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The Good, The Bad & The Weird Of Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

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by The Playlist Staff
July 15, 2013 2:13 PM
52 Comments
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Pacific Rim
Bad Kaiju

Murky and repetitive fight scenes that are hard to follow.
At first, the different kaiju types and jaegers are pretty thrilling, and exciting, in their size, power and unique capabilities. Then, del Toro throws them all in the ocean, at night (is it ever daytime? or not raining?) by the handful. The behemoths gnash and clash, and while there are a few notable moments, such as the much-trailered barge bat maneuver, it’s mostly a crashy mashup of gray and black against gray and black. At least Crimson Typhoon had three arms, and was, uh, crimson. But in the mid-film pile up of Crimson Typhoon, the Russian jaeger, and and the other kaiju, it was nigh impossible to discern which kaiju was doing what to whom, which jaeger was being drowned or blown up. Even when the fight made its way to land it just seemed repetitive and stretched on too long. Whatever goodwill and excitement was built up in anticipation of these clashes is quickly worn out in the smashy-smashy that just looks all the same. 

Pacific Rim

Charlie Day and the Other Nerd/Everyone's Accents 
There were at least two points in the movie where we leaned over to our seatmate and said, “What accent is that?” with Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam, both Brits, two of the worst offenders. Elba, a master of accented disguise in “The Wire” seemed to be using his British accent, which is slightly Americanized, whilst Hunnam was definitely doing an American accent but unfortunately with a British lilt. Then the Aussies showed up, egads (Max Martini, do not pass go, do not collect $200 and proceed directly to Australian accent school again), which resulted in Rinko Kikuchi being the only actor with a believable accent (though she's not the easiest low-talking actor to understand either). With this collection of wonky accents, rapid fire delivery and nonsense future science jargon, we understood about one-third of the dialogue (but maybe that’s for the best). Then we have Charlie Day. While Day doesn’t have any accent problems and he pulls off an annoyingly shrill mad scientist/Rick Moranis in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” his lightning speed patter is nearly impossible to discern and his shrieking persona is so obnoxious you want to club him to death. And don’t even get us started on Burn Gorman as the mathematician counterpart to Day’s scientist, sporting a parody bowl cut and limp and doing his best Crispin Glover. Maybe every other sentence out of their mouths is intelligible, and because they’re either talking about kaiju math or Vulcan mind-melding with a seafaring alien dinosaur at a high pitched, panicky squeal, it only complicates matters. As our seatmate said, “that might as well have been in French.” 

Pacific Rim
The Fundamental Premise Doesn't Make Much Sense
We live in probably the most advanced military age imaginable. A guy sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen can send an unmanned drone plane around the world to drop a bomb on a target; all manner of computerized imagery gives personnel unprecedented information about geography, topography and enemy troop movements; weapons are being made smaller but even more deadly. So when a monster rises from the bowels of the Earth in the future, the best plan of action are big, clunky robots that require a neural bridge to operate them? (Side note: it’s never quite clear what the advantage is in using a neural bridge, particularly when the pilots wind up shouting commands to each other anyway). In the crazy near-future of “Pacific Rim,” can we not simply send drones boasting devastating payloads to deal with these guys? Surface-to-air missiles? While there is a certain my-gun-is-bigger-than-your-gun logic to humanity building equally sized robots to deal with these monsters, the all-or-nothing, go-Jaeger-or-go-home-and-build-some-big-walls-that-won’t-work framework of the movie doesn’t make much sense. Is it a dealbreaker? Probably not, and this kind of movie requires at least some suspension of disbelief, but throughout the movie, as the jaegars fall, get blasted by plasma and/or rendered useless and ripped apart, you do wonder if this is the best plan that humans can come up with.

