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So, Pacific Rim

Posted by Velox , in Reviews Jan 18 2014 · 240 views

Pacific Rim Film Review
It’s the movie everyone’s talking about. Or was, at least, closer to when it was released...which was a long time ago now. But still, it was a very widely-discussed film, procuring lots of hype and attention.
 
And of course me, not going to the theater very often, only just saw it recently. And then a little more recently after buying the DVD (and by "recently" I mean nearly a month ago...and about two months since the first viewing).
 
So, about Pacific Rim. Spoilers to follow!
 
I’ve heard this movie be called so amazing because of the great character depth and its intelligence.
 
Well, both were lacking, sadly, in my opinion.
 
Honest Trailers’ version of it is actually basically my opinion, but to expand on it:
 
Not bad. Though to be honest, it didn’t really live up to the hype. Maybe it’s because of the hype that made it not live up to it, who knows.
 
But it was awesome—yes, yes it was. But let’s get into the non-awesome things first:
 
A lot of movies have a lot of plot holes. A lot of them can be ignored while you’re watching the film because of the film itself. Olympus Has Fallen, for example, has a lot of plot holes, yet the film was still very intense, and they were able to be ignored during the film. Same could be said with other films, like TDKR, etc.
 
But this is not one of those. There were a lot of times in the movie when I was like “oh, this is definitely a ‘10’!” Then a few minutes later I’d be “wow, this is like a 4 at best.” And back and forth. That’s never really happened before—I’ve noticed various things wrong with movies while I watch them, yes, but none disrupted the movie as much as they did here. (Addendum: after watching the film a second time, the flaws were still obvious, but they didn’t disrupt the movie nearly as much.)
 
The prologue was mostly unneeded. And too long. It really almost felt like a “previously, on X TV show” except running half the length of the TV episode. And a lot of it could be done throughout the film in a better way. And along with that…only tens of thousands of people died? Not to sound harsh but… that’s incredibly lucky if it really destroyed so much of large cities.
 
Next, there was not enough about the loss of the pilot with Marshal Pentecost (I don’t even remember his name…but the son). Now Pentecost giving his life wasn’t that bad—it’s a cliché, and they didn’t do anything new with it, but it’s understandable he would have done that vs., say, going out the way Walter White did and becoming a drug lord).
 
But then you have the son to think about. He’s just dead. It wasn’t so bad they had the “I’m dying so I’ll sacrifice my life” cliché, but the bad part was that it wasn’t fulfilling at all (plus, again, the other guy that died). Pentecost sacrifices himself, but forces the young man to sacrifice with him, and there was never any time to care about him. He was mean until he immediately became a nice guy before he died.
 
Which brings me to the next completely unneeded cliché: The bully character. We already have the Kaiju—we really don’t need a bully character, especially one that suddenly becomes a good guy at the end and sacrifices himself (and especially one who just...wasn't a good bully--he was just annoying, and not in a good way). It just provided a lot of unneeded and awkward tension.
 
Next: who thought of building a wall? That just sounds like a stupid idea. Waste of time and money. And people were completely not upset enough when the first one was destroyed so quickly. Yeah, some builders were shouting, but that’s not enough.
 
Lastly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character, Raleigh. I wish Mako had been, especially since she’s really the only female character (I don’t think the female Russian is even named, but even if so, she’s only there in passing. Kinda sad).
 
There’s a lot of other various nitpicky things, but those are the main things that bugged me. Actually, one more: the walking in the ocean thing always bugged me. Because at one point one of them rises from under the ocean, but then when he’s out of the water, when he’s “standing”, the water is to his knees/waist. So how are they walking in water, without touching the sea floor?
 
But one thing cannot be ignored: Pacific Rim is just so awesomely cool. It was. It was freaking giant robots fighting giant monsters, for crying out loud. But it was also disappointing. Best or deepest movie ever? Haha, right. But it was decent. More than decent, really, as it was really enjoyable.
 
Great things about Pacific Rim:
  • Mako characterization. Man, this was awesome. She really should have been the main character, because her backstory was so much better (and actually terrifying/moving)
  • Idris Elba. Basically everything about him—having him in the film was perhaps the best decision made. His speech was great, and his presence on the film was great.
  • Bo Staff fighting. That scene was awesome.
  • Using a ship as a baseball bat. One of the greatest scenes of the film.
And of course:
  • Giant robots punching giant monsters. Seriously, that’s just awesome.
 
So no, this isn’t the greatest movie of all time, unfortunately—at least not in my opinion. But it was still pretty great, and incredibly enjoyable, and I’d watch it again in a heartbeat. I don’t buy many new DVDs, but this one I did because despite all the problems I had with it, and how bad I thought it was at times…I really, really want to watch more. Like I said, it’s really enjoyable. It’s robots fighting monsters. I just wish it had more, since there were so many opportunities to make it an amazing film, rather than just a really fun to watch one.

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Vorahk1Panrahk2
Jan 18 2014 03:28 PM
I’ve heard this movie be called so amazing because of the great character depth and its intelligence.

 

 

I gotta be honest- I've never heard this movie praised for its character depth and intelligence and I'm not sure where you would have gotten that idea. On the contrary the consensus from many online reviews seems to be that those are its weak points. What it gets praised for are the visuals and its sense of fun, which as you pointed out are top notch.

 

As for the wall, I saw that as sort of a jab toward 'higher ups' in general who are so dissociated from the world by their status that they really don't understand it. You can debate whether or not there's any validity to that idea.

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I dunno, but I remember seeing a lot of reviews praising its intelligence for being such an action-packed robots vs. monsters film. Which I mean, compared to something like Transformers, sure (I mean, the Mako characterization was pretty cool, though ultimately disappointing that there wasn't more to it, as it had such potential), but that still wouldn't be something I'd praise. 

 

Maybe we just read different reviews. =P I haven't read many recently, but I was browsing a few when it first came out like on IMDb and various blogs and such. But yeah, definitely the most praised thing is for the visuals/sense of fun, which is a valid praise. =P

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The prologue was easily my favourite part of the film. I wouldn't shorten it.

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PACIFIC RIM 4 LYFE YO

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@ Brickeens ~ Yeah, to each his own. I'm just not really a fan of that type of prologue in general. I'm much more interested if the world can be built by using the plot (and I'd consider this a form of world building, since a lot is different and needs to be told--I mean, it did take like 17 minutes after all), and so when it just throws in everything at the beginning, it's just not my favorite form of storytelling. Though there are exceptions. And I also absolutely love prologues that don't set up the world, but are just awesome sequences on their own (the bank robbery at the beginning of The Dark Knight, for example, or the plane crashing for TDKR). So I don't think that much (or anything) needs to be taken out necessarily, but just spread out and told differently. But maybe that's just me. 

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