This movie that’s coming out (I believe it’s called Real Steel but I could be wrong and I refuse to look the title up) that’s about the fighting robots looks absolutely terrible. Essentially the plot is something like this: it’s the future and giant fighting robots have somehow become interesting to watch. Apparently Wolverine gets involved and by figuring out how to link this one, highly special (I’m assuming) robot up to his own movements, a la some kind of motion capture technology, he not only goes on to win whatever stupid fucking competition he and his robot are involved in (I’m assuming here that the stakes are extremely high, like maybe it’s a dystopian future where your robot’s fate determines your own [which would make the whole let’s-link-the-robot’s-motion-to-my-motion angle highly reflective and, if you’re a fucking idiot, poignant]) but he also apparently becomes a great role model for/restores faith in humanity for/saves the life of some little boy who’s probably his son or his stepson but may just be a ragamuffin-y, spunky orphan with an aptitude that other adults have chosen not to notice because they’re too busy scoffing at his social status/dorky demeanor.
This is just what I can glean from the trailer. I’m filling in the details with guesses based on what I know about terrible movies in general, and I bet I’m at least 80% right. This is possibly the absolutely dumbest looking movie I’ve EVER seen an advertisement for. Let’s break down why briefly, shall we?
The movie is about robots fighting. That’s at the heart of the film, right? Right. Well, that’s not interesting. Remember the show Battle Bots? That show was one of the most uniquely dull programs ever forced into my home. And it failed spectacularly, which makes me wonder why on earth some studio person would go so far out on a limb as to make a large budget motion picture out of its horrible premise. Fighting robots aren’t interesting for the same reason that two robots fucking aren’t interesting. There’s absolutely no tension there. There’s no sense of sympathy, empathy or verisimilitude engendered by two machines just performing functions. If there were, then cogs in a gigantic clock or a functioning oil derrick could conceivably get us in the mood to fight or make our dicks hard but, with the exception of a few pretty awesome perverts that I’m just guessing probably exist, that shit’s not even anywhere NEAR anybody’s reality. People care about machines, but they care about machines that are THEIRS and they care about them like this: “fuck! I lost my phone. Now I’ve gotta get a new one!” That’s less than people care about their fucking goldfish and a movie about fighting goldfish would be…well, nevermind. That would be awesome.
You know what would be a better premise? People fighting. Or dogs. Or anything but robots. But you know what? Fuck it. If you MUST have robots make at least make it interesting. Like, if the robots controlled the people and it was the people who were in the ring. Do you see why that would be better? Because then there would be a visceral issue at stake. I’m sure, in fact I’d bet anything that in some way the fate of the robot is tied to the fate of Wolverine and the boy that he cares for like a father, and that they’ll either die or be sent to some terrible place if the robot loses, but the thing is, I can tell from the trailer that the robot wins. SO, that’s pretty much the whole thing. The guy stands on the sidelines and ‘fights’ while the robot takes the hits, so the guy’s not even in any real danger at any time. I know that without knowing anything about the movie. It’s fucking stupid.
Now, revealing the whole movie in the trailer isn’t always bad. Free Willy, which was geared to kids, kind of needed to show everyone the “hey, not only does this movie have a happy ending, but this whale jumps OVER THIS FUCKING KID!!!!!” scene in the preview to let people know that an upbeat payoff existed (because seriously, a live action movie about a whale and a boy and their friendship? Puh-lease). Similarly, that movie 50/50 that’s out right now is a comedy about cancer. The guy who the movie’s based on is one of the writers and he’s doing publicity tours now, which means, obviously, that his character doesn’t die in the movie, but that’s a very important fact to have out there when you’re trying to make a feel good comedy about one of the darkest subjects humanity will ever face.
When it comes to a bunch of stupid fighting robots, however, you can’t even leave a shred of mystery? Really? So there’s nothing at stake, but it’s okay because the good guys win, right? Whew. Sign me up for the 3D experience and the Blu Ray. What a fucking turd.
Now, in closing, I’m sure this movie is intended to be a gateway film for 8-12 year old boys, ushering them into the world of action movies with a low-stakes Transformers-meets-karate-kid mashup, but here’s the thing: I watched Karate Kid, where Ralph Macchio gets pushed down the hill on his bike and gets his ass whupped by skeletons. In the original Transformers, Optimus Prime, the protagonist of the whole movie, DIES half way through! I watched the Goonies where pervy old men were after young kids and wanted them dead. If this is, as I expect it is, a lazy example of the softening of the edges of the cultural and psychological landscape for not only our children but also to spare our OWN wimpy little feelings, well, then this movie isn’t just stupid, it’s dangerous.
But one thing is for sure, it’s fucking stupid.