Pacific Rim
Movie Breaks Its Own Rules
“Pacific Rim” presents us with a bad boy jaegar pilot (Hunnam), who doesn’t follow the rules, but still is one of the best out there... until he follows orders exactly to save the day (what happened to his rule-breaking creativity to defeat the Kaiju?). The jaegers are outdated relics that can’t possibly defeat the increasingly huge and constantly-adapting Kaiju rising the depths of the ocean... until the “analog” old-timey version manages to miraculously survive a vicious beating at the bottom of the ocean, jump into a dimensional portal, and return both pilots alive. Oh no, Gipsy Danger is being flown (what?) into outer space (HUH?), but no worries, bro, it had a hidden sword the whole time! Oh no, it looks like our heros are going to run out of oxygen and die somewhere between our universe and another galaxy, but it’s cool, the jaegars (who inner geography expands and shrinks as necessary) have some high-tech escape pods (that none of the other killed pilots used). Also, it turns out that in the future, the military has some bitchin’ wifi that allows them to communicate with people at hundreds of miles at the bottom of the ocean, and even further in the Earth’s core, from even more hundreds of miles away. In short “Pacific Rim” never really has many dramatic stakes, because right around the corner, there is an 11th minute deus ex machina device introduced so our heroes can escape danger. The movie doesn’t really have a playbook... it writes it as it goes along.

Pacific Rim
Bland Characters With Little Characterization
While Mako and Raleigh are given a bit of backstory, no one else is really given anything or any motivation beyond just a hint (Pentecost is protective of Mako, the father and son are... father and son), and this is glaringly obvious with the Chinese and Russian pilots of the jaegers in Hong Kong. The Chinese triplets who pilot Crimson Typhoon are shown playing basketball and then always holding a basketball, so apparently... they like basketball. It’s too bad they don’t have any lines! The Russian pilots are even more badass, a male-female duo who sport cheesy platinum dye-jobs and look intimidating, sexy, and weird. Apparently the extreme hair and affinity for basketball are supposed to make us like them, because they play a rather crucial role in the 4 on 2 jaeger v. kaiju battle in which Gipsy Danger, Raleigh and Mako prove themselves. But, we know nothing about them, so when a kaiju smushes them into the ocean to drown, it’s fairly anti-climactic. “D2: Mighty Ducks 2” has better characterizations of its supporting characters and villains. Then there's the main characters themselves. Raleigh is simply a blander version of Tom Cruise's Maverick character in "Top Gun" and all the other leads are mostly one-note characters. Idris Elba delivers throaty speech after speech, Mako is the ace-in-the-hole fighter with a heart of gold or whatever, Ron Perlman plays the eccentric Ron Perlman character (who ultimately has zero bearing on the plot and could have been removed entirely), Charlie Day and Burn Gorman are insufferable Twiddle Dee dummies, etc. etc. And of course, there's the Australian pilot who plays the Iceman character and rips off the "Top Gun" internecine pilot conflict once again (Beacham apparently loves that movie). None of these characters mean much to the movie. They're all silo archetypes to fulfil the movie's various plot needs, which obviously put monsters and robots before human beings.

Pacific Rim

Weird & (So-So) Kaiju

Post-credits sequence is exactly the same as the climax of Sharknado. Nuff said.
So we didn’t watch “Sharknado,” the viral SyFy hit on Thursday night, but we did read a recap right before we went to see "Pacific Rim" and wouldn’t you know it, but someone is copying someone else’s paper. In the climax of “Sharknado,” one of the great whites gobbles up the lady friend of Ian Ziering’s character, Fin (yup, that’s his name). What else is Steve Sanders to do but launch himself, chainsaw first, into said shark and cut out his lady love Nova (yup, her name)? So, it seems a little fishy that, SPOILER ALERT, in the post-credits sequence, Ron Perlman’s Hannibal Chau character cuts himself out of the baby kaiju that gobbled him up earlier, grumbling about his shoe (what’s with the shoes?). Of course, this has sort of been a trope since Biblical times, but it at least seems telling that one low-budget, so-bad-it’s-good, made for SyFy shark movie would use the same gag as one of the contenders to the summer blockbuster throne. Let’s try to aim higher than that next time, shall we? 

Pacific Rim
The Multiple Ethnicities 
One of the more refreshing aspects of "Pacific Rim" is that it isn't, like most big movies of this ilk, a case of America (fuck yeah!) saving the world from the threat of giant hulking beasts. “The other sort of big summer movies often feel to me like it’s about one race, one credo and one country saving the world, and I wanted to make it about the world saving the world, no matter what skin color you have, what race you have, what belief you have – everybody in the movie saves the world,” Del Toro told Salon, and it's absolutely true. Del Toro's cast has more multi-culti diversity than the crew of the starship Enterprise, but it never feels phony or forced. The world comes together to fight the monsters and it adds texture and flavor to what could have another boring Caucasians saving the world effort. The only problem with this is: see above. Diversity is great, but it's not so fun to see Asians, Australians, Russians that are poorly drawn, one-dimensional characters.

