Anyway, when was the last time you saw a stupid movie? Not bad – just stupid. With the kind of base concept we might have thought up in the playground. Man of Steel, Jumper, Iron Man… whatever. Now tell me the last movie that knew it had a silly concept. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Pacific Rim is one of those rare self-aware movies. The central concept is something a small boy might have come up with smashing together his Japanese action figures. Monsters invade the Earth through a portal and the UN is left with two options: a big wall or even bigger robots. Thankfully, they choose big robots followed by a wall which appears to be made from papier mache.
As an homage to any number of B-movies and 80s cartoons, Pacific Rim is a joy to watch for anyone close to 30 years old. It’s almost nostalgic in its nonsense. Beyond that though, it’s an awful lot of fun.
Ron Perlman playing a golden shoe-wearing monster poacher, broad racial stereotypes that are too cartoonish to be offensive (including Torchwood‘s Burn Gorman as a bumbling English scientist), robots that look like a little Rockem Sockem and absolutely mind blowing effects all feed into an overall feeling of fun an fantasy. The dramatic or romantic moments add a little depth, but don’t really linger long enough to spoil the fun.
This movie won’t change your life. What it will do is excite you, entertain you and make you grin like the little kid who wrote the first draft. Just don’t take it too seriously; it’s makers certainly didn’t.
It’s a lesson that a lot of comic book movies should pick up on. Despite Reeves’ contributions, we know men can’t fly. We know 16-wheelers aren’t robots in disguise and we know that a man dressed as a flying mammal doesn’t protect Goth New York. We know these things, and wet we come to watch anyway.