. There's a reason why the filmmakers referred to him as "Frankenbot."
  • Good Old Robot: By necessity, at first, but Atom quickly proves his worth.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Appears on Max's shirt at one point. Max also knows how to speak limited Japanese, as shown when he test controls Noisy Boy, and handwaved by the fact that Max plays Japanese bootlegs of video games.
  • Groin Attack: Midas does this to Noisy Boy in their fight. They might be robots, but it still made all the men in the room wince. And just like in real life fighting sports, it is heavily implied to be an illegal move.
  • Heroic BSOD: Charlie ends up keeping his promise and giving Max back to his legal parents when they returned out of guilt for having Max getting involved in being beat up with him by Ricky and his men.
  • Heroic Second Wind
  • Humans Are Special: Partly the reason why Atom has an advantage over other boxers: His Shadow Mode allows him to fight with the grace of a human boxer, as opposed to his opponents, who tend to be operated from outside the ring.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Max learns the fight game quickly partially in thanks to his video game experience.
  • Informed Ability: Zeus is said to be able to adapt his strategy to counter his opponents, which probably implies he has a certain degree of autonomy. However all we ever see him do is pounce relentlessly on his opponents, even before Zeus is controlled manually.
  • Jerkass: Ricky. He ignores Charlie's calls to quit the match when his robot is badly damaged, and then beats Charlie and his son up and steals their winnings.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Charlie, after Character Development.
  • Kick the Dog: Ricky and his men had already done quite a number on Charlie, but then when he learns from Max that he's beating on his father, he decides to belittle and beat him some even more, even though he had already taken all their money.
  • Kid With the Remote Control: Max is the one who initially controls Atom in all his bouts, but he relinquishes control to Charlie once he installs the voice recognition (and even more after said voice control gets broken and Atom is forced to copy Charlie's moves).
  • Killer Robot: Averted. People in the film often stand within punching distance of the boxers, however the machines seem to be mostly inert outside of their programmed fighting modes.
  • Kill It with Fire: Atom's fight with Metro ends with the latter having a system crash, causing him to go up in flames after he collapses.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ricky rather forcefully takes back the money Charlie owes, on top of beating him and his kid, and soon bets that money that Atom will not last the first round against Zeus. When Atom does make it past the first round, people come looking for him to pay up. Exactly what he had been doing to Charlie for the entire film.
  • Licensed Game: Two, actually; one for Xbox Live / Play Station Network, and one for Android / iOS. No motion or voice controls, sadly.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Atom. As shown many times in the film, the real reason the robot is so dangerous in the ring is because it was designed to react and move instantly while in shadow boxing mode, and is able to keep up with human movements, as well as being designed to take epic levels of punishment as a training robot. Adding in the arm components to throw punches, and given his size means he doesn't need weight behind his punches since he's almost always punching upwards, gives him the Bruiser side of the trope.
  • Like Father, Like Son

 Charlie: Stubborn kid.

Bailey: Surprise surprise.

  • Mass "Oh Crap": Everyone in the stadium when Atom lands a punch on Zeus's head.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Hints of Atom being sentient are dropped, but it is never explicitly stated one way or the other.
    • According to the DVD Commentary, Atom's fight with Metro was originally written to confirm that Atom was indeed sentient, with him fighting without Max operating him. The filmmakers eventually realized that it would be better if this trope was in effect, so the scene was scripted to its final form.
  • May-December Romance: Debra and Marvin.
  • Meaningful Echo: "You do realize you're talking to a machine."
    • Atom's and Charlie's history. Charlie first came to prominence by being meat in a warm-up match, giving a supposed world-class boxer quite a scare by being relentless and implacable. Atom is a sparring bot who came to prominence by winning an exhibition match against a supposed world-class boxing 'bot in all but name.
    • At first, Charlie is the reckless one, and Max is the cautious methodical one. As the movie progresses, Max becomes more reckless and aggressive, and Charlie starts thinking things out more.
  • Meaningful Name: Atom. The small and invincible.
    • Zeus as well. Just like how his namesake was the "King of the Gods," Zeus, being the WRB World Champion, is "King of the Robots."
  • Mo Cap Mecha: Oddly enough, averted for the most part. Most modern (for the film) robots aren't motion-controlled, and Atom's unusual in that he's one of the surviving robots from that era.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Max drinks a lot of Dr. Pepper when working on Atom.
