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Pacific Rim Counter-Review: This Movie Pissed Me Off (No Spoilers)

Pacific Rim Counter-Review: This Movie Pissed Me Off (No Spoilers)

“Giant Monsters? Giant Mecha? And original characters? They ask too much of us Drago!” “Da. They do.”

On July 12, DJ BenHaMeen of The Fan Bros. published a review about how much he enjoyed Pacific Rim. Today the “Grand Duchess of Tech”, Tatiana King, expresses her displeasure for the same film.

I never, ever, ever, ever, ever want to see Pacific Rim again. It was astounding how badly it all played out. I don’t even know if I can find the words to express how angry it made me. Actually…I can! So I wrote a blog post. Wanna read about it? Here it go…

 

 

 

My expectation level was high. Exceptionally high. Not only did I join in the chorus of voices pushing everyone and their red-headed step cousin to go see this movie, but I even made the mistake of admonishing people that had no awareness that this film was on the way. For that, I apologize profusely. I feel like I’ve unintentionally thrown many folks to the lions.

miguel adorns you with his love

For those that truly enjoyed Pacific Rim–good for you! I respect your opinion. At the same time I was fairly disgusted.

The first twenty minutes of the film I thought, “holy sh*tballs Batman this looks incredible! ” They explained most of the detail of the movie very well and even made a plausible storyline for how the Kaiju and the Jaegers came to be. They explained how the rangers (pilots) were chosen, how they synced with their co-pilots, why there were two pilots doing the same thing, and brought some solid movie-science into the matter. Ok…BET!

mj_popcorn

After the first fight I was stoked! It made such a good first impression that I thought “wow, so my prayers may really be answered”.

Then the next thirty minutes and change was a complete snoozefest and involved gobs of unnecessary dialogue that could have easily been cut.

hermoine-boredmad

While the intros of each nation’s pilots were mostly o.k., their personas (especially the Russians) relied upon uber-cliche stereotypes. Still, their jaegers looked bad ass and I was prepared for some proper killage. I was still pretty excited.

Much like Benhameen, I could have done without the forced romance and the even more forced rivalries. I mean good try bro, but nah…

Despite that, Idris was very commanding in the film. The way he looked (and looks), and the way he spoke (and speaks…) would make me follow him to hell and back.

The level of destruction was massive (a good thing). Between both the jaegars and the kaiju I cannot tell which one effed ‘ish up worse. Giant mecha and destruction are a-ok in my book.

Too bad the jaegers were slow as hell, while the kaiju were inexplicably agile–regardless of the surrounding conditions.

And too bad those same bad ass jaegers with the supposed bad ass battle records and move sets were really ineffective…

Not only that, there was SO MUCH cheesy dialogue, bad acting and overacting! There was a lot of poor casting overall and it really put a damper on what could have been great chemistry between the actors. The acting (or lack thereof) from most (not all) of the cast was so painfully noticeable that it just made me plain uncomfortable.

imdisgusted

And bored…again…

theoffice-boredserious

While I was irritated about 75% into the movie, I decided to just stop asking questions and just watch. I thought that since the ship was already going down, I might as well be like the band on the Titanic and try to enjoy something in what little time (I thought) I had left. Then there was a bevy of cheesy scenes. The last straw? A moment reminiscent of a famous Sam L. Jackson clip from Deep Blue Sea–you know the one I’m talking about. I gave up shortly thereafter.

benjaminsisko-disapproves

Generally there were too many instances of motives not making any sense, ginormous plot holes, unfollowable action scenes (towards the end), and super important items being introduced WAY too late. For me the biggest offense was that there was not enough character development. It was all poorly planned to the point where I just didn’t care what happened next. I sincerely wanted the movie to end but there was a good 30 minutes left.

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On a more positive note, the highlights were: Idris Elba; the child actress that plays the younger version of the female lead; the jaegers; the explanations and pseudo-science of the world; how the kaiju got there in the first place (and how humans reacted); the special effects; and most certainly the fight scenes.

crowley-notbad

However, what was most disconcerting for me is that I thought this was truly going to finally be the real life robot vs. monster  masterpiece on the scale of Evangelion or the Gundam series. Yes those are both animated works, but the very genre and basic tenants of a “giant robot film” stems from anime, manga, and Japanese culture. While these are clearly not the only place influence can come from, the level of reach is considerable. These animations, while clearly having way more time to build a story than a 2.5 movie, still understand how to tell a story that you can believe in.

thought Guillermo Del Toro would be able to translate everything thats wonderful of the world of mecha in a live action setting with a solid reasoning behind it. Unfortunately, I was sorely mistaken. I was disappointed. I was lightweight hurt…

 

So I gotta ask–did you also dislike Pacific Rim? Or did you love it and think I’m just out of my mind? Share your comments below.

  • I thought the jaegers looked pretty cool I didn’t care much for the romance. But I thought it was a dope concept for a film. I thought the special effects were dope Idris Elba was acting circles around everybody and Charlie Day was hilarious. I would still recommend it to anybody.

