Pacfic Rim (2013)
*WARNING: KAIJU-SIZED SPOILERS!*
BRAD: Ya know I made the joke that the script was written by 6-year-olds but now that I think about it I kinda wish it was written by 6-year-olds. How do they release a movie about giant robots battling giant monsters with such a lackluster script?
It’s the same complaint with Jason vs. Freddy. We cared not 2 shits about the plot they wrote especially with the other humans. We just wanted the goods. Same could be said about porn too, I suppose.
BRIAN: Ok, here are my 10 biggest problems with it:
1) Awful, AWFUL dialogue delivered very awkwardly. I think we laughed out loud at the dialogue at least six times. The script is just a turd and drags the battle scenes down into its rift of horribleness. The plot is basically ripped straight from Top Gun and Independence Day, and probably those giant robot Japanese animes I’ve never really seen. I went into the movie not expecting The Godfather or North Shore, but the script was just cringeworthy. But what do you expect from the guy who wrote the Clash of the Titans remake?
BRAD: Like I said it was written with a youngster’s perception and skill. Also, were the writers trying to somehow allegorically talk about immigration, specifically Mexican? South-of-the-border director Del Toro was co-writer and when the jaegers were seen as flawed and failing in stopping the kaiju, the powers-that-be decided building giant walls around the coastlines of every nation that had a Pacific coastline would solve their giant monster problem. This is idiotic on so many levels. I would somehow buy this idea if it was their first idea and I had just sniffed a ton of glue. Forget the logistics and expense of building a massive long wall along thousands of miles of coastline but those monsters are nimble and crafty and can easily jump or climb said walls. In the film they even show one simply ramming right through one like a knife through hot butter. But was this really asinine wall idea a way for del Toro to get political? I’d bet some money on it.
BRIAN: I really don’t think the writer of Clash of the Titans is that deep, but you should ask del Toro about it next time you see him. But the wall thing, yeah. “Hmm, a wall, I guess I could either break through it, jump over it, or walk around it pretty easily,” said the kaiju. I’m still fuzzy on why the world government thought that would work better than giant robots. Or a thousand plasma cannons pointed at the rift. But I’ve never voted, so…
2) The film should have been set further in the future. Just showing President Obama for a split second was a huge mistake, implying that we would have this technology available in just a few years is asinine. There’s no reason it couldn’t have begun in 2030 or something.
BRAD: If we have 25-story man-piloted robots with retractable swords and elbow rockets in 2030 then please tell me we’d also have hoverboards at least!
BRIAN: There aren’t hoverboards but there are fax machines everywhere.
3) Why were those pilots the only pilots available in the entire world? They didn’t have anyone else who could possibly pilot Gipsy Danger except the guy who destroyed it 6 years ago and some creepy girl?
BRAD: Not defending the film but I think they said they lost so many pilots in the past 5 years and since the jaeger program was being shut down by the powers-that-be they probably couldn’t get new pilots. I’m assuming. But if they felt that the jaegers were humanity’s last hope so bad, wouldn’t they attempt to train everyone they could?
BRIAN: 4) What was the point of the stick-fighting scene? Raleigh and Mako were a perfect pair of precision pilots because they had good stick choreography? They should have had some more tests of their compatibility to try to explain why they’re a good match. His first partner made sense because it was his brother, and that Australian dick’s co-pilot was his dad. Why was this girl he just met perfect for him?
BRAD: That stick-fighting scene was beyond comprehension. I literally was dumb-struck at that scene for two reasons. Raleigh was involved because they were testing his compatibility with other pilots, right? But all the pilots that he sparred with were already pilots on other jaegers, meaning they were already “linked” with other pilots. So say if one of the Asian pilots was compatible with Raleigh, they would then have an issue with the Asian’s linked pilots needing a new pilot. Am I wrong? But of course no one was compatible except for Mako who fought the most boring stick fight with him and through lazy and tired writing was forbidden to pilot with Raleigh for about 10 more minutes of screen time because Stacker (!) was over-protective of her. But how is one simple and quick stick fight a worthy determination if you are compatibly linkable to pilot a giant robot with? Wouldn’t a simple match of arm-wrestling also do the trick?
BRIAN: No they made it a point that Mako wasn’t as qualified as “the other candidates.” And when they were doing that ridiculous stick fight there were a bunch of people there besides the other pilots he was fighting for some reason. And Iris Elbow told him that they had another candidate in mind for him. So what happened to that person? Or was it going to be Iris Elbow all along?
5) Creepy Mako’s whole motivation is that she wanted revenge on the kaiju? I’m pretty sure most people lost family members to kaiju attacks, what makes her special at all?
BRAD: She was the only survivor found by Stringer Bell and he adopted her. Plus she (or he) had some sort of shoe-fetish I think.
