Yeah, I saw Pacific Rim last night. I was fairly impressed. I liked it. I can definitely see why it’s gotten the attention it has. However, I haven’t seen many people talk about the negatives in detail, and after seeing it, I must say that there are large problems with it, overshadowed by the incredible action sequences.
Like I said, the action sequences were phenomenal. Obviously, the choreographers were experienced and well-acquainted with hand-to-hand combat.
The CGI was phenomenal, and I was especially impressed with scenes that played out in the water, with the surprisingly scary effect of a kaiju in a storm. I would go far as to say it was visually gorgeous. I would definitely see it in 3D if possible.
The characters were quite memorable. The two scientists were a great pair and very fun to watch. I felt like a lot of design and consideration went even to the smallest role.
The show was way too macho for my tastes. I got the sense I had walked into Top Gun with robots at times. This was a side effect I think of having almost no actresses in speaking roles. Yeah, there was Mako (COUGHloveinterestCOUGH) and the Russian Jaeger pilot, but not a lot of girls, I noticed. Not a Bechdel test winner.
And then, much of the show logic bothered me. The military would NEVER stop making these Jaegers, and would have the belief and the power to secure the resources to make those Jaegers. In addition, helicopters, planes, tanks, and infantry would still play a role. USA tried to go with just tanks and aircraft for awhile, but found they really needed the support of ground troops. In the same way, Jaegers would need support from these units.
The hand-to-hand combat did seem necessary since the kaijus were so resilient, but what about those hyper cannons? Those can be used by ranged units. And believe me, range has historically been an enormous advantage. In the First Gulf War, American Abram tanks demolished the inferior Iraqi tanks primarily because they could pack more powerful shots at a greater range. The military guys would definitely be exploring all avenues.
And they certainly wouldn’t put all their chips into a stupid wall. That was never rationalized. That move was so stupid and senseless, you’d have to rationalize how anyone could be so stupid and senseless. Even when the wall is failing, the governments never contact the Jaegers, to offer support, advice, or even an apology. No, it ends up being up to two Jaegers, when there should have been fifteen.
And on that point, the tactics of such units bothered me. Dispersing units has never been a good idea. And since these were really expensive toys, they would have been careful with them. That means making sure they always have support. They would be deployed in groups. If they could carry Jaegers with helicopters, or build them in the first place, they can have a group of robots in each continents that can be moved by supersonic jets to where they need to be. Way safer, way more effective.
All In All
I liked this movie. It was a great sci-fi original. It was like watching a hyper-realistic Americanized version of Godzilla. The Japanese influence was quite clear. There was tons of awesome stuffed in there. But I wouldn’t call it a fantastic movie. It’s good, but not great.
But y’know, for it’s own purpose, it accomplished a lot. It wasn’t trying to be an acclaimed movie on par with Shakespeare. It was simply trying to be awesome and entertaining. In that respect, it went above and beyond and then some.
I definitely see this movie becoming a cult classic. Not a big one like Terminator. The story wasn’t strong enough for that. But worse movies have developed cults, and this one certainly deserves it.