Yesterday brought us the Transformers 3 teaser trailer. Today, as if in response to Michael Bay’s third entry in his battling robots franchise (which he swears is the best yet) comes the teaser trailer for Real Steel, the movie starring Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine) as a fighter who gets a second chance at glory in the ring via the world robot battling.
A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near future [the year 2020], 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.
Now that you know the setup, take a look at the Real Steel teaser trailer:
I don’t know what Michael Bay has planned for Transformers 3, but I do know that the previous entries in that franchise haven’t offered the same level of robot fighting thrills that I see in just one minute of Real Steel footage. I also like the fact that human beings in this movie actually play a relevant role (serving as the heart and spirit of the ‘bots) rather than just being vehicles for dumb humor and/or money saved on CGI effects.
Speaking of effects, we know from early Real Steel set photos that the film will be using a mix of practical animatronic robots and CGI to create the action-packed fighting scenes, which, for me, automatically puts it ahead of Michael Bay’s work in Transformers in terms of both aesthetic and believability. Finally, in just quick flashes of footage I was able to distinguish several different robot characters – a feat Transformers has NEVER achieved.
It’s inevitable that Real Steel and Transformers: Dark of the Moon will be compared, and though both films have only put out teaser trailers, the combination of an actual coherent and emotionally-grounded story, better use of human actors, layers of metaphor and a well-balanced mix of old and new effects place Real Steel as the early top contender in my book. Plus, I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t prefer Hugh Jackman over Shia LaBeouf as their leading man of choice. At least when Jackman yells his voice doesn’t crack like a prepubescent teenager. Just sayin’.
Real Steel is slated to hit theaters and IMAX on October 7, 2011 (an indication that it is indeed more than a mindless blockbuster popcorn flick). After seeing both teasers, which film are you looking forward to more – this or Transformers 3?