Real Steel Preview: Trailer, Stills, & Synopsis

Posted by Grey Sunday, December 12, 2010

It seems that there is another film featuring fighting robots that we can look out for (besides that other impossible-to-neglect one) in 2011.

In "Red Steel", a Sci-Fi action dram film directed by Shawn Levy (the director of numerous comedy films like Big Fat Liar, Just Married, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Pink Panther, Night at the Museum, and Date Night), boxing involving humans has been outlawed as robots took over the ring in the near future. Hugh Jackman, in a depart from his usual heroic protagonist role, is a former boxer running a small-time promotion for small-time robots.

Here's the plot synopsis, courtesy of Screen Crave:

Hugh Jackman plays 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.

Being a faithful "The Twilight Zone" aficionado, I have find the source of Real Steel's inspiration as an interesting concept to be made onto the big screen despite its one-trick-pony feature. For the uninformed, Real Steel is inspired by a short story by writer Richard Matheson, the very same story behind "Steel", an episode of the TV anthology series that was originally aired in 1963.

Thanks to Wikipedia, here's the synopsis of that episode:

In a future where any boxing involving human fighters has been criminalized, the sport is now dominated by fighting robots. Former boxer Steel Kelly manages a B2-model robot called "Battling Maxo." Maxo is an older fighting robot and we learn that due to his age, he is not in demand. Kelly and his partner have used the last of their money to get to the fight venue. He is being given this chance due to the fact that one of the scheduled fighters was damaged in transport. Kelly has to assure the fight promoter that Maxo will be able to fight. After the fight promoter leaves Kelly and his partner and mechanic, Pole, argue about Maxo's condition and that he needs new parts. Kelly feels that Maxo should be able to go through with the fight despite Maxo's age and condition. While Pole tests Maxo's functions, an arm spring lets go and they don't have the parts or the money to fix him. Kelly decides that since they are from out of town, he would disguise himself as Maxo in order to collect the money necessary for repairs. Steel enters the fight disguised as Maxo. However, despite a valiant effort, he is unable to damage the B7 robot he is fighting, even when he lands an unblocked punch directly in the back of its head. He is nearly killed after lasting a little under three minutes. The crowd jeers and boos at Maxo's performance, not knowing that it is a human doing the fighting. Afterwards, the fight promoter will only give them half the prize money because of "Maxo's" poor performance. The episode ends with Kelly, bruised but stubborn as ever, telling Pole that with the money they will get the parts to fix Maxo.

While I strongly believed that the plot of the film will be distinctly different from the Twilight Zone episode, the film remains relatively interesting for its niche, old school style of science fiction.

Check out the trailer right after the jump, followed by some stills from the film.








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