We've been ignoring "Real Steel" because of our resentment toward director Shawn Levy for the atrocious "Date Night," and star Hugh Jackman for the lap dance he gave to Barbara Walters. But it's impossible to turn a blind eye to an honest-to-god boxing robot.
Set in the not-too-distant future, "Real Steel" stars Jackman as a former boxer who turns to coaching robot pugilists when the market for human fisticuffs goes belly up.
Yesterday, we got our first look at Jackman working the corner with one of his charges, an 8-foot robot, by way of USA Today. You can almost hear barking, "You're gonna eat lightning, and you're gonna crap thunder!"
"There are some things only visual effects can pull off," Levy told USA Today. "But when you give an actor a real thing, in this case a real 8-foot-tall machine, to interact with and do dialogue opposite, you get a more grounded reality to the performance."
Levy's team has constructed 19 such robots for the film, which Jackman says is your typical father-son bonding story.
"The heart of the story is this father and son relationship and in comes this junkyard robot called Atom that the kid's in love with," Jackman says. "I abandoned the kid pretty much at birth. But we come together because the boy's mother has died. We have a lot of distance to make up. It's through this mutual interest in robot boxing that they find a way to come together and form a bond."
The story sounds a touch treacly, and we're suspicious of the talent, but we do love us some robots.