Pacific Rim

I think it’s fair to say that my first impression of Pacific Rim was less than enthusiastic. I’m talking about teaser trailer first impression. Then as various NPR and Nerdist interviews began to surface, my curiosity grew – after all, this is modern auteur Guillermo Del Toro we’re talking about. I even did the whole 3D IMAX thing. Go big or go home.

Jax Teller and a strong female? You have my attention.

Jax Teller and a strong female lead? You have my attention.

I think going into this movie with classic kaiju films in mind definitely helps set the tone. Guillermo effortlessly flings us into a scifi adventure chocked full of excitement wrapped around this sort of intangible nostalgic core. Even though this is a movie about mechs and monsters, there’s a small but surprising amount of poignancy – just enough to remind us that the threat is very real.

Pictured: wacky scientist.

Pictured: wacky scientist.

At the same time, there are some very predictable elements going on. We’ve got the rebellious, scathed underdog, a rookie, a pair of wacky scientists, and no-nonsense military personnel with the quirky tech guy. We know these characters in and out. Perhaps it was the visual grandeur (the CGI is absolutely gorgeous), or maybe the heart and humor of a loved project, but I was still completely engaged.

It’s like classic Godzilla with modern conventions, as crafted by the fantasy master Guillermo Del Toro. Unfortunately, I think it lacks that truly dynamic oomph that we’ve come to expect. Still a great time, though – just keep your mind open for a complete suspension of disbelief (I mean, it is an aliens and robots movie), and ears peeled for a neat little GLaDOS cameo.

Final Grade: A-


About reelgirl

Film lover, kitsch enthusiast, and all around neat gal. You can read what I'm up to at Reel Girl Reviews!

Posted on July 13, 2013, in Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. The Racism, sexism, and ethnocentrism of the writing and casting of this film really kept me from enjoying the movie.

    The graphics were gorgeous and the fighting fun, but I do recommend if you are going to see it see it in 2D rather than 3D. The people I saw the movie with kept taking off the glasses, because they said the glasses felt weird.

  2. I liked Mako. She was strong and honorable. She was tough and didn’t take her top off.

  3. I didn’t feel racism in the film at all. Perhaps one might classify Idris Elba’s character as the stereotypical Army guy in charge, but I never once felt race played a card. As for the Asians, the movie really did cater to the Asian audience considering the background for the film, that’s to be expected. I agree that Mako was strong and honorable and her life, is a culture we don’t understand. Americans don’t understand honor the way Asians do (another stereotype?) and we confuse sexism and honor. My biggest problem with the movie was when I walked out of the theatre, I didn’t know what the main character’s name was. That’s where the writing failed. The intro scene was amazing, however I needed something a little more unique about the main character to set him apart from all of the other washed up heroes who must answer the call to greatness.

    • I totally agree with your racism/sexism argument – I really dug Mako. I’m glad they didn’t hook up.

      He was pretty Gary Stu…with a dumb name. Raleigh something. I just call him “Jax” – in fact, Charlie Hunnam is always Jax Teller.

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