    • Ricky Choo

      I have to agree with you, I mean Tatiana, where you exptecting Citizen Kane levels of filmmaking? I had high expectations for the film myself and wasn’t disappointed. I sure wasn’t expecting top notch acting though, just a plot sufficient to justify great action which I did get.
      For instance, I hate the transformers series with a passion for too many reasons that I care to list but the one at the top is how difficukt it is to read fight scenes and how godawful the design of the robots is. I guess transformers lowered my ceiling for expectations but in a genre(hollywood blockbusters about giant robots/monsters) where all you have to look at is Godzilla and Transformers, Pacific Rim is on par with Godfather II.
      All is not perfect with it though, the romance was not necessary at all and most importantly, I wish I had seen more of the other 2 Jaegers because they looked bad ass, but really, that was a good ass movie in my humble opinion.

      • LOL. While I wasnt expecting Citizen Kane-level I expected decent levels of acting across the board. Why is it that Idris Elba acted circles around everyone? They couldn’t get at least intermediate level actors in there? Hellboy’s (I’m sorry i call Ron Perlman that..) char was supposed to be outrageous so I dealt with his delivery (plus he’s cool in my book). And it didnt matter that alot of the people weren’t well known names–the fact is they couldn’t act their way out a wet paper bag. The dynamic between the two scientist was just weird and not entertaining. And wtf was up with the Ken from street fighter main character?? He was so corny…

        That’s my problem with folks like Michael Bay–he ruins it for everyone. lol. Why do you have to have lowered expectations going into a film like this? The concepts aren’t juvenile, the director isn’t juvenile so why should I think this movie would be? I basically thought Pacific Rim was going to be the exception to the rule and I was wrong 🙁

        • Ricky Choo

          Not sure I follow you when you say the concepts aren’t juvenile. Giant Robots/Monsters do not scream maturity. I grew up watching stuff like Mazinger and with that in mind, Pacific Rim was the realisation of what I never thought I’d see as a kid (I’m 37, btw)
          Regarding the acting, being a fan of Sons Of Anarchy while being aware of the limits of this show, I knew what to expect from Jax in terms of intensity in the acting. I think I read on uproxx where they do weekly reviews of SoC that Jax definition of looking intense was flaring his nostrils. Can”t argue with that, it’s the type of ish you cannot unsee once you’ve noticed. Similarly, the asian chick was the embodiement of the tired cliché of the sexy, yet submissive asian girl. I guess it was considered a low hanging fruit to lure the anime fan in us. Regading the scientists, the limping one was the one out of place to me as Charlie Day did Charlie Day things which was fine to me

          To sum it up, I knew I wasn’t gonna be blown away by the acting and as a matter of fact, I found it satisfying that they kept the time spent with the actors (as opposed to the Jaegers/Kaijus) to a fairly low level.

          I guess it is indeed sad that to enjoy the movie you had to come in with such controlled expectation but honestly, even when you expand to the whole hollywood summer blockbuster genre, it’s not really like we have many example in fine acting, is it?

          • When I say concepts aren’t juvenile, I’m more so harking back to my experience with giant mecha shows/stories. In those there is always an element of real danger and adult content (i.e. death, interpersonal relationships, socio-economic strife, extreme psychological issues that would go over the head of adults let alone children, etc.–Evangelion is a grand example of this). Perhaps because I have that background swirling around in my head I had a preconceived notion of what i thought this movie OUGHT to be. For me Pacific Rim brought EVERYTHING to the table EXCEPT the connection with the characters and what they were doing. If I don’t care or believe that what you’re doing is important then that irritates me cause I’m stuck watching for 2.5 hours.

            However I also think people are giving the shortcomings of Pacific Rim too many excuses. Since when can a “summer blockbuster” not have fine acting? Avengers? Star Trek? Iron Man? and a whole slew of others. there are plenty of examples of it (good acting, good story, cohesive execution) working in tandem to create just an overall great film.

            The Japanese girl was a complete cliche anime character and is was just annoying. lol. Yeah Charlie Day was definitely in his lane which was fine–but as a foil to the limping scientist it just felt out of place to me. And homeboy main character….ugh…even his gait throughout the movie bothered me. smh.

            When I bring it all to one point I was looking for Pacific Rim to be the realization of MY kid experiences of what a giant robot film is to be. Not that I had refined taste at 11 or anything, but I have always skewed more mature. I didn’t go into this movie thinking it would be a popcorn film. I know what I wanted, didn’t get it, and was subsequently disappointed.

          • Also if I’m looking at a movie seriously and not just seeing as a “regular popcorn film” I always take special care to scrutinize the acting (that’s just me). If its really off base I just can’t lie to myself about it. Ish was just CORNY too many times for me.

            At the same time I get your point.

    • Agreed that it all looked cool and had alot going for it. For me I just couldn’t connect on a most basic level of fux to give. And that was a problem especially because I had all the fux to give in the world for the movie going in.

