OK, hands up if anyone still takes Hugh Jackman seriously? Because I don’t. I just can’t. He’s devolved into a glib, preening, self-aware, McConnaughey-esque muppet before our very eyes. (oh I hope Les Mis can still save him.) In the meantime, Real Steel is the latest of his glossy unwatchables- a by-the-numbers, wastrel-father / bratty-son pic whose unique differentiator is boxing robots. Seriously. Some glassy-eyed studio exec somewhere was clearly expecting a toy tie-in franchise for the big bucks. Not.
Funnily enough, given my earlier post, it filmed throughout Michigan, courtesy of a whack of incentives. Detroit Free Press lists the locations. Recognize any?
- The glass expanses of the Wintergarden Atrium’s exterior (look for the giant statue of a robot boxer) and the front entrance.
- The inside of Cobo Arena was converted into a boxing venue,
- The outside of Cobo Arena was turned into the dazzling Motor City Spectrum of the near future.
- The Detroit Fire Department headquarters were transformed into Tallet’s Gym
- The elegant Ingham County Courthouse in Mason
- The Parkway Motel on Dixie Highway in Davisburg.
- The old Belle Isle Zoo is the locale for an outdoor meeting.
- The historic Highland Park Ford Plant designed by Albert Kahn gets a grunge-glam makeover as an underground robot-boxing hotspot.
- A farm in Hartland is the location for the San Leandro Fairgrounds.