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Boxing Robots Ain't a Video Game. They're for Real.

(Robots painting by the very talented robot painter Eric Joyner.)

Real Steel is the story of a plucky robot found in a junkyard, and the estranged father and son who rebuild their relationship by making that robot a champion. It's like your favorite Stallone movies had a baby, and then that baby had a baby with Short Circuit. Then that second baby was raised by Tony Scott. I can tell that it is probably supposed to take place in the not-too-distant future, because it has robots, but I'm pretty sure it comes from some alternate reality where it is still 1988. That alternate reality is much better than ours.

Do you think there will be an extended training montage? I hope there's an extended training montage. I'm having visions of Hugh Jackman and that robot running along the beach together. It's pretty fantastic.

Much like the Rise of the Apes trailer, this too is everything I could have hoped it to be. After all, I would be excited enough by robots, but it's awfully nice to have an assurance that Hugh Jackman will be sans-shirt at some point. It doesn't hurt that there will also be a scene where Jackman tells us that he is going to do right by his son, which is essential for any father/son bonding movie. And look at Evaqngeline Lilly in the stands doing her best Talia Shire impersonation. Best of all is the analogy between the has-been boxer and the has-been robot. When the premise to a movie involves robot boxing, subtlety should not only be set aside, but probably kicked in the groin first.

Real Steel is based on "Steel" by Richard Matheson, who adapted his short story for this episode of the Twilight Zone in 1956. In the episode, the crazy robot-fighting-league future was 1974.

The trailer also leaves me with so many intriguing questions. Isn't the whole point of boxing to see two men beat each other to a bloody pulp? Do you need a degree in advanced robotics engineering to train a boxing robot? Is there a robot with a handle bar mustache to go along with the one with the mohawk? Will there be more scenes where Hugh Jackman takes his shirt off? I can't wait to find out!

Are you as excited for robot boxing as I am? And can you honestly say that your favorite Stallone movies aren't Rocky franchise and Over the Top?

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Comments (3)


So this is a future where the geeks who played BattleBots obsoleted the jocks who fought with their fists?


In the story / Twilight Zone, it's because human fighting has been outlawed. So the politicians are secretly BattleBots fans?


I feel indifferent toward this movie except for the whole Evangeline Lilly thing. I really hate Kate from Lost.