Pacific Rim Robot
Weird Alternate Dimension (It's Mercifully Kept Short)
During the climactic battle, the Jaegers intend to head to the underwater breach where the kaiju are keeping the clone army (or something). Striker, piloted by Idris Elba and the bad, mean Aussie son do some sort of suicide thingy. Then, because Hunnam and Kikuchi’s jaeger is a nuclear warhead, they drag a kaiju carcass to the breach in order to access it (BECAUSE DNA!) and then fall into Kaiju alt-dimension, which doesn’t make much sense because are they in the center of the earth or space? Electric purple labial folds open up and envelope the jaeger into their midst, where some kind of crazy, bug-eyed kaiju overlords ready their armies. It’s all very confusing, bad, dumb-looking, and dangerously close to the pyschic alien mummies of “Indiana Jones 4.” Thankfully, it is blessedly short and the jaeger ejaculates its two escape pods before blowing up all the kaiju. (But what happens when you set off a nuclear bomb at the center of the earth?? Nothing good, I imagine). This sequence looks very dumb, makes little sense, and they are smart to keep it as short as possible. 

There's a lot more to discuss with a world as rich and wonky as "Pacific Rim," including the names (Stacker Pentecost? Hercules Hanson? We want to see the futureworld's version of a baby-naming book.), the way that the movie was always referencing whatever is in del Tor's fabled mancave, and "Game of Thrones" composer Ramin Djawadi's admittedly boss score. Also the debate rages on as to whether "Pacific Rim" is riddled with tired cliches or if it was just hitting all the right beats, exceptionally well. Please, by all means, continue the discussion below. We can't wait to drift with you. - Katie Walsh, Kevin Jagernauth, Drew Taylor

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52 Comments

  • IainG | November 9, 2013 6:57 PMReply

    Not seen anyone else comment on the obvious discrepancy in the age of the young Asian girl and her adult self. If the war has been going on for 6 or 7 years and the young girl seems to be 6 or 7 years old, wouldn't the older Asian girl then be 13 or 14 years old ...not mid twenties onward!!
    The film lost all credibility when I realised that.

  • Arsukfjorden | October 3, 2013 7:40 PMReply

    This movie just had too caveman-agression/american badass stuff in it and no logic at all. Here is SOME of the stuff that i kept wondering about throughout the movie:


    - Why would they use pure iron and no alloys? Pure iron is absolutely useless?

    - Why would they make on of the Jaegers analogue? Analogue has pretty much no benefits and do btw get affeted by that EMP pulse.

    - On of the jaegers had dieselengines? Seriously? Diesel? No way any current or future diesel engine could ever produce enough torque to move these robots at that speed. I dont care about how much better engines are in 20 years time. No way they are going to produce that much power.

    - No current material(alloy or not) could ever sustain as much force as these robots are put under when they fight and move quickly.

    - Modern helicopters(even the most powerfull ones) can only lift a few tons of weight. No way those 5-6 helikopters could ever lift those robots, which must weigh thousands of tones. It just wont happen.

    - The ship, which were used as a weapon, could never be picked up without breaking in half. The construction is designet to be in water or in a dry dock. It could never be picked up, without shatter to pieces. The construction just wont hold.

    -As the writter of the article above, i wonder in which way the mind brdige thing helps the pilots? The robots arms and legs is controlled by the pilots's limbs and and the ekstra gear is controlled by buttons. Only the plasma cannon has no obvious "button", but that can be the only reason for all the mind sharing stuff?

    - Why are they not controlling the Jeagers wirelessly? Seems like one of the biggest problems is that the pilots are getting batteret to death inside the Jeagers, so why not just control them wirelessly?
    And dont say that the neural connection probably would be too much for w wireless connection. All the mind control stuff can be translated to simple commands to move a leg forward and so on. It is obviously possible to do.

    - Why did the geeky professor guy(not the Kaiju loving one - the other one) need 10m2 of blackboards to create something which seemed very similar to a exponential mathematical function? Seriously, this is something that you learn at the age of 17 or something - Not something you need einstein to figure out...

