Pacific Rim – A String of Clichés.

Pacific Rim (2013)I’ve watched Pacific Rim a acouple of months ago, and while it aired another movie which I hadn’t watched was airing – Kick-Ass 2. The reason this is relevant to my story is that my write-up of Kick-Ass 1 is very relevant to this post. Kick-Ass had been a B-movie that had been proud of it being one, with constant winks by the writing and acting cast to the audience. I think Pacific Rim would’ve benefitted from feeling the same way.

I feel this movie doesn’t really know what it wants to be, it has top class production values, lavishly (computer-)generated fights, it has a serious tone to it – the shots are dramatic, the lighting is dramatic and somber, with top class filmography, and most of the cast portrays its role in a serious manner, as if they believe their lines, and that the world they’re acting in is real – some of them are in no way or form good actors, but it’s the thought that counts – serious movie.

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be a few spoilers in this post.)

That all sounds like good stuff, right? Well, except that if I graded the film based on that I’d have to rate it 4/10, and maybe bump it up to 5.5 for its action scenes (which I’d have liked more if they weren’t almost all done at night, with flashing flare-lights to disorient us even more. The washed out colours made me yawn and didn’t add to the excitement. I’d have liked a more red-centric colour pallet myself). I mean, the film doesn’t feel like it has a plot, it feels like it’s a string of cliches, every cliche from action films, with some thinly-veiled non-plot in there just to lead us from one scene to another, where we’ll experience more cliches. We have the brothers who clasp hands, we have the hotshot and his cool-headed father, the heavily-armoured Russian armour, the military commander who won’t listen to subordinates, the “best fit” whom shouldn’t be allowed to fight and is then allowed to…

Here’s the best example of where the plot isn’t actually allowed to breathe under the weight of the cliches – we have the commander reveal to us that due to radiation, were he to pilot one of the robots again, he’ll die. This revelation is obviously one where he’ll be forced to pilot a robot and sacrifice himself, right? Well, a good place to put it would’ve been in the first half of the film, and not literally five minutes before he has to do so. It’s cliched either way, but it seems the plot is only a string of cliches, and isn’t actually considered an organic thing.

There are a couple of actors and sections which scream “Cheesy!” which makes me think some people thought it’d be best to treat it as a self-deprecating B-movie, specifically the scientists and Ron Perlman. I think the movie would’ve benefited from being such a movie. As it was, it was a popcorn film where the lines weren’t even “popcorn”, but just terrible. I give this movie 6/10 popcorn filled fights, and barely, for the couple of funny moments – a good movie to completely shut your brain with, and I do mean completely.

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4 comments on “Pacific Rim – A String of Clichés.

  1. Unfortunately I didn’t completely shut down my brain while watching, While I liked the giant robot vs giant monster action, everything else seemed pointless. Just more setup to more action, and even then it doesn’t seem like a lot action. Underwater robot fights are stupid… Right now I’m torn whether to get the Blu-Ray or not. I think I may have been influenced by the fandom on Tumblr. They’re crying how it’s such a good movie free of stereotypes, etc., etc. But after following through another fandom (Rise of the Guardians) I realize going along with Tumblr (full of teenagers who’s always “uncomfortable” and “done” with something) was the stupidest thing I’ve done.

    • Guy says:

      I’m sure there are stupider things than going with Tumblr, but yes, you should always be critical.

      The movie is free of stereotypes? That’s a man-only movie, essentially, you know.

      Also, I didn’t like the fights that much, too much in darkness with strobing lights, which is how fights are often handled these days, with everything giving you a sense of dizziness to simulate how you can’t tell what’s going on in fights – but meh, that to me is an excuse to not show us proper, beautiful choreography. We’re viewers, so let us view the fight from the side, the characters didn’t really have enough character for us to sympathize with them anyway :3

      There are better movies out there, and much more beautiful action movies out there, for me to consider getting this movie :-/

      It wasn’t terrible, but the “plot” was actively trying to kill my brain :p

  2. ssdg says:

    Just watched this one. And thought to myself: This movie fucking crap. What is wrong with people who cannot see that many of these hollywood action movies are crap?
    THe story was paperthin. And it felt like i’ve seen the movie 100000 times before with all the cliches. All the cliche characters, the typical ending with hand clapping (ofc what else in US movies) the speech, the sacrifice, the “oh is he dead…….. no he wakes up and makes a “comedian” comment”, I must the the actor that played Marshal did an ok job though, but this movie overall was just crap….but I guess that’s what the stupid masses want to see. I’m dissappinted in Del Toro though. What the hell happend? Pan’s Labyrith was great.

    • Guy says:

      It’s a movie that is exactly what it says on the tin – “Mindless action romp with big monsters and explosions!” and it delivered. People went to watch it expecting mindless fun, they got mindless fun, and they were content.

      It just seemed to play even more than usual on the tropes and cliches this time, but that’s what makes a B-movie. A B-movie with an A-movie’s budget. People like B-movies, after all.

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