BRIAN: Yeah I know he adopted her (then didn’t age a day in 20 years), I meant why was her revenge motivation different from anyone else’s? Wouldn’t Raleigh have more of a revenge motivation?
6) Why was Australian Iceman such an asshole?
BRAD: The Aussie Iceman was just a stereotypical Hollywood hothead who is determined to be the best, give a very cold shoulder to the “new guy” hero and by the end redeems himself with a sacrifice. This film’s script was written very poorly, I don’t think I mentioned that.
BRIAN: The scene where the Iceman confronts Maverick might as well have had “Highway to the Danger Zone” playing in the background.
7) Why would a kaiju go after one little girl in all of Tokyo? And why was she the only person on the streets of Tokyo?
BRAD: The kaiju was not interested in Mako so much as it was her bright red shoes that it wanted. Kind of like a bull is attracted to the matador’s red cape.
BRIAN: That’s a good point.
8) WHY THE #@&% WOULD ANYONE LIVE ALONG THE PACIFIC RIM???!?!?!!?!! Wouldn’t everyone move in to the mainland so, you know, giant monsters wouldn’t constantly try to kill them?
BRAD: Again not defending the movie but even if the population moved more central to each country the kaiju would just follow them in. But it’s not totally out of the question that the kaiju might not. They should’ve at least tried to abandon the coasts in the slim chance the kaiju wouldn’t go that far inland.
BRIAN: Yeah they may have been able to follow them in but are the kaiju really going to track down every citizen in the countryside? And they would have had several hours warning instead of a few minutes. And there’s a 99% less chance of a building falling on them. Which reminds me, this movie that had gigantic robots and monsters fighting in the middle of a city had less destruction than Superman fighting Zod.
9) I know that without the jaegers there would be no movie so fine whatever, but why didn’t they just place a circle of plasma cannons around where the kaiju pop up and as soon as they popped their heads up start blasting? I think it’s a huge problem that the kaiju only came from one known place. It would have added more tension and excitement if they just popped up wherever.
BRAD: Not only they did the kaiju come from only one source in the bottom of the Pacific but they also (until the end) came one at a time. The film explained that the first few kaiju emerged and attacked as sort of solo recon missions. OK fine but in the span of approximately 130 minutes we saw only 3 jaeger vs. kaiju battles. Speaking of these battles, they were fast, always in the dark (or rainy too) and like the Transformer films had to follow who’s who. All the jaegers look the same and when they quickly cut to the pilots, I was still unsure if the pilots were reacting to what just happened to their jaeger or someone else’s jaeger or just a shot of them reacting to something else entirely. Just a nitpick I’m sure you are saying but let me further complain about the kaiju. They all sucked. Unoriginal, boring and too strong. They all somewhat reflected the past Toho monsters, which is fine but with Toho monsters movies the creatures are shown in better light and detail. A kid could watch a Godzilla flick and then draw his/her monster not just because it was unique but because he/she was able to actually see it without quick MTV-style edits and close-ups. And the fights were too boring, too. I’m really starting to question my level of excitement at my developing age. Is it just me or were the fights too boring? I feel like the past decade I’ve been completely underwhelmed and disappointed in way more movies than ones I actually liked. But here we have a 25-story giant robot with missiles, a plasma cannon, retractable swords, and the elbow rocket barely scratching a living, breathing, unarmored creature. Those monsters were way too tough for these fights I think. I’m not saying one shot with the plasma cannon should kill them but in a couple of fights it took like 9 shots or more to do the job. In one fight they had to shoot just the arm of a kaiju like 8 times before it got blown off the creature. If they simplified the fights and made the robots way stronger than the kaiju I think that would’ve been better. And have more kaiju attack these robots at the same time. Its like Aliens, where the space marines had to defend themselves against a whole swarm of aliens but at the very least it was believable that the weapons they had could kill an alien with just a few shots. Now maybe I’m in the minority here but there should at least be a better balance between a long boring more evenly matched fight and a short, way-too-easy fight.
BRIAN: The jaegers did look different but yeah would it have killed them do have a fight that wasn’t in wet darkness? The only time they attempted that was news footage of the Australians for 45 seconds. I thought the fights were entertaining enough, but there wasn’t enough time spent on the citizens being in danger. When Gipsy Danger was fighting the kaiju in Hong Kong it was like they were in the middle of an empty playground. At least Mako’s memory scene had that element of a citizen fearing for their life.
10) Ron Perlman’s face looked like a petrified turtle dick.
BRAD: If it weren’t for del Toro, Perlman would still only be known as the guy who played the Beast in that late-’80s TV drama.
Turn to page 2 to see what we actually liked about this movie!