Speculative Fiction Saturday: Pacific Rim, just see it.

Pacific RimThis summer was pretty bad for films. Granted, there were some pretty big films like Star Trek: Into Darkness and The Man of Steel, but these films contained very little originality and were the usual franchise offerings. I have decided that next summer I will only see one film, and it will be the one that isn’t based on a franchise. If I had this summer to live over again, I would only see Pacific Rim.

Pacific Rim is one of those films that isn’t based off of a comic book, anime, or old TV show, but it feels like it should be. It has a simple premise: giant robots beat up giant monsters. Yeah, this film is not too high on the intelligent scale.

This film is under the command of Guillermo Del Toro, who gave us both the Hellboy movies. He almost directed the last Hobbit movie but left due to differences with the studio. I would not be surprised if he took off because he thought that Pacific Rim was a more imaginative movie.

Granted, giant robots are nothing new to film. We have Michael Bay to thank for bringing the Transformers to life, but many complained that it was difficult to see a lot of action in those films. I will agree, because I think Bay was smart enough to realize that too much screen time on these robots would allow audiences to see how fake they actually are. This is a trick of effects films, is not to show it for too long.

Pacific Rim also uses the method of short effects shots, but what is shown is darn impressive. Even though the robots in Pacific Rim are over ten times larger than those in Transformers, the director knows how to make them massively lifelike. The best shot is when one of the battle-damaged robots makes it to shore, and you see quite a bit of astounding detail. Then there is also a scene where a giant robot uses a cargo ship like a baseball bat. It is totally worth the price of admission for that.

Even though I said that Pacific Rim is an original concept for a film, it does have a lot of conventions that it falls into. There is the rugged hero with a damaged past, a master plan to bring down the enemy in one foul swoop, and a leader who gives the inspirational speech where everyone cheers. It is very similar to Independence Day.

Also, there is a lot of suspension of disbelief. For example, if monsters are invading, it would most certainly take years to create these robots the size of tall buildings. The monsters could have just destroyed the world while you were trying to create a similar defense to their offense. After all, the film shows that the monsters are defeated with weaponry like missiles. Why do we need the big robots again?

The film also shows that the world was trying to build a giant wall around its coastline to protect itself from these monsters. They also show how flimsy of a defense it is, and this shows how the monsters are growing in power. It must have taken years to build this wall, though.

Still, just see this film for its sheer awesomeness alone. The world it creates is just a delight to watch. I would have to say it is “the summer movie” and proof that some originality and imagination still exist in Hollywood.

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