My Informal Pacific Rim Review

I love movies; in fact, I love movies so much that I would come back as a jaded movie-goer to tell people to go see a movie. And it's not a movie with morally complex themes or poetically sluggish pacing (not that I have anything against them), but a big-budgeted mainstream feature with intentions to sell toys. I'm talking about Pacific Rim, which is amusingly by an auteur who does make movies with complex themes and poetically sluggish pacing from time to time. And it's on the thread title too, so that's kind of expected.

So now for my really informal review:

I finally got to watch Pacific Rim, despite not watching (or having any
hope for) any movie (besides one) made this year; and boy did this movie
make me happy. I'll admit, I haven't seen too many films by Guillermo del Toro
besides Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Blade II, but his craft as a
visual storyteller really shines in this movie. It's big, loud,
extraordinary, and larger than life. It's really something we haven't
seen in a while in movies where its fantasy feels really euphoric and out of this world, when colossal
figures collide against each other, reinforced by powerful sounds,
blaring details of skin and machine, with computer-generated and special
effects, coming at you all at once, and in your face.

But what if you feel that all these visual features are just gimmicks set as a ploy to distract you from what really matters: the story? Like all movies, whether they're the best or the worst, Pacific Rim tells us a story. It's about a fantastical world (and very del Toro-ean world if you will) where man fights monsters with robots so they can survive, and live another day. But it provides casts of characters existing in a story-world laden with loss and destruction to reinforce their meaning to fight, and for the all the "gimmicky" special effects to actually have meaning. The story speaks and everything else is instrumental, but not without a lot of charm; it shares a lot of tropes that anime fans like myself found amused being translated in live-action, and in an American movie. You've got otaku scientists, a wonder-girl, the distant-but-honorable father-figure, creatures described by diction that's isn't ours, and an overall gigantic scope. But like all anime, it falls victim to excessive build-up and exposition; it's like a gigantic tour around the world envisioned by this director. Though I can promise that it will become satisfying when all that build-up explodes into a loud and visceral euphoric bliss, but you really have to like these kinds of things in order to enjoy it.

I really enjoyed it.


Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
I thought I'd pretty well hate Specific Rim - err, Pacific Rim - but I ended up loving it. It's the type of movie you absolutely have to see on the biggest possible screen, and it makes the case that going to the movies can still be an event.

I loved how there was no gratuitous romantic payoff at the end. Raleigh and Mako don't need to make out while floating on the sea, because they've been through something way more emotionally draining. They just need each other to lean on. When a movie this big can have a character development payoff so small, you've got one hell of a smart director involved.


Well-Known Member
My name Ex-Actarus comes from Actarus /bDuke Fleet ( as in my avatar ) the hero from the anime Goldorak / Grendizer.

So of course Pacific Rim was on the top of my the list ( with Man of Steel ). But I was SEVERLY disappointed.

This movie failed to live up to the legacy of Go Nagai giant robots animes from the 70s, 80s.

It felt like one of those pop corn movies with great special effects as Godzilla or Battleship.

Not to mention that the plot was really weak.

Still good to watch on the big screen, but disappointed really...


All mods go to heaven.
There was something really cool to this movie that as a writer I just have to really admire: the concept of the robots requiring two pilots is actually an awesome storytelling device. Right there is an excellent example of a technological concept in a sci-fi work influencing and expanding the storytelling possibilities. By laying down complex rules by which these gigantic robots work, the audience can get more narrative in a less period of time just by witnessing the characters submitting to these rules; because it is known that two people require great compatibility to pilot a robot together, the audience understands that the brothers share a deep bond, that the main character suffers a deep loss, and that the love he kindles with the wonder-girl will be very deep.
All this to say that I love the way they use technology as an effective story-telling device, instead of simply using it for the sake of coolness. To me, sci-fi has always been about exploring human issues at a deeper level (or exploring otherwise taboo issues more freely), so seeing sci-fi technology used for that purpose, however inplausible, was great.
Of course, the explosions and fights were great, too, though I think the movie let off quite a bit toward the end.


resident remnant robot relic
One side effect of the two people in each others heads approach was that anything they verbalize while synched in each others minds (unless it cut to the world in their minds) doesn't make sense to have verbalized. Not inherently a negative, merely a limitation to work within that one should be mindful of. Perhaps it was only unfortunate insofar as having the minor consequence of undermining the fan-service of calling out the names of combat moves before/while executing them.