    - A nuclear reactor does NOT explode like a nuclear bomb, just because it melts down. It melts and there will probably be a smaller explosion, but not a 1,2 megaton explosion. Just look at Chernobyl. It did melt down, but it didnt really explode like a nuclear bomb. So blowing up that gypsi Jaeger would never work.
    And to the guy who wrote the article above: blowing up any man made bomb(konventional, fission or fusion doesent matter) inside the core of the earth would have no impact at all. The forces inside the earth are so massive that it just wouldnt matter. But it is not the case anyway since this were an another dimension and (weird) stuff.



    Overall this movie were just too much for me. I am okay with badass action fun, but this were just stupid. It is very clear that whoever wrote, ceated, produced, instructed(and so on) never had any idea of how the real world function.

    It were fun, mainly because it were stupid... And great effects obviously. Thumps up for that.


    /A civilengineer student

  • voxnulla | October 2, 2013 6:23 PMReply

    Just stole the movie, watched it (while skimming over some parts that made my ears bleed) and smiled because I did not spend a dime on this trash.
    Flat, flaccid, devoid of any content, mindless action drivel for the attention span challenged. Utter US garbage.

  • Len | August 26, 2013 4:18 AMReply

    Decent review, but it FAILS in a couple of places.

    Namely, it's pretty dumb to imply or think that Del Toro was ripping off Sharknado in any way, shape, or form... given the relative production complexities involved, Pacific Rim probably entered production BEFORE Sharknado, and they both got released around the same time.

    Secondly, what's so hard to understand about The Breach? It's a DIMENSIONAL PORTAL, yo. The nuke didn't go of in 'the center of the Earth', and even if it did, the Earth is huge, and sees forces much more powerful than that on a regular basis (do you know how much energy was released when Krakatoa exploded? Mount St. Helens?).

    Put your thinking caps on tighter next time, a lot of this stuff isn't THAT hard to get.

  • dave | August 25, 2013 12:15 AMReply

    Keith's right this was a good movie. You're just bashing it because you're afraid of what people will say if you like a giant robot vs monster movie. That and you got so much of the plot wrong I wonder if you even saw it or if you read the wiki.

  • Keith | August 2, 2013 10:25 AMReply

    MONSTERS AND GIANT ROBOTS!!!

  • Christian | July 24, 2013 3:05 AMReply

    This is such a bad article, the only reason you found some of the faults you found was probably because you were too busy talking to your "seatmate".

    The whole sword thing? GD went through tons of changes during the 5 years, it's not outside the realm of belief that they decided to add swords this time around and they forgot to tell the protagonist about it but Mako oversaw the project which was why she activated the swords because she knew about them.

    They straight up tell you the breach goes to a different dimension and not "[the core of the earth]", I don't even know why'd you think that.

    The after credit scene. Think about it, Pacific Rim took waaaay longer to make than Sharknado, it's not like they just straight up copied them after seeing it and the scene was meant to be a joke, speaking of which.

    This article is a joke and grasping at so many straws. The valid points it does make (the Asian and Russian characters being done incorrectly, some of the fight scenes) are so clear that writing them down in an article is just telling people stuff they already knew without developing much on what's being said besides going " Yeah, you know that part? That part was stupid."

  • Jenny | July 23, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    I'll give you one explanation for the sword. Mako was the one who used the sword, a woman, the men just want to bash the monsters up and use their shiny guns. Mako is the only practical one. When in doubt, melee.

  • raf jordan | July 23, 2013 2:31 AMReply

    wow, could not disagree more with this article. and i'm not saying the film is perfect, far from it. but everything the author didn't like, i liked lol. i couldn't believe what i was reading

  • Clay | July 22, 2013 10:34 PMReply

    Wow, spot on. Best article I've read about a movie in a long time. I like PR but I wanted to love it.

  • Bob | July 22, 2013 7:01 PMReply

    I think what you are all forgetting is that this film is super fast-paced and fun. All that aside, I thought it explained most loop-holes quite well. As per the drone deal, well they stated in the beginning that it took 6 days to take down the first Kaiju and after it destroyed 3 cities, certainly the drones were no the best option. This was a great movie and obviously not meant to be a super dull one. It starts and takes you on an immense action-packed tour of the world for the duration. The action sequences, IMO were not that dull. My only problem is that I did not understand why they insisted on boxing with the monsters, rather than just stabbing them.... THey had a sword the entire time. If you watch the film you can point out about 8 instances where he could have just stabbed the fucking monsters.

