11 July 2013

Pacific Rim (no spoilers)

Giant monster v Giant Robot.  Mecha have been a staple of anime for decades, but is not often seen in live-action - the monumental size of the giant robots definitely not being easy to pull off.  It occurs to me that most of the mecha anime I've watched - from Robotech to Evangelion - has taken a zero to hero approach.    Pacific Rim is more hero to zero to hero, and is less concerned with the monumentality of mecha (the way becoming a giant robot transforms pilots into something Other) than with a straightforward message of "working together".

Visually, I enjoyed the movie a lot.  The buildings and vehicles getting crushed all over the place felt very empty and there was little interest in this aspect of mecha (that the battle means the mecha will kill as many humans as the monsters), but it was definitely worth watching for the visuals alone. 

Logic and common sense (let alone science) are chucked out the door in favour of the visuals, though.  A lot of things seemed to happen purely because it would result in a pretty picture.  And the whole wall-related thing is just bizarre, though oddly reminiscent of a manga/anime which has become popular on my Tumblr feed lately - Attack on Titan - which has a few memorable characters (Mikasa Ackerman FTW - seriously, listen to this speech) and some particularly awesome combat visuals.

The "A plot" of Pacific Rim - that of a particular mecha pilot and his new partner and of their relationship with the guy in charge of the Jaegr program - is reasonable.  Not brilliant, or the kind of thing which would make me interested in rewatching, but entertaining enough.

The "B plot" - that of two rival scientists - is execrable.  It's played for comic relief and is Just.  So.  Bad.  The movie would have been much better if they'd just dropped this entire plotline and all of those characters.

As war stories go, this one was partially inclusive of women - there were a handful of women techs/soldiers/engineers and at least two pilots scattered among the huge numbers of men.  But we were twenty minutes into the movie before my first sighting of a female.

So, Pacific Rim.  What can I say?  Not as stupid as Prometheus.  Not nearly as enjoyable as Aliens.

Note: there were also two characters who were supposedly Australian.  My main reaction to them is "Amazing how many accents this pair have".

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