Comfortable and Furious

Pacific Rim

In the midst of Ain’t It Cool News’ hype for this film in the last few weeks, Harry Knowles posted a story about director Guillermo Del Toro’s statement that the rocket-assisted punch seen in the trailer comprised only 1% of that particular action sequence in the final film. Now, anyone familiar with the history of AICN knows that it long ago devolved into a cesspool of corporate shilling, set visit “pwesents”, and hypocrisy. We are a long way from the “Keira Knightley is the sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet” era, and even that era was rife with ridiculousness (see: the Hulk workprint fiasco). Suffice to say, I wanted to avoid getting too hyped up for this film, so that story was met with the eye-roll that everything else Harry Knowles says is met with.

But Guillermo did not lie. Harry Knowles and Barack Obama lie; Guillermo Del Toro does not. That punch really is only 1% of that entire crazy action sequence. I have a degree in Mathematics, so don’t question me now. I calculated it. In my mind! There’s not much point in going into specifics and spoiling the movie for anyone, but rest assured: this is one of, if not the, craziest giant monster battles ever put on film.

Pacific Rim is the movie of the year. I know I jokingly stated that Olympus Has Fallen was movie of the year material, and I haven’t watched Spring Breakers yet, but I’m going out on a limb and saying that this is the best movie of 2013. It’s over. Just give Del Toro the Academy Award already.

The movie starts in 2020, 7 years into the “Kaiju War”. Giant monsters have been entering our world through a dimensional rift at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Humanity has developed the Jaeger program to combat them. The Jaegers are giant mechs controlled by a pair of human pilots (as a single pilot cannot handle the mental load). The pilots’ minds are linked together via a “neural bridge”, and each controls half of the mech through some borderline plausible sci-fi technojargon. Giant monsters get their asses kicked, Jaeger pilots become celebrities, and the world becomes very strange. Well, stranger than it is now, at least.

The rest of the film takes place in 2025. The war is nearing its end, the Kaijus are appearing out of the rift at an increasing rate, and it’s time for humanity’s last stand. It’s time for Stringer Bell to call his best pilot out of retirement and tell him to start beating up giant monsters again! There’s also a Japanese girl who is still upset about Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla 15 years later. As am I. As are we all.

Now, if you thought that anything stated in the last two paragraphs was stupid, let me just say: Fuck you.

Anyway, this movie was awesome, and I don’t want to spoil it. I find myself in a strange place, as I don’t have much else to say, but the thought of actually writing and posting a review less than 1,000 words is so alien to me that my mind cannot process it. Therefore, I’ve decided to resurrect something that I don’t believe has been seen on Ruthless Reviews for awhile: the Hackwatch. Yes, I went on Rotten Tomatoes for the first time in a long time and perused what passes for film criticism these days.

So, without further ado, here are The 10 Dumbest Things Said in Pacific Rim Reviews on the Internet.

10) “It’s as if they’re playing a game on the Wii and so, after an unbearably tedious opening narration, the degree of jeopardy is almost at an all-time low.” – Graham Young, Birmingham Mail

This is a criticism that comes up time and again: all video games are dumb, and this movie “feels like a video game”, so therefore this movie is dumb. It’s a classic argument, but like all syllogisms, the truth of its conclusion is dependent upon the universality of its premise. In other words, if there is one video game that is not dumb, the conclusion fails to obtain.

Shadow of the Colossus. QED, little box thing, whatever. Where’s my PhD already, guys?

9) “The opening five minutes of the film brings us up to speed; since 2017 giant alien beasts called Kaiju have been emerging from a hole in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, attacking our cities and killing tens of thousands of people at a time.” – Dave Bennett, The Hollywood News

The movie clearly prints the date of 2020 on the screen along with the fact that it is “7 years into the Kaiju War”. 2020 minus 7 is 2013, not 2017. Do people even watch the movies they review anymore? I can’t believe I watched Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters in its entirety and these guys just half-ass everything. I feel like Tony Stark in The Avengers. Didn’t anyone do the reading?

8) “The story concerns humanity’s last hope, the Jaeger program, with massive robots battling aliens. But the aliens attack on a sporadic basis and the movie is only interested in the Jaegers, hardly concerned with how this invasion might have affected everyday life.” – Robert Levin, AM New York

Yes, aside from the scenes detailing the fact that the monsters have been made into toys, the fact that Jaeger pilots are treated like celebrities, the implication that the Kaiju War has caused severe problems in the global economy, the existence of a black market for Kaiju remains and byproducts, the regular bombardment of coastal cities by giant monsters necessitating the existence of countless shelters in major metropolitan areas, and a reference to the Kaiju being interpreted as instruments of divine wrath in some religions, Guillermo Del Toro and his team obviously spent no time whatsoever thinking about how the existence of the Kaiju and the Jaegers would affect everyday life. Truly, a brilliant criticism of the film that could only have been voiced by someone who was actually paying attention for its entire duration.

