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Movie Breakdown: Pacific Rim (Noah)

July 11, 2013

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

I’ve been dripping with anticipation sweat about this one since Guillermo del Toro announced his uncompromising goal to create it oh so many moons ago.

The Reality:

Best. Summer. Flick. Yet.

There is going to be a common tide of reviews that argue that this film only makes good on how it represents the greatest part of its premise – giant fucking robots fighting giant fucking monsters. Part of this is true – Guillermo del Toro makes the most entertaining giant robots smashing giant monsters in the head with big things movie, well, ever. He manages to sidestep the key visual problem of a film like Transformers (the need for Michael Bay to show every whirring part of every whirring machine) and makes a clean, crisp, visually gorgeous big budget action film. You will see robots fight monsters in outrageously colored glory. There is no doubt about that. Where I disagree with the other reviews out there is that the film fails on a story level. If you are walking in to the theater expecting a deeply complex bit of story, you my friend might be disappointed. This is a story in the vein of an 80s blockbuster, simple and well-told, playing to the themes and archetypes already deeply instilled in the American culture. This is a story about a big bad and a group of down-trodden heroes that have to step up on a grand scale to save the Earth, no matter what the cost. Yes, Charlie Humman’s Raleigh is a flawed hero as Idris Elba’s character is a hard-nosed commander with a heart of gold and Charlie Day’s wacky scientist is just that, a wacky scientist. But del Toro gets what we want as a fans – well written, easily defined stereotypes that we can, with little effort, relate to. This is, quite simply, a story about robots beating on monsters and vice versa and as important as it is for the characters to be well-painted and the story to be developed enough to be interesting, at the end of the day these are just our avatars for the robot-beating-on-monster thrill ride. It seems clear the del Toro understands this and has crafted a movie thusly.

The Lesson:

GDT should make a movie every year forever.

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