Giant robots. Two pilots. Monsters coming from the ocean.

One of my new favorite movies. I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen this official trailer.

… today we are canceling the Apocalypse!

It’s not the Bill Pullman Independent’s Day speech but what is?

I remember seeing a giant robot use a ship as a club and I was immediately sold. Guillermo Del Toro is a great director and it will always be a shame that he didn’t direct The Hobbit. I think the thing that comes through in Pacific Rim is that he gets it. He really gets giant robots fighting monsters, and not only does he get it, he loves it.

And that kind of love really shines through. Pacific Rim is not a perfect movie, but I’d say it’s one of Del Toro’s best movies (the other immediate candidate being that other robot movie he did, Blade 2). There are some nonsensical lines about “no alloys” which confused me but whatever. Also space sword, but space sword is immediately balanced out by space sword, so I give it a pass.

The premise of the movie despite being pretty simple, does require like a 12 minute exposition at the beginning. In the future, super giant monsters started emerging from the Pacific Ocean and attacking human cities. To counter that, humanity started building giant robots (that require two pilots) and began fighting back with them. Then you skip ahead like a decade, and humanity is losing, and they’ve given up on the giant robot program.

One interesting thing about the movie, amidst a sea of interesting things, is that it’s a real international force being deployed against the giant monsters. The leader is British (Idris Elba not playing a Texan, and yes I’m talking to you Ridley Scott), arguably the protagonist is Japanese, an Australian plays a jerk, three Chinese guys are also there, as well as two Russians. It’s very weird for an American blockbuster.

I’ve remarked on this before, but the Japanese girl in the movie, the protagonist, is implied to be an amazing robo pilot. The American guy, who is her co-pilot, is reportedly one of the two pilots in history who have solo-piloted a giant robo, so he’s an exceptional guy, but he couldn’t take on a top tier monster without almost dying. On her first combat mission, the girl kills like three to four giant monsters in a running battle that ends in space.

She’s a giant monster killing machine. And Del Toro never really explicitly says it, it just becomes apparent the more I think about it.

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2 thoughts on “Giant robots. Two pilots. Monsters coming from the ocean.

    • It’s sort of a stab at Blade: Trinity. In Blade: Trinity, and somewhat in Blade 1, Blade is a rather stiff two dimensional character. What made Blade 2 exceptional to me was that Del Toro took Blade and fleshed him out, made him feel like a real person with a sense of humor and a truly tragic nature. Skip ahead to Blade: Trinity and Blade was basically a killer robot walking through wave after wave of vampire mooks. It was all really soulless by comparison.

      This manifests in little ways in Blade 2, take for example the moment when Blade, in the middle of a motorcycle fight with vampires, stops by his car and blows a kiss at it. Or when Reinhardt was pointing his gun at Blade, only to look down and realize that Blade, with his shit-eating grin, is pointing a gun at him too. Or all the cinematic flourishes that Blade does that, from an in-universe perspective, is SOLELY FOR HIS OWN ENTERTAINMENT. Or just how much Blade loves to look cool (though that great part of his character was in Blade 1 as well).

      All of this was lost in Blade: Trinity, and hence my thinking of it as a robot movies about Vampire Terminator.

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