So, while this is about two months behind the times, I finally saw Pacific Rim this past weekend, and I thought I’d weigh in on all of the hooplah, considering it seems like’s destined to be (or already is) one of those films where you love it or you hate it. What I hope follows in this blog is a very balanced approach after my viewing. It’s broken up into three categories, The Good, The Bad and The Eye Candy, with some overlap between them.
Now a lot of this, depending on the viewer would fall into the category of Eye Candy, but Pacific Rim’s plot was about giant robots (the epic Jaegers) fighting with and hopefully defeating giant monsters (the destructive Kaiju)!
And Pacific Rim delivered. The CGI was great, and the choreography of the battles made sense. Conceptually and visually I have no problems with how imaginative this film was, and how well it was executed.
What I felt was also executed really well was the story arc and character of Mako. Starting with the backstory we got through her memories I thought EVERYTHING was well done, but especially the actress who played young Mako! I felt so small with her, and so scared and sad for her as we watched her memory of surviving a Kaiju attack. Everything about her admiration and devotion to Stacker was perfectly summed up as we saw him through her eyes after rescuing her.
This produced to what I thought was the unfolding of a beautiful father daughter relationship, which though not the focus of this film, affected so much else. It also helped us to get a clearer picture of Stacker, without boring exposition.
Now I’m not going to go into major plot points, because this is just a review, not a recap, but my primary complaint in this area seems line up with other people’s complaints, though I feel like they’re going overboard with it. It just feels like while we got our fill of all the great jaegers and kaiju, that we didn’t get enough of everything else,
So what felt lacking by the time I left the theater was the lack of information, detail and growth regarding some of the other aspects in Pacific Rim. I know that many will say “but that’s not what Pacific Rim was about!”, and I agree to a point.
Taking the Kaiju specifically, and maybe this is because I don’t understand biology, or genetics or cloning to the extent that the scientists in the film did (by the way I really wish we’d gotten more time with the scientists… but I’ll address that below), but my *very* basic understanding of cloning is that you create a genetic replica of something… meaning it’s genetically the same.
So shouldn’t the Kaiju have all looked the SAME?!?! Don’t get me wrong I LIKED the variety of Kaiju, but also if they can be bred, and have offspring, why clone them, as Dr. Geiszler talked about the fact that the Kaiju flesh was always genetically identical.
Speaking of Dr. Geiszler and Dr. Gotlieb for that matter, I would have LOVED to get more time with them, and the things they did researching the Kaiju, either before the events of this film, or even during the 5 year period when Raleigh wasn’t fighting the Kaiju. They’re relationship was interesting, and it might have been nice to see them collaborating and disagreeing on work, and while most of the technobabble would have been WAY over my head, I still would have liked more of the science.
Also, Ron Perlman’s character Chau felt like it just didn’t mesh well with the rest of the film. We have this very serious tangible environment, except when he’s involved, and I’m not opposed to comedic relief, or variety in a film, but I feel like it should have been toned down, or more smoothly introduced somehow, and so it felt kind of cheesy.
Finally, I know that most people expect Charlie Hunnam to be listed in the eye candy section, and since he’s not my type I wasn’t going to place him there, but because I can see WHY he would be considered Eye Candy, I’ll address it… but it overlaps with “The Bad”
The Eye Candy:
Now… why would Charlie Hunnam be in both the Eye Candy and Bad categories? Because I’m one of those horribly picky people whose suspension of disbelief can be rattled by the oddest things. Yes I accept that in this universe the global governments of the world have collaborated for the good of the planet to create giant robots (though global governments agreeing on anything is a stretch, don’t believe me here’s a great clip of Eddie Izzard’s from “Dressed to Kill” addressing the difficulties of just the European Union):
ANYWAY, that’s the premise, therefore I accept it, and movies should operate within the rules they create.
So what I WON’T accept is that while Raleigh can look all studly and ripped at the beginning of the film, like the picture above, there’s NO WAY that after spending 5 years in construction (though a physical job) with cruddy food and low nutrition (he later makes a comment about not having had something as good a bread in a long time), would he be this much of a spectacle for Mako, or anyone else for that matter to oogle over. You need a decent source of protein to maintain muscles like that, in addition to a good workout routine. So yeah… some days I wish I could just be one of those dumb girls to be all like “oooh abs… pretty” and just enjoy the movie… but sadly no.
All of that being said, this was the hottest scene in the movie! Which is good because while the relationship and chemistry, as related to the drift compatability and character growth were relevant to the plot, it wasn’t a romance, and for once it was nice that in an action flick it wasn’t the chick who was objectified (and while this could have gone in Good category, it made sense for this to follow the above)
To Sum Up:
So in conclusion, if the primary focus of “The Bad” is that I wanted more back stories of the other pilots, and more time for the development and relationships of other side characters, as well as an expansion on the Blue Market (because it’s a black market… for Kaiju… anyway), then I think the movie did well, and I look forward to seeing it again!
Thanks for reading, and feel free to post your thoughts on Pacific Rim in the comments below!