  • My Defense Need Not Protect Me Forever: Charlie/Atom runs a textbook Rope-a-Dope on Zeus in the final round of the title fight.
  • Mythology Gag: A few references are made to the original Matheson story:
    • The robots in the original story looked like regular human boxers. In the film, Charlie tells Max that the first fighting robots resembled humans more closely than the current fighters we see in the film. Atom, being a Generation Two fighter, is still somewhat human-looking, at least more than his opponents.
    • The original story has its main robot breakdown before its fight, leading to its handler to fight in its place. Naturally, this doesn't go very well. In the film, Atom's voice recognition is damaged in the middle of his fight with Zeus. Charlie then has to control Atom through his Shadow Mode, meaning that Charlie is technically the one fighting against Zeus.
    • The original story stated that human boxing was abolished because it was too violent. The film puts a different spin on this: human boxing did die out, but not because it was considered too violent, but because spectators didn't think it was violent enough.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer has a scene where Lilly's character describes to Max how Charlie was a boxer, making it sound like a case of I Coulda Been a Contender. In the film itself, the description she uses is actually directed towards another boxer.
    • The trailers make Charlie and Max's relationship seem more heartwarming than it is.
    • The trailers make it look like Charlie uses Atom's "shadow function" to control the robot for all of his fights. This is only used to "train" Atom, enabling the robot to execute Charlie's graceful boxing moves as opposed to purely mechanical attacks. Charlie only controls Atom by Kinect as a last resort in the final round of the fight against Zeus when Atom's other control functions are knocked offline, and is laughed at by the announcers as a desperation tactic.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Atom got his ass kicked when he went up against Metro. The tides quickly turn to his favor in Round 2.
    • Midas takes Noisy Boy apart.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: Clothing styles still look the way they are in 2011. Granted, the film is only in 2020, but you'd expect some things to change.
  • No One Could Survive That: No robot has ever lasted more than a round with Zeus, most being torn to shreds by him and when Atom gets knocked down several times (once as soon as the fight starts) in the first round, the announcers commentary evokes the trope each and every time he gets up.
  • No Sell: Atom seems to shrug off most hits, which they credit to his purpose as a Sparring Robot.
  • Off with His Head: Happens more than once, including one incident where the head flies straight up -- reinforcing the connection to Rock'em Sock'em Robots.
    • Zeus executes a robot by squashing its head flat between his fists.
  • Older Than He Looks: Max. Charlie even asks him to clarify if he really is 11 years old. Might have to do with his intellect
  • One Hit Knockout: Atom falls instantly at the first punch Zeus throws at him. He gets up soon after.
    • Happens in the first fight against Metro. Atom only does one real offensive move the entire fight and it takes Metro down. Said move (known in some circles as Hanuman) has roots in Muay Thai, sacrificing any semblance of defense for pure offensive power.
  • One Head Taller: Charlie and Bailey
  • Papa Wolf: Charlie fights even more ferociously when Ricky and his men are going to proceed with beating up Max, his son as well.
  • Parental Abandonment: Max. His father Charlie left his then-girlfriend, not knowing how to deal with the responsibility of having a child; and his mother dies prior to the events of the film.
  • Perpetual Smiler: The mesh screen on Atom's face has seams that resemble a nose ridge and a smiling mouth. It adds to the child-like appeal of Atom's shape.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Atom is a fair deal smaller than most of the robots he fights. Max as well.
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Ricky, who just has to Kick the Dog further by mockingly calling Finn "home boy!" toward the end of the film.
    • It should be mentioned that Finn took one look at his cowboy hat and called him "partner" before that in a similarly mocking tone.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Averted. Charlie gets Noisy Boy, a former world champion robot controlled by voice recognition, but he never bothered to learn all the specific command sequences. In his first match, Noisy Boy is defeated because Charlie can not give him anything besides basic instructions and unhelpful combos.
  • Practical Effects: There were a large number of animatronic robots built for this film but the CGI is good enough that most viewers would need Word of God to tell the difference.
  • Product Placement: Sponsorships within the movie appear all over the equipment and arenas used by the WRB, including Sprint, Bing, and the Xbox 720. Dr. Pepper appears as a standard product placement when Max drinks it throughout the movie. Royal Purple (synthetic oils and lubricants) appears on the control consoles of Team Twin Cities and Team Zeus. Hewlett-Packard's "HP" logo can clearly be seen through the back of Noisy Boy's control console and the round cards in Zeus' fight. Oddly, this means it's reversed for the operator but normal for the audience, which may make sense in-universe since many robot fights are televised along with their consoles.
