Welcome to the first post of the New Year! I figured that I’d go back in time to rewatch Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots versus monsters epic, Pacific Rim.
If you ask me the true test of whether or not a movie is a good one is that of time, namely if it can stand up well to repeated viewings.
And despite the fact that del Toro’s Pacific Rim underwhelmed domestically–the bulk of its $400 billion dollar box office was due to its popularity internationally–it’s damn enjoyable and stands up to revisiting very well.
Though there are a few narrative oddities–not at all unusual for a movie of this sort–such as how it is in one scene you can see one of the jagers (giant robots built to defend humanity) in the ocean, apparently walking on the sea bottom, while in the next scene a kaiju (the monsters the jagers were built to defend against) is swimming about.
The problem being that both the kaiju and jager’s are huge, though not THAT huge; so if a kaiju were in enough water to swim (or should I say doggie paddle) it goes without saying that the water would be too deep for the jager to stand upright and have its upper body break the surface, if at all.
It’s a relatively minor point and I suspect it was done deliberately because the giant robots would look a bit less heroic if their heads barely cleared the ocean.
It’s also a relatively minor detail, though Guillermo del Toro is a director that clearly sweats the smallest details, particularly when it comes to production design, so it was a bit of a surprise he let such a detail slip.
Overall Pacific Rim–unlike Michael Bay’s Transformers–exhibits none of the cynicism, sexism and seeming racism of Bay’s movies and is a love letter to a genre that del Toro clearly loves.
So how is it that Del Toro’s movie can just squeak by, in terms of profitability, while Bay’s Transformers movies are virtually a license to print money?
I literally have no idea, though thee’s no question that Pacific Rim is the best giant robot movie to come along in a long time–though it lacks the practical effects of the much underrated Robot Jox–and deserved to do much better theatrically in this country than it ended up doing.
As I said, I don’t quite get it, then again there’s never been a direct correlation between a movie doing well and it being well-made.
Which is a pity because as it currently stands there’s absolutely no incentive for Michael Bay to make a better Transformers movie; one that respects the intelligence of the audience–and it should go without saying–trade in often cheap tawdriness at the expense of female characters in the movie.