A father. A fighter. A boy who needs both. The boy cries out to his father, “I want you to fight for me! That’s all I ever wanted.”
Hubris takes Hugh Jackman‘s character, Charlie, to new lows as pride cometh before each crushing blow. High roller and a bad bet, Charlie takes robots into the boxing ring in the not-too-distant future. A favorite scene overtly nods to Rocky-lore as Jackman dons the grey sweats and hoodie to train for the big match.
Spielberg and family film director Shawn Levy (Date Night (2010), Night at the Museum (2006,2009), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), cast a new “Elliott”- a boy without a father who befriends an “alien” and learns to fight for family. Max, the boy, the mentor, the prize, rolls all of his punches into one soulful, Dr. Pepper-selling Beiber-ite. And E.T. to this Elliott is Atom, the ancient sparring robot who mirrors the father figure beautifully until the finale in which they act as one – symbiotically fighting to win back the boy. Ah, to be fought for. I believe it’s what we all want.