I had a couple free tickets for a preview screening of the movie Real Steel last week, and boy howdy, is this my topic of the day.
Hugh Jackman plays a guy who owns giant robots and uses them to fight for BIG PRIZES only he's kind of an idiot that will take on any appearance and utterly fail right out of the gate. His robot fights a steer at a rodeo only to have the steer completely dismantle the thing within seconds of the right starting. Hugh Jackman just is not doing so hot. And it turns out that he kind of paid to get his kid brought around for a little bit, which kind of makes him a douche as well but who can say no to those muscles, am I right ladies? The kid is your typical whiny child actor and he and his dad fight endlessly.
Jackman bought a new badass samurai looking robot and is now ready to fail harder and faster down at the robot fighting ring. And fail it does. So after Jackman and the kid go through their silliness, they head out to get pieces to make a new robot from the junkyard.
For some reason they have to sneak in the first few feet of the junkyard and no further. And the kid stupidly falls down a pit and was saved by a robot arm that was sticking out. The kid convinces the dad to take the robot home, clean it up, and see what they can do with it.
From here was somehow even more of an obvious rip-off of "Over The Top" with Sylvester Stallone. The kid takes the robot slowly to the top of the heap and challenges the top robot in the Robot Fighting League (or RoFL) in a joke I just wrote that is so clever I bet your head exploded. I'm patting my own back.
So they take on the robots at the RoFL and win their way to the top only to take a pummeling from a robot shaped like an extreme bodybuilder. Once the tank of a robot breaks the protagonist robot's controls, it gets switched to mimic mode in which it mimics all the moves of Jackman. Thanks to human meddling, the giant robot still wins overall, I guess, but the protagonist robot is congratulated because it was the underdog that made it that far. I think that's what happened. I kind of tuned out by this point.
Basically this movie is an awesome remake of Over The Top. Not a single cliche went unused and way too much time was spent with the hu-mans and not the robots. It's worth a riff once it comes out on dvd.