    • Technically averted with Dr. Pepper. Word of God admits that Dr. Pepper gave them permission to use their soda on-camera, but the film received no revenue from the appearance. They simply used Dr. Pepper because that was the soda they had on-hand, and needed something with caffeine content to justify Max's hyperactive-ness in one scene.
  • Promotion to Parent: Sure, Charlie is Max's parent, but he had never had any involvement in Max's life before the events of the movie, and the only reason he started to was because Max's aunt had a wealthy husband who paid him off to take Max for a few months. Over the course of the film, while he never tries to reclaim legal custody of Max, he does become much more of a father to him.
  • Puppy Eyes: Max pulls this on Charlie.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Zeus wins the fight on points but loses credibility and the respect of the crowd while Atom is crowned "The People's Champion."

  Charlie: "Oh, come on. Are you kidding me with those eyes?"

  • Recycled in Space: Rocky with robots!
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: You have a world were people can build robots for boxing, and said robots can pack a pretty serious punch. No one seems to have considered applying this technology to other areas, like, say, the military. Of course, the film is only set nine years ahead of 2011, so that department might not have opened up yet, but it's still worth a small mention. There's also the fact that the robots left many boxers unemployed, so people probably aren't clamoring for more occupations being replaced by machines.
    • Using more advanced versions of fixed devices (as the robot handlers in the film do) is both more practical and more economical than creating a larger number of autonomous humanoid robots. The application of humanoid designs in combat settings has been widely debated both inside and outside military circles but current consensus is that a larger number of smaller non-humanoid units would be more efficient in any situation a metal man might encounter. This is unlikely to change in nine years. Long story short, fighting robots are Awesome but Impractical for anything outside of entertainment- just like in Real Life.
    • Moreover, maybe big, strong and agile robots are used by the military, industry and whatnot in the movie's universe. It's just not what the movie's about. We haven't seen any military boot camps in Rocky, either.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Zeus ("King of the Robots") and Midas ("The Gold-Blooded Killer"). Additional material also gives us Ida-Ten, Sun Wukong, and Armageddon.
  • Repeat Cut: In the battle with Twin Cities, the final blow and fall is shown from three different angles. Two of them from behind each robot, then once looking straight down, complete with triumphant music swelling in the background.
  • Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: There is a promo for the Xbox 720.
  • Ridiculously-Human Robots: Played with. The robots are mostly tools, and generally have no free will. Zeus is autonomous, but his programming seems only limited to fighting. There's also a brief scene of Metro looking confused when Atom dodges his attack. And of course, it's left to the viewer to decide whether or not Atom is sentient.
  • Secret Art: Atom's Shadow Mode, which allows him to mimic a person's moves exactly. When said person happens to be a professional boxer, this is a serious advantage.
  • Sensual Slavs: Farra Lemkova, heiress of a Russian oligarchy.
  • Serkis Folk: The robots. Max turns it into a gimmick by using Atom to dance pre-round.
  • Share the Male Pain: During the Midas fight, Midas punches Noisy Boy in "that spot". Being a robot, Noisy Boy doesn't feel anything, but despite that, the entire crowd flinches and reaches reflexively downward.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Atom and Max are shown to dance before every fight. They don't do this when Atom goes up against Zeus, likely to highlight the seriousness of the match.
  • Shout-Out: Atom's name is a twofer. It belongs to both the robot hero Astro Boy and the Golden Age hero The Atom, a diminutive scrapper who was taught to box, and proceeded to outfight thugs much bigger than him.
    • The Xbox 720 logo seen as a sponsor during the Tournament against Zeus.
    • Charlie's first robot Ambush has some similarities to the blue robot in Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots.
    • The statue on the WRB dome is strangely similar to the Gundam Statue in Japan
  • Soft Glass: Tak Moshido, Zeus's creator, punches through one of the computer screens for Zeus's controls in frustration, with little damage done to his hand.
  • Stealth Pun: One of the underground robots Atom fights during his montage is a cowboy-themed boxer named Six Shooter. If one looks closely at Six Shooter's arms, one can see how his biceps are designed to resemble a pistol's revolver. As in his guns.
  • The Stoic: Team Zeus, until they start freaking out when Atom puts up a good fight. Gets worse when Atom starts winning.
