Pacific Rim, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways
Pacific Rim came out in theaters a while ago, and I have no idea how well it did but it was one of the few movies that appealed enough that I wanted to see it in theaters. When the DVD later went on sale for $8, I snapped that right up. Not because it was $8, I don’t try to own media unless I LOVE it and am willing to watch it 200 times so nothing’s just taking up space. But this movie got a wholehearted double victory fists YES. It’s a quick watch at 131 minutes, fast-paced and light fare, stuffed with plenty of good fun.
By grace of this stubborn cold or flu or whatever I have, I’ve only had the brainpower to sit around and stare so we’ve played the DVD 4 times in the last 2 days. PiC humors me so much.
I saw absolutely nothing in the promo trailers, for a wonder, except ROBOTS and MONSTERS (which is absolutely all it took for me to be in) and so had zero expectations except for fighting robots and monsters. Which I got in spades.
1. Idris Elba as the Marshal. He. Was. Awesome.
2. Idris Elba with the best shut downs ever. When Raleigh tried to walk away from the recruitment. When Mako tried to persuade him that it was her turn. When Raleigh laid hands on him (whoa).
3. The loving father-daughter relationship between the Marshal and Mako, caring moments entwined with their professional relationship without getting weird.
4. Mako’s willingness to confront Raleigh with what she perceives to be his weakness. Her confidence in the ring.
5. Raleigh’s balance as a character: he’s been deeply hurt, he’s been out on his own, but he doesn’t hold any dramatic bitterness when he decides to come back. He doesn’t lash out at the barbs that could have triggered a forced outburst: Newt’s groupiness, Chuck’s arrogance at the dinner table. He does protest things that are protest-worthy but he’s not melodramatic.
6. No schmucky love story! This was hands down my favorite part. A male-female set of leads that battle together, obviously care about each other’s well being, but don’t fall into a stupid love thing that wouldn’t be believable. Doesn’t stop Hollywood from shoehorning in gratuitous love stories in countless movies, but I have no love for them.
7. GIANT ROBOTS! Shades of Veritech, echoes of Transformers, ghosts of Voltron gone by, all the massive fabulous robots! Called Jaegers! Piloted by Rangers! Could you possibly appeal to my 80s loves any more?
8. Why yes, with GIANT MONSTERS! Hello, decades of Godzilla fandom come to life! In shark form, in dactyl form, in classic romping, stomping land form.
9. Chuck getting a well deserved stomping. Ranger or no, he was a jerk.
10. The Ops guy always in his bow tie. Because “bow ties are cool”. (All together now, who says that?)
12. Bonus: Wonderful soundtrack.
And of course my money questions:
What havoc did the constant attacks wreak on the world economy? The Jaeger program required a lot of support but they were “only” dying 2 Rangers at a time. In the meantime, you have a huge defenseless population relying entirely on the mobile robots and a hell of a mess to pick up after each battle, regardless of who won.
Whose bright idea was the wall? Was it meant to be a jobs creator despite the sheer stupidity of the idea?
Politically, who were those politicians running things and making the predictably stupid decisions?
Where did all the materials to build the 250 foot Jaegers come from? Where did the money come from?
Does insurance even exist in the post-Kaiju world??