Monday, 20 October 2014

On "Pacific Rim" (2013)

This is a terrible movie in every way other than it's, admittedly, flashy visuals (and being a little more watchable than a Michael Bay Transformers abomination). It could be a banner boy for everything wrong with the current movie craze of comic book adaptations (except that it's an original script)! It practically rejoices in bearing no relation to reality, and not in a any clever way. CinemaSins put his/their finger right on the biggest flaw in "Everything Wrong With Pacific Rim In 9 Minutes Or Less" (screenshot below).

The male protagonist was a boring white bloke who was totally unsympathetic and droned on narrating for far too long. Rinko Kikuchi's character was the real interest, but she gets strangely shoved to the side.

So, as well as flunking the Bechdel test, the one significant female character is also a token Asain. This when the plot is set primarily in a military base in China (yes Hong Kong is still part of China, and looks likely to stay that way, regardless). Mako's subjugation is so palpable that the whole thing starts to feel like straight up anti-China propaganda; timorous Sino maiden, demure in the face of mighty Yanke valour. Sure, domestic markets, target audience, etc. But if this is supposed to fit with how American cinema goers perceive the world, the population's even more out of touch than I thought!

Nitpicking (some rather BIG NITS!):  the "Everything Wrong..." vid invents a bunch of niggly technical glitches that aren't there, but hopelessly fails to point out the horrendous lack of physicality involved throughout with the scale of things! Even if we assume that the robots and monsters (thousands of times more massive than dinosaurs) and are made of unknown magic materials that hold them together through the ridiculous stress and strains, still:

(A) Walking (or worst, swimming) across the biggest ocean on Earth in roughly an hour, or so. That would exceed the speed of sound (at least once). The energies involved would create waves that, alone, would destroy the world.

(B) The oversized mechas are also flown these distances by HELICOPTERS! Just 8 helicopters, in fact! These magic chinooks would need engines 1000 times more powerful than a conventional chopper, or there'd need to be about 100 times more of them, according to Rhett Allain on Wired (but see the uncorrected repost on io9 for the LOL comments and NGE references).

Summary: At best Pacific Rim cross-pollinates us with Japanese culture, albeit a satire of their (anime's) silly obsession with already oversized and/or impractical humanoid mechas.

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