  • Stone Wall: Atom in his initial function as a sparring robot. He needed to survive even the champions' best hits (that are shown to be easily capable of shattering the parts of actual fighters) but he lacked offensive power, presumably to minimize the repairs needed by said champions after a session. Max's upgrades and Charlie's training turn him into a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence:
    • Charlie loses not one, but two of his robots through his own hubris and errors. He loses his first robot, Ambush, when he actually turns his back to the arena during the fight in order to flirt with a woman, and he loses his second robot, Noisy Boy, when he puts him into a main event bout without even bothering to learn all of the commands first.
    • Zeus's owners were so confident that Atom would lose early in the match, perhaps in the first round, that they did not even bother to make sure Zeus had enough power to last the full five rounds. Towards the end of the match he actually begins to run out of power, allowing Atom to attack with near impunity. Though given he's never had to go further than one round, it's unlikely they ever bothered.
  • Super Toughness: Atom's biggest advantage; as a sparring robot, he's designed tougher than even top-of-the-line combat models.
  • Taste the Rainbow: Each robot incorporates a different theme into its design. Noisy Boy, for example, takes influence from Samurai armor, while Midas has a fitting Greek armor motif to his design.
  • Technician Versus Performer: The key to Atom's success. Seemingly every other robot in the world is just a bipedal competitor in Robot Wars. Atom's shadow function enables ex-boxer Charlie to effectively "train" him to "perform" elegant punches, and utilize his years of experience to perceive telegraphed moves. And in the final fight, it enables Charlie to effectively fight Zeus himself - and beat him to a pulp like any pro boxer could any undisciplined juiced street fighter.
  • Technology Porn: Mostly avoided but the sequence of moving metal as Noisy Boy first powers up could be considered a fond jab at the moment in Iron Man when Tony tests out his flight control surfaces.
  • Tempting Fate: "If you fall down here, you'll definitely--" Cue abrupt fall.
  • Ten-Minute Retirement: Tak went into retirement after Noisy Boy lost to the Lemkovas' first robot, Rubicon. Shortly after, he came out of retirement after striking a deal with them that culminated in Zeus's creation.
  • That Poor Car: Atom smashes one of his opponents into a car during the montage. Cue the car alarm.
  • Title Drop: Several times. For example, the eponymous "real steel" is the Real Steel boxing tournament.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The first half of Noisy Boy vs. Midas was released without editing as one of the later trailers, including the Gold Blooded Killer's comeback.
    • They show Atom mirroring Charley's moves during Zeus' fight so you knew that the mirror system would be used during the fight.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Aside from the fact that robots have taken over boxing, everything looks pretty much like present day. The film is set in 2020.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Averted. Zeus wins in points at the end of the fifth round, but the fact that Atom put up such a strong fight and probably would've won had the match had another round got him the support of the crowd. Atom is even dubbed "The People's Champion", no relation to that other one.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Zeus didn't get penalized for throwing Atom across the ring. In a regular boxing match, he would have gotten a few points docked off.
  • Used Future: Invoked in some of the robots, who look like they've seen better days. Mostly applies to underground fighters; WRB League robots like Twin Cities and Zeus are well taken care of.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Not exactly a villain, but Tak loses it when he sees his precious robot taking a fierce beating from Atom.
  • Villainy Free Villain / Opposing Sports Team: Team Zeus, all the way.
  • The Watson: Max is this in his early scenes; it's to him that Charlie explains the history of the WRB, and Noisy Boy's voice control.
  • Weak but Skilled: This appears to be Atom's edge over the bigger, shinier robots it is put up against in the trailers. A featurette describes how Atom can mimic what it sees perfectly -- and Charlie Kenton, one of Atom's handlers, is a retired pro boxer.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Max's reaction to finding out that he was "sold" to his aunt and her wealthy husband.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Max, who not only displays extraordinary technical skills for an 11 year-old, but is also shown to be quite a bit more Genre Savvy than his father.
  • Wrench Wench: Bailey
  • X Meets Y: Rocky meets The Iron Giant.
  • You Have No Chance to Survive: Most have this attitude towards Atom at first, to the point of betting large sums of money that he won't even survive the first round. They were proved wrong every time.
  • Zeerust: Though it hasn't exactly reached this yet, the film's very detailed timeline will most likely look rather silly as time goes on (for example, it states that robot boxing will become mainstream in 2014).
  1. Atom as a sparring 'bot basically had "kid gloves" to avoid damaging the actual boxing 'bot
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