  • berk | July 21, 2013 2:11 AMReply

    Why del Toro focused on Son of Anarchy Top Gunning against Aussie Iceman instead of Mako and Stringer Bell is beyond me. Mako's backstory and drive to become a pilot combined with Stringer's father figure with a secret was far more interesting than the two sets of bland white guys the movie focused on.

  • blip | July 19, 2013 5:51 AMReply

    As someone who loved the movie, I'm not exactly going to deliver an even-handed verdict on this article, but I thought that some of the 'bad' is incredibly harsh and nit-picky. A fair chunk of the characterisation is weak, but then Del Toro would have needed a film that spanned several extra hours to flesh out every character - I'm hoping that some of this makes it into a director's cut come home release. At any rate, Mako was a well-developed character whose motivations made sense. And it never felt like her story arc was there just to give the men purpose.

    Some of the accents are indeed shocking, but I didn't find them ever hard to understand. I also never had a problem with the fight scenes - everything seemed pretty crystal clear to me. I don't know if the complaints about fight scene visibility are coming from people who saw the film in 3D? But no problems here in 2 dimensions.

    Rule breaking? Didn't see much of that. Gipsy Danger has been revamped since it was first commissioned, hence why it can keep up in the final scenes. And it was made clear from the start that the better the neural connection (which is there to share the burden of supporting the device, not for communication), the better you fight. Mako and Raleigh have a stronger connection than Raleigh and his brother, so Gipsy Danger performs better. The sword... There's a good chance that, due to renovations to Gipsy, Raleigh didn't know about it. And it's understandable for Mako to forget about it during the stress of her first actual fight. Further, pilots probably don't use the evacuation pods too often as they'd be a sitting duck for the Kaiju. It was shown earlier that Kaiju will take an interest in small boats - they exist to wipe everything out - so why would you not stay in the Jaegers to fight until the bitter end? Better chance for survival, I'd say.

    Poking holes in the mid-credit scene? Really?! It was a throwaway joke for those who sat through the credits! Really not cool.

  • Lkon | July 17, 2013 5:18 PMReply

    And don't forget to label under the "bad": the film's women - or rather woman - and its misogyny. Of COURSE this geek's wet dream had to have a "spunky" and "bad-ass" yet constantly submissive, bowing Japanese waif with martial arts skills who is basically the first to crumble and the only one to cry and act like a teenager (Slamming a door in frustration even! Talk about infantilization and offensive stereotyping). She's the ONLY woman vaguely visible in this picture besides the "Russian" extra, and thus the only one who is of any importance to the plot. Talk about the Smurfette Syndrome in action. She is only begrudgingly given a chance to be a hero because of course she's also the love interest (what else are women good for, besides eye candy and hinting at romance to drum up the interest of the paying ladyfolk?) and labeled as "strong" when compared to the other "heroes" else in the flick, she is portrayed as if she isn't. I'm sorry but even her background info that supposedly fleshes her out as a character deserved to make a damsel-in-distress and crybaby out of her. Do you think they'd ever done that to Hunnam's character? Of course not. Mako having lost her brother/sister years ago and being brought out of retirement instead of Hunnam would've added as much, if not more depth to her character without resorting to age-old misogynist and racist tactics and tropes. Women are already invisible enough in movies as it is, let alone women whose characters are approached just as human beings, not just owners of boobs and a straight man's fantasy.

  • Raimei | July 23, 2013 7:50 AM

    As a feminist myself, who is a Japanese major and has lived there for 6 months, I actually completely disagree. It's as Mako says herself, "it's not obedience- it's respect". The importance of respect to any Japanese individual cannot be understated, and the fact that she herself makes that distinction only to be ignored is more upsetting. She is NOT sexualised and she is most decidedly NOT the love interest. I've watched the film twice, and having a hollywood film that doesn't end with a kiss, or some contrived form of oh-no-he-can't-breathe-better-give-him-CPR, is amazing and so exceedingly refreshing. Sure, all the female Jaeger pilots have dumb boob armour - but there are no lingering, fanservice shots of any of them. I think I recall a more lingering shot on the Marshall's bum when he was first introduced in the suit than on either of the two women. Secondly, there is room for organs and breathing in their armour! This is a big step! It's sad that it's a big step, but if you look at Mako's armour after the Marshall suits up, where she is breathing heavily out of concern, you can see that the stomach of her suit is a little pot-bellied, as are all of the suits, showing breathing and not trying to highlight her littler stature or waist/hip ratio.