      • DJ BenHaMeen

        HATER! Lol no I actually agree with a lot of your sentiments, but the image of a Jaeger pulling out a sword and cutting the Kaiju in half was worth my money. I thought it was the best movie of the summer so far and yes Ive had lowered expectations, but I thought it was a good summer fun movie.

        • ugggh…the “no spoilers” badge is really testing me..i wanna say something else SO BAD! (and stop saying story points! lol)

          like i said. i dunno why people would come in having such low expectations. this aint a mad tv skit!

  • Compared to transformers this movie was Citizen Kane

  • Good review! But the Sam Jackson reference kinda breaks the no-spoiler promise 🙂

    • yeah yeah I figured a it would be a lil slide on the no spoilers. but honestly i do feel most people wont get it until they see the movie. and by the time it gets to that point they would have forgotten about what i said. 🙂

  • Alex R

    I think most people who didn’t enjoy this film were expecting the grand end all, be all kaiju flick, not understanding that Guillermo is trying to create a universe around Pacific Rim and not just 2 hour movie. As time goes on, and we see more of the Pacific Rim world through comics, anime, action figures and sequels/prequels, those people who bashed this beautiful film are going to regret it.

    • I don’t regret my bashing now or ever, what so ever. lol.

      In fact if this movie does spark a Pacific Rim 2 I’m definitely going to go see it in hopes that the execution will be much tighter. If I wasn’t clear enough I liked basically everything except for the lack of connection I had with everything that was going on.

      I did read up that Guillermo wanted to basically build a brand new universe around this. So that’s cool. Still doesn’t change the fact that I thought most of the acting was excruciatingly poor and I subsequently didn’t care about the characters (‘cept Idris…lol).

      As far as Pac.Rim in other mediums (comic books, tv, etc) I say bring it on. But those are all totally different experiences.

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  • Samantha F.

    I just watched Pacific Rim last night because I was starting to feel left out and I just have three major questions.

    1. This war has been going on for the better part of two decades against the Kaiju and people, real live people with kids and everything, were still living in coastal cities? Wouldn’t the government treat the coast like Chernobyl and make it off limits?

    2. As a kick ass military big wig supervising jaeger teams around the world, when did Idris Elba have time to raise a small Japanese girl (who doesn’t speak English with a British accent like her adoptive father) and if he is so concerned about her safety, why would he even let her work on the jaeger project to begin with or let her go through all the training?

    3. Lastly, did every person outside of Charlie Day and Idris Elba get a memo saying to play their stereotype to the hilt? The bumbling British Scientist, the ultra macho cliche spiting American hero, the too cocky to keep a job in real life Aussie hot shot, and the exotic Asian beauty capable of speaking several languages while winning at hand to hand combat, but can’t keep her emotions in check for even two minutes? I mean, during the fight scenes, why was the male lead always telling her he was handling things? Doesn’t it take two to pilot this behemoth?

    This was a great looking movie and had a lot going for it, but I agree that lack of realistic screenwriting and acting just set my teeth on edge. But that being said, when is the sequel coming out!

    • 1.) Thats exactly what i said–why aren’t the cities being moved more inland!?! Not that you can really completely move a city of millions of people (especially someplace like Hong Kong) easily..but it was decades!

      2.) LOL….i pretty much ignored that storyline for that very reason

      3.) LMAAAAO….this is what im talking about. I liked everything about the movie EXCEPT for those intrinsic character flaws/developments (or lack therof..)

      • Ricky Choo

        Really, Tatiana? Now you’re gonna loggin with a fake account?
        I kid I kid 😀
        All 3 points from your alternate self are valid, but man, those robots were looking nice!

        • DJ BenHaMeen

          Lol. This is the best comment thread in FanBros history. She made me doubt my own review. 🙁

          • Ricky Choo

            I know right? I was looking forward to seeing the movie a second time but now, between Tatiana and Samantha’s rebuttals, I’m might be disgusted by the movie upon rewatching it.
            I hope y’all ladies are happy with ruining the fun for everyone… smh

          • If I ever go to the movies to see a movie more than once I find myself over analyzing the movie finding plotholes and questioning why did I like this movie the first time.

          • Samantha F.

            I think you should definitely go see the movie for a second time, but instead of letting these plot holes and devices throw you off, use them to your advantage. Sneak in a flask of your favorite brown or clear liquor and every time a character tries to eat up the screen with off putting mannerisms, take a shot. A man protecting the honor or saving the life of a perfectly capable woman? Throw one back to burn away the shame. And every time Charlie Hunnam does his imitation of the Christian Bale Batman voice, poor a little out for the homies that chose to wait until that joint is on Netflix. Pretty soon everything will start making a whole lot more sense and be even that much more enjoyable.

          • I just saw Samantha’s comment…LOL!!

            I agree just see it. 🙂

  • I forgot about the sword part that part had me geeking out