Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by sojourner, Jul 12, 2013.
Works for me about as well as an underwater portal that spits out monsters does.
I saw Pacific Rim in theatre. It's cartoony, but it set up and played by its cartoony universe's rules quite solidly and was everything a movie about giant robots punching monsters needed to be. The "neural bridge" was a great hook for the partnership-dynamic plot at the heart of the action, and the action itself delivered and then some for anyone who loves the heck out of watching giant robots punch monsters. It won't be winning any awards for characterization anytime soon -- although Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Hunnam filled out their niches just fine, Idris Elba [it was Idris Elba, wasn't it?] provided some added "oomph" as their mentor and I positively loved Ron Perlman's cameo -- but this is an unabashed action premise if there ever was one, and its as action that the movie succeeds.
Of course, succeeding as an action movie is about more than just having giant robots and a big effects budget. The characters were spare but well-enough realized to make us care what happened to them, the plot was simple but solidly-constructed enough to make the action meaningful, and the action itself was delivered with real verve and a sense of genuine excitement rather than just being an exercise in dulling the senses with repeated explosions. Without these things, Pacific Rim would be crap, just another numbing Michael Bay-style exercise in pyrotechnics. As it is, PR is pretty much the perfect type of what an action movie should be: ambitious but still well-crafted, simple without being stupid, energetic without being needlessly frenetic. [Also, in this movie I watched an improbably huge giant robot pick up an oil tanker and use it as a cudgel to beat the snot out of an equally improbably huge giant monster. Did that satisfy my inner 9-year old? Oh Hell yes.]
The only thing that kept me from scoring it an A-plus was the comic relief scientist duo, who were a bit grating.
If you look at the movie like a live-action anime then the comic relief characters are kind of a must.
I enjoyed the movie quite a bit but I cannot for the life of me understand all the excitement over big robots punching and fighting. Seems that I don't have an inner 9-year old that loves that stuff. I just thought it was a well done anime-style summer movie, something I've never seen done before.
Well, it's more like a kaiju film (e.g. the Godzilla and Gamera franchises, or a TV series like Ultraman or Super Sentai/Power Rangers), and those are almost always live action. And they usually do feature comic relief characters (although not so much the original Godzilla, which was a very dark allegory on nuclear weapons and their impact on Japan).
True, giant robots are more known as an anime trope, but there have been plenty in the live-action tokusatsu genre, such as Mechagodzilla, Moguera, and the various Sentai/Ranger Megazords.
I finally got around to seeing it on blu-ray last night. Wow. The fight scenes were incrediblly well done. They were frantic but you could actually follow what was going on unlike in the Transformer movies where it was a blur half the time. I wish there were a couple more battle scenes. Not enough giant monsters/robots for me.
I thought that Charlie Day and Ron Pearlman stole the movie. Burn Gorman was just a little too annoying for me but not overly so. Charlie Hunnam was dreadfullly dull though. I think I would've liked the movie more with someone else playing the character and I would've dropped the father/son duo. They really added nothing to the movie for me.
I give it a B. I really hope that there's a sequel.
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