When I first saw the trailer for Hugh Jackman’s upcoming robo-boxing movie “Real Steel” my thoughts immediately turned to “Robot Jox”. I loved that movie as a kid, watching the spectacle of international conflict played out by giant robots punching the crap out of each other. “Real Steel” looks like a domestic family drama had a baby with a “Rocky” clone set against a backdrop of giant robots punching the crap out of each other. While not super excited about this one, I still plan to see it, but I’ll see pretty much anything that prominently features robot violence.
A new featurette doesn’t do anything to dissuade the overall impression of what “Real Steel” is. If anything, it seems to reinforce the fact that it is another triumphant sports movie, another triumphant sports movie set in the world of robot fighting.
Here’s the official synopsis:
A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech, “Real Steel” stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback.
For my money the most interesting thing about the video below is the discussion of how they went about staging the robot fights. Real life boxers duking it out in motion capture suits play the massive mechanoids. Oh yeah, and the fights were choreographed by none other than boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard. It’ll be interesting to see how footwork, combos, and feints translate from super in shape fighters to bulky computer generated machines.
I can’t help but think the story of “Real Steel” is going to be bland and nothing here seems to counter that. But at least there should be a decent amount of mortal robot combat to keep you entertained while Hugh Jackman tries to win back the affections of his son and ex.
Directed by Shawn Levy, the guy responsible for “Date Night”, which doesn’t bode well, “Real Steel” punches into theaters October 7th.
Get more images and videos in our “Real Steel” preview page.