Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Pacific Rim: The Gundam of the West? (The Rise of Cynitron)

Now before I begin, first of all, sorry for the lack of content recently, getting back was a fairly hectic experience, not aided by the fact that this heat wave we just went through in the UK fried my computer. So after lots of maneuvering and bank balance checking, I'm back, back again. Just a short article today, as Harvey has already dedicated some page time to Pacific Rim and I don't think it really deserves much more, but I was disappointed enough that I will write this anyway. 

This is not the last time Cynitron will appear on this website. 

(Syria up next, it has been delayed by the news of the Pakistan Taliban joining the fight, and the continual fear that David Cameron will say something really stupid for me to start the article with). (Also, the poem didn't get published pre-holiday because I'm really annoyed at the last line)

 Thanks Tech Daily for the best thing you eve made.

Now Pacific Rim was sold to me, as I believe it was to quite a few people, as Guillermo Del Toro trying to bring Gundam Style Mechs fighting Japanese style Monster's ergo Godzilla to the west in an attempt to put mainstream two things that have existed for quite a long time in a niche area of Western audiences. (I do not count the continual failures of Godzilla to be "mainstream"). (Interestingly enough the credits do dedicate this film to Ishirō Honda, the creator of Godzilla.)

There you go, the reason you had to sit through bad Jean Reno acting as a child. An unfortunate legacy for a great man. 

So then Pacific Rim was released while I was on the continent with my fellow Cynics, and we returned back to their house and found a large number of positive reviews, even from people and personalities who we respect. As such, on the second day of our return we went to check it out. As Harvey stated, mine and Simon's enjoyment was less than perfect. It had the action scenes alright, they looked incredible, though some of the underlying mechanics of the combat were poorly explained. Such as why every "Jaegar" (the name of the giant robots, German for Hunter) doesn't use their sword all the time. 

As such, here is the official WaC Jaegar, Cynitron, his "special technique" is to stab every single Monster he sees with that giant sword immediately. He would've resolved every fight in Pacific Rim within 1 minute and several hundred dollars of special effects budgets cheaper. 

Now Harvey already went into some detail about the balance of good and bad within Pacific Rim, so I'll keep it short. The characters are disappointingly simplistic, they generally have one to two traits, sometimes even those are communicated badly by the script. While the fights are visually gorgeous, the plot kills off all the interesting Jaegar pilots and Mechs before the 2nd big fight has even begun, as such we are just left to watch Gipsy Danger, a thoroughly uninteresting vanilla Jaegar punch it out. The monsters do not feel unique enough, even though there is clearly quite a nice lore behind them, it is never adequately explored and this seems to be an excuse for every Kaiju to do whatever the action scene