In 2020, humans have been replaced by robots in boxing. Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer who attempts to get money in illegal boxing matches between robots to pay his debts to loan sharks. During a fight, Charlie’s robot, Ambush, is destroyed by Black Thunder, a bull belonging to Ricky (Kevin Durand). Having made a bet that Ambush would win, Charlie now owes Ricky $20,000, which he doesn’t pay before leaving.
While leaving, Charlie is informed that his ex-girlfriend has died, and he has to attend a meeting to decide the fate of his 11-year-old son Max (Dakota Goyo). Max’s aunt Debra (Hope Davis) and uncle Marvin (James Rebhorn) want full custody, and Charlie gives it to them in exchange for $100,000 from Marvin, $50,000 of in advance, on the condition that Charlie takes care of Max for three months, while Marvin and Debra are away on a second honeymoon.
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