7) “So that leaves us with Pacific Rim’s only remaining reason to exist: giant robots fighting giant monsters… Sadly – much like the dialogue – there’s not much innovation and as a result – much like the plethora of white guys in the movie – most of the fights look exactly the same.” – David Bax, Battleship Pretension

This is more racist than the Rodney King beating. Anyway, there’s a white guy, an Asian girl, and a black guy as the main characters. The director’s name is Guillermo Del Toro. Doesn’t that cover all the major food groups? Even if it doesn’t, who cares? Why can’t we all just get along? Also, half the movie takes place in and around Hong Kong, so it’s obviously the most whitebread film since House At The End Of The Street.

6) “While one can appreciate the idea that Pacific Rim is an ‘original’ bit of IP, I kept thinking, ‘How much cooler would this have been if it was Voltron, Godzilla, Ultraman, or Johnny Sokko?’ Then I would have some positive pre-defined feelings for the material. Instead this movie felt cold, technical, and paint by the numbers.” – Michelle Alexandria, Eclipse Magazine

It’s always so difficult when one has to watch a movie without preconceptions or nostalgic attachment. When they make a movie out of Transformers, you can form an opinion about it before you even see it because you already have an opinion about Transformers. When it’s a new universe, you have to like, think and stuff. You have to watch it on its own terms. It’s absolutely maddening. Who do these people think they are? Why can’t they just explicitly make it Power Rangers: The Next Generation so I can understand how I’m supposed to feel?

5) “…the governments of the world… [are] investing in the construction of a giant ‘Wall of Life’ intended to keep out the transgalactic interlopers. (Let’s see: liberal filmmaker, border wall intended to keep out ‘aliens’–I’ll give you one guess how well this works.)” – Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

Is this guy comparing Mexicans to giant monsters from another dimension, or is he comparing Palestinians to giant monsters from another dimension? I honestly can’t tell, but I’m assuming it’s the former. There are so many layers of ignorance and political posturing in this quote that I could write 5,000 words dissecting it all. I’m not going to do that because I am a mature, thoughtful individual who is above engaging in such juvenile shenanigans. That’s why I’m calling a movie designed for 10 year olds the movie of the year! Anyway, I also noticed that he referred to the Kaiju as being “transgalactic”, but I’m pretty sure that there’s a difference between coming from another dimension and coming from another galaxy. I’m not a physicist, though.

4)Pacific Rim is the movie of the year… I’m going out on a limb and saying that this is the best movie of 2013.” – Vandel, Ruthless Reviews

Jesus. There’s still over five months left in 2013. Don’t you think this is a little premature? Could you please calm down? Also, it’s redundant to call this “the movie of the year”, and then state that it’s “the best movie of 2013”. You need to learn how to proofread!

Oh, wait…

3) “To put it bluntly, Pacific Rim deserves the derision usually lumped upon Transformers 2.” – Jim Schembri, 3AW693 News Talk

If you read this guy’s review, and you shouldn’t, he goes on to praise various aspects of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That is not a joke. There is actually someone in this world who liked Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Stop the planet; I want to get off.

2) “What really spoils the fun in Pacific Rim… is the way it treats the Kaiju. An important aspect of the many Godzilla films, not to mention Western monster films such as the variations on King Kong, is there was often a degree of sympathy for the monster, especially when the monster was creating havoc due to being unaware of its actions and placed in a position of being harmful due to human intervention… There’s nothing like that in Pacific Rim.” – Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy

I watched this film with my friend. She is a vegetarian animal lover who went off on a minor rant about Asian people during the drive to the theater because “they’re eating all [her] animals”. Anyway, she expressed sympathy towards the Kaiju getting hit with rockets after breaking through the retainer wall early on in the film. I felt kind of bad myself about the one Kaiju getting his tongue ripped out. If we could feel sympathy for the monsters, why couldn’t you? What kind of monster are you?

1) “All the CGI stuff is fantastic and big, loud and rowdy. There is no Darth Vardar or villain… yet. But with all the CGI already done, ‘PACIFIC RIM 2’ is a certainty.” – Victoria Alexander, Las Vegas Informer

Darth Vardar? Darth Vardar?

That’s it. Nuke Las Vegas from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.



, ,