Saw Pacific Rim on Sunday, and I can’t remember walking out of a theatre after a film, including Avatar, with my brain still going how did I just see that and how can I can see it again? I’ve been told this is how people felt coming out of Star Wars in 1977.
Let’s go to my post-film tweets, to be followed by one very minor spoiler:
Solarbirdy: JFC YOU GUYS WHY IS NOT EVERYONE AND EVERY BLOG NOT NOW ENTIRELY ABOUT PACIFIC RIM OMG #seriously #NOSERIOUSLY
Solarbirdy: I’M GONNA TWEET ALL CAPS FOR A WHILE BECAUSE THIS MOVIE IS THAT AWESOME I AM IN KIND OF A DAZE FROM AWESOME SO DEAL WITH IT
Solarbirdy: ALSO WHY HAS THIS MOVIE NOT MADE EIGHT HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS
Solarbirdy: BECAUSE OH MY GOD
Solarbirdy: FUCK STAR WARS LET’S TALK KAIJU
Solarbirdy: HAVE YOU SEEN THE BATTLE OF HONG KONG? NO? WHY THE HELL NOT BECAUSE YOU NEED TO #obviously
Solarbirdy: ON THE BIGGEST SCREEN POSSIBLE. PERHAPS A LARGER ONE SHOUD BE MADE. I SUGGEST WE REPURPOSE NEBRASKA. #nobodysusingit
Solarbirdy: I WILL ALSO ACCEPT KANSAS IN A PINCH, IT HAS THE RIGHT RATIO FOR IMAX #sorta #oristhatcolorado #oneofthoserectangles
Solarbirdy: OH MY GOD WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME #iwasnotprepared
Solarbirdy: GIANT MECHA KATA I WAS LITERALLY DOING SQUEEFLAIL IN MY SEAT LIKE A QUARTER OF THE MOVIE #armworkout
Solarbirdy: WELL I AM NOW UP TO SPEED. <BASH FISTS TOGETHER>
Okay, one – rather clever – phrase going around is that it lacks character development in the same way that The English Patient lacks kaiju and giant robots. I dispute this. Rinko Kikuchi’s spectacularly-realised Mako Mori goes through the Hero’s Arc, and while that’s not unusual development, it’s one of the classic literary progressions of character. I would make different but important arguments for two other characters.
Further, it’s one of the most emotionally intelligent action films I’ve seen in I don’t even know how long. This Tumblr post does a great job of explaining how and why, and it’s spoilerriffic, so don’t click until you’ve seen the movie.
On the negative side, I’d grant that the call-to-action speech that always happens in these things is the only weak moment in Idris Elba’s otherwise lovely performance of Stacker Pentecost, and you can argue that the last 20 minutes doesn’t live up to the Battle of Y’KNOW WHAT NOBODY FUCKING CARES AND NONE OF THAT MATTERS BECAUSE THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME. WERE THERE PROBLEMS IN STAR WARS BEFORE LUCAS FUCKED IT UP? YES. AND NOBODY CARED. AND NOBODY SHOULD CARE ABOUT THESE BECAUSE THIS ENTIRE MOVIE IS MADE OF AWESOME.
Seriously, there are flaws, NOBODY CARES IT HAS TOO MUCH AWESOME FOR ANYONE TO CARE. If you aren’t squeeflailing uncontrollably through the Hong Kong sequences I don’t even want to know you. The more you know about kaiju and giant robot/jaeger film and anime of the past the more you’ll see, know, and love, about this. There’re nods to everything from NGE back to Ray Harryhausen, and you are in the hands of a genius who cares about all of it. Go watch this on IMAX, right now, while you still can.
eta: Oh, on a technical note: the IMAX 3D in this movie is so good that I forgot it was there. That’s never happened in a 3D movie either. I don’t know whether that’d be true in regular-theatre 3D, tho’.