    Initially I did have the same response as you to her flashback scenes. But any child would have been terrified in those circumstances, and I personally found the flashbacks highlighted the difference between her childlike self and the power she could now command as a Jaeger pilot.

    Secondarily, I agree with the writer of the article in that it would have been nice to flesh out the Russians more - but if you watch their interactions, only Anna (sp?), not Sascha, has any lines. That to me points to lack of ability to flesh out all side characters, than deliberately trying to sideline women - and when you think about it from a wider perspective, the film has gone to all this effort to set up Jaeger pilots as the best of the best, as rockstars - and then goes on to point out that of the remaining four Jaeger teams, TWO of those teams have women in that role, accepted in that exalted role as capable and as among the last standing. Like the writer of the article, I am looking forward to seeing if there is a director's cut with more detail on the side characters.

  • Katie Walsh | July 18, 2013 2:31 AM

    Great points all around, and as a feminist, I am kicking myself for not bringing this up!!

  • Lkon | July 17, 2013 5:21 PM

    *elsewhere in this flick
    *served more to make a damsel-in-distress

    Damn typos.

  • schoolboy | July 17, 2013 4:46 PMReply

    And fanboys go to see every movie that comes out, (and like most of them), so it's not like the sci-fi nerds are going to save movies like these by themselves. The general public are TIRED of these cookie-cutter action movies. This is why Spielberg says that the business is in trouble.

  • clamsy | July 17, 2013 4:43 PMReply

    Another clumsy attempt at saving a failing blockbuster comic book movie. "Yeah, it sucks, but go ahead and spend youre 12 bucks on it, anyway." It's not like movies are SUPPOSED to be good or anything...

  • jski | July 17, 2013 2:12 AMReply

    Couldn't agree more with this list. This movie is awe inspiringly realized, but you cringe/laugh every time someone speaks and the plot is advanced. If you go into this movie just to do some sight-seeing, you'll be more than satisfied.

  • sanman | July 16, 2013 7:37 PMReply

    Kevin Jagernauth - seriously? Looks like you've got your own naming book from Pacific Rift.

  • JimHarbor | July 16, 2013 6:04 PMReply

    I find it odd that you can be reviewing the film when it's clear you didn’t understand so much of it.

    I have an infinite respect journalist (maybe be a bit too much) so when I tell you I find it odd that you didn’t grasp things I did, I don’t mean it to gloat but out of general shock.

    I mean you seem to think the Kaiju Makers live in the center of the Earth when not only does the opening narration explain it’s a portal to another dimension, but the term "other universe" is used all the time. They aren't inside the planet; it's another dimension entirely.

    That said I do agree the fights were bit off (the undersea battle was anti-climactic compared to the Hong Kong fight).

    Though I wonder why you didn’t point out the quirky narrative flow. Very odd, with one little act and one big act, instead of a proper narrative curve.

  • agooga | July 16, 2013 3:11 PMReply

    I get the fun in snarking out at a movie like Pacific Rim-- I shredded Prometheus for days after I saw it in similar fashion. The difference is that PacRim was fun as hell and that's all it was intended to be. It's a movie for 10 year olds and/or people with a still-extant inner child. I believe this film is destined to be a minor or full-fledged classic in the sci-fi / action genre. If I am right, it stands in good company with a lot of classics that have believability gaps big enough to drive a boat-sword through. A planet-killing battlestation? Using body-heat to power a computer simulated world? Mind melds? A golden box that melts people's heads? Stupidity! Insanity! Who were the morons that conceived of such nonsense!

  • agooga | July 16, 2013 3:10 PMReply

    I get the fun in snarking out at a movie like Pacific Rim-- I shredded Prometheus for days after I saw it in similar fashion. The difference is that PacRim was fun as hell and that's all it was intended to be. It's a movie for 10 year olds and/or people with a still-extant inner child. I believe this film is destined to be a minor or full-fledged classic in the sci-fi / action genre. If I am right, it stands in good company with a lot of classics that have believability gaps big enough to drive a boat-sword through. A planet-killing battlestation? Using body-heat to power a computer simulated world? Mind melds? A golden box that melts people's heads? Stupidity! Insanity! Who were the morons that conceived of such nonsense!

