Pacific Rim, as the project has since been titled, has been out a short while now and sadly it did not do the business many were expecting in America. It did not bomb and it’s done extremely well in foreign markets to the point that it can be considered a success, but how more people in this country weren’t super jazzed to see giant robots punching the shit out of giant monsters baffles my mind. Seriously, check this out:
Damn, son, if that doesn’t get your blood pumping than you and I can never be friends. Anyway it took me a while to see this flick but almost all my friends who managed to told me that it was a fantastic movie. We’ll see.
Full review after the jump.
|Gigantor, eat your heart out!|
First of all I’d like to briefly talk about the idea that Pacific Rim is a rip-off of the popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. While they are similarities I find there’s too many differences in how the piloting works and what the Jaegers can do and what they are compared to Evas (the “robots” from the cartoon) for this to be a true rip-off. That said I’m sure someone in the creative process must have been inspired by the cartoon judging by a lot of imagery, but it’s important to note that NGE is a deconstruction of a genre that this film plays straight so it’d be hard for there not to be comparisons. If they were fighting other robots rather than alien monsters we’d probably call it a Gundam rip-off too (by the way, someone in Hollywood needs to make a live-action film with pilot-able robots other fighting pilot-able robots).
|To be fair those are clearly plug suits|
The action with the Jaegers and Kaiju was pretty good and had a lot of old school charm to it that folks in my age range who grew up watching anime and Japanese monster films on the Sci-Fi Channel during the 90s will likely really enjoy. I would only agree with critics who said the action scenes ran in regards to what may have been lost to compensate for it (I’m getting a head of myself) but if there’s one thing this film does pretty damn good it’s the fight scenes. My one complaint in this area is that I wish at least one of the full fight scenes took pace during the day where it’s well lit. All of the major fights take place either at night or areas that are very dark due to the environment and I felt like I wasn’t seeing as much of the battle or the robots being awesome as I wanted to because if that. Should this get a sequel I really hope they add at least one fight at high noon or something.
|A Japanese actor in a Hollywood flick playing a sword fighter/martial artist?|
What a nice change of pace
A weak plot is forgivable if the characters are good enough since, as I’ve pretty much said all the time since I started this blog, fiction lives and dies by its characters. Pacific Rim’s character aren’t good. They’re not “bad” exactly and the acting is fine for what it is: Elba brings the chops he’s become famous for recently and Charlie Hunnam is nowhere near as mediocre as people have claimed. The problem is they don’t have much to work with here. The characters are just plain not developed nearly enough for me to give a crap about then other than the whole “piloting giant robot” thing, but that’s just not enough. Even if we ignore the fact that most of the supporting cast are just standard archetypes, the Jaeger crews outside the main two barely qualify being named, or that Pentecost’s backstory is right out of the “Mentor Cliché Handbook”, or that Charlie Day is basically just playing his character from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia but as a (dubious) scientist; at the end of the day the two main characters failed to grab my attention. There’s not a lot of character growth from either Raleigh or Mako. Even when they started to go into interesting character stuff it usually got cut off by BIG HOLLYWOOD ACTION before it goes anywhere too complex and by the end it didn’t feel like anyone had grown or learned anything. There’s just not enough time to do more than a token effort here, which is weird to say considering this wasn’t a short movie at all. But most of the time is devoted to BIG HOLLYWOOD ACTION that the room left for plot and characters is pretty low. I didn’t care about Raleigh and I didn’t care about Mako and thus it was difficult to care about their story.
|Oh, a three man Jaeger crew? That should provide an interesting dynamic|
(Just kidding, guys. They don't do shit)
I’m probably going to piss off a lot of my friends by saying this but I thought this was a pretty good movie but by no means was it a great one. Don’t get me wrong; the robots and the action were awesome and there were moments where I was pretty loud in the theater because of it. However no matter how cool your giant robot may be if the characters aren’t interesting and your plot is pretty thin your project will suffer. Had Raleigh and Mako been developed better, and if the story was stronger, this would have easily been the best film of 2013 so far but as it stands it’s just a fun Summer popcorn film that ultimately lacks substance, of which there are currently an abundance of. If you like loud movies, explosions and GIANT ROBOTS than you’ll still enjoy it and maybe even love it but if you’re looking for more than that then you’ll be be disappointed.
|And now here's some beefcake for the ladies (and the fellas)|
I give Pacific Rim 3 Tequila Gundams out of 5.
-I DIG GIANT ROBOTS!!
-No superfluous love story