  • agooga | July 16, 2013 3:10 PMReply

    I get the fun in snarking out at a movie like Pacific Rim-- I shredded Prometheus for days after I saw it in similar fashion. The difference is that PacRim was fun as hell and that's all it was intended to be. It's a movie for 10 year olds and/or people with a still-extant inner child. I believe this film is destined to be a minor or full-fledged classic in the sci-fi / action genre. If I am right, it stands in good company with a lot of classics that have believability gaps big enough to drive a boat-sword through. A planet-killing battlestation? Using body-heat to power a computer simulated world? Mind melds? A golden box that melts people's heads? Stupidity! Insanity! Who were the morons that conceived of such nonsense!

  • agooga | July 16, 2013 3:10 PMReply

    I get the fun in snarking out at a movie like Pacific Rim-- I shredded Prometheus for days after I saw it in similar fashion. The difference is that PacRim was fun as hell and that's all it was intended to be. It's a movie for 10 year olds and/or people with a still-extant inner child. I believe this film is destined to be a minor or full-fledged classic in the sci-fi / action genre. If I am right, it stands in good company with a lot of classics that have believability gaps big enough to drive a boat-sword through. A planet-killing battlestation? Using body-heat to power a computer simulated world? Mind melds? A golden box that melts people's heads? Stupidity! Insanity! Who were the morons that conceived of such nonsense!

  • agooga | July 16, 2013 3:15 PM

    And so sorry about the multiple posts! Your website doesn't give feedback that the comment was submitted, so I hit the submit button several times before reloading the page to check!

  • kitcon | July 16, 2013 12:33 PMReply

    Amen. amen.
    Thought pretty much the same things. Seeing the jaegers sucker punch a monster had me thinking -- "Really? Voltes V could have done better 20 years ago." And they didn't need neural bridges.

  • Brian | July 16, 2013 11:05 AMReply

    RE: the "multiple ethnicities" remarks about other movies being about one race saving the world.
    I should remind you that in the overwhelming majority of Japanese kaiju movies, it's always the Japanese saving the world without any help from anyone else. Nick Adams in MONSTER ZERO (1965) was a rare and notable exception. In fact, GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH (1992) was probably closer to Japan's true feelings. In it, the Americans and Russians were the bad guys who manipulate the monsters through time travel to destroy Japan in the 1990s to subvert Japan's "economic miracle." (I would argue that Japan didn't need any help busting its own economic bubble not long afterwards.)

  • C2F | July 16, 2013 12:56 AMReply

    Conventional weapons take too long to kill a Kaiju.

    It took the military 6 days to kill the first Kaiju and they still had to nuke it- Not exactly something you want to do to your cities on a regular basis.

  • daveharnett | July 18, 2013 8:39 PM

    It's a film about mechas and as you say, they have given a hand-wavey justification for the existance of mechas. Fair enough, that's fine.

    It is fun and easy to pick at it though. Here are some things you could do instead of using all the metal in the world on mechas:
    - Build a few more of those helicopters and use them to pick up the cities in danger.
    - Build lots of air-launched nuclear torpedoes for use near the rift.
    - Build a big cage and drop it on top of the rift.
    - Discourage pilots from flying into their targets (In a Japanese-inspired film, does this qualify as a stereotype?).

  • KF | July 15, 2013 8:12 PMReply

    "Maybe every other sentence out of their mouths is intelligible, and because they’re either talking about kaiju math or Vulcan mind-melding with a seafaring alien dinosaur at a high pitched, panicky squeal, it only complicates matters. As our seatmate said, “that might as well have been in French.” "

    Were they real that difficult to understand? I don't know, seemed like basic technobabble to me, very easy to follow, very easy to extract the necessary plot info from what they said when they said it.

  • IZ | July 23, 2013 7:54 AM

    With you here. I found them fine.

  • wilco | July 15, 2013 7:20 PMReply

    Guillermo Del Toro has talent , but he is always inconsistent. Pan's Labyrinth is his only film that was great from beginning to end.

  • ronnie | July 15, 2013 5:29 PMReply

    im worried that youre confused about the dimensional portal. one opening is on earth, and that gateway seems to take you to another universe, not the center of the earth.

    i liked the characters. the characters in del toro's other movies are always way too melodramatic. but they worked here. charlie day was the least annoying ive ever seen him.

    yeah, it would have been cool if one fight scene didnt take place at night in pissing rain.

    so it lost to grown ups 2, but isnt it doing really well over seas?

    i liked pacific rim way better than man of steel. but there were both flawed films.

  • PPPPPP | July 15, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    It was fun. Extraordinarily stupid, but fun. 3/5

  • RaikNaSeem | July 15, 2013 5:01 PMReply

    If the "portal" was always I'm the same spot, why do they have to wait for the kaiju to hit a city?

    BAD STORY TELLING.

  • daveharnett | July 18, 2013 8:06 PM

    It's hard to punch things underwater, so the jagers wouldn't work very well. Also, there isn't so much stuff to blow up/knock down at the bottom of the pacific.

  • rov124 | July 16, 2013 3:30 AM

    Did you see the movie? They said it was attacked but with nuclear bombs but nothing happened, until Charlie Day character discovered after linking with the Kaiju brain that Kaiju DNA was needed to break through the portal.

  • welles80 | July 15, 2013 4:08 PMReply

    Pretty sure Hunnam’s character wasn’t presented as bad boy more unorthodox in his execution and surprising with the fight moves and such. It would not have made sense for him to be the rebellious dick most Hollywood type’s play as it would not have worked with the technology or philosophy that the film presents of a world coming together as one to fight a common enemy.

    I thought the fights were incredibly easy to follows unlike the much favoured fast editing and cutting of recent summer blockbusters. I also enjoyed Day and Burn Gorman even if they didn’t completely work they were a nice light aside from all the EPIC destruction. I can see where you’re coming from with your other criticisms but I don’t agree with them 100% it seems like nit-picking. I wanted a gorgeous looking film with giant robots smashing giant monsters, Pacific Rim did the job. The biggest disappointment is the current US Box Office Top Ten…Grown Ups 2…(yes I am being a snob).

  • Sean | July 15, 2013 3:45 PMReply

    I went in for giant monsters vs giant robots, came out with that and the happiness that someone finally made a live action blockbuster that feels like a throwback to old school Gojira and Japanese anime.
    I didn't expect levels of backstory nor did I want it in this case.

  • Sean | July 15, 2013 3:45 PMReply

    I went in for giant monsters vs giant robots, came out with that and the happiness that someone finally made a live action blockbuster that feels like a throwback to old school Gojira and Japanese anime.
    I didn't expect levels of backstory nor did I want it in this case.

  • loudrockmusic | July 15, 2013 3:15 PMReply

    Jeez. Can't we just enjoy something for a change? I liked it and had fun with my homegirls watching it. They loved it, even though they, admittedly, only went to see Charlie Hunnam take his shirt off.

  • KG | July 15, 2013 2:45 PMReply

    I can agree with your bad and weird, except I never found the fight scenes hard to follow. It all seemed pretty straight-forward to me.

  • Josh | July 15, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    I don't get why they could use their escape pods to go through the breach, I thought they needed the DNA? Tactically the movie makes no sense but I had a lot of fun. That middle fight was epic. Give Del Torro the transformers franchise!

  • JAN | October 5, 2013 3:04 PM

    I think, that's because Slattern's corpse still around the portal area.. which has made the gate won't close.. (Gipsy Danger left him floating around the gate)
    (In this case: Slattern's body = wedge door stop)
    But as the nuke destroying the portal area.. but not the entire Anteverse.. certainly the Kaijus are coming back to have a vengeance (the sequel maybe ^^)

  • Charle | July 21, 2013 1:20 PM

    You need the DNA to get through the earth side

  • cory everett | July 15, 2013 2:42 PM

    I wondered about this too but thought maybe the barcode DNA thing only matters coming in (since if that works you wouldn't need to gate it going the other way too)?

  • Gus | July 15, 2013 2:26 PMReply

    What about the cinematography and the sequence of little Mako?

  • Kevin | July 15, 2013 3:00 PM

    Sorry, we made an editorial call at the time to cut it, but we'll put it back in shortly.

  • Katie Walsh | July 15, 2013 2:43 PM

    Well, I wrote it, but I'm not sure why it wasn't included, except maybe that it might have been sacrificed for other things. Agreed it was the best part of the film and that little girl was amazing.

  • Yss | July 15, 2013 2:36 PM

    Mako's flashback was like an excellent shortfilm inside Pacific Rim, that girl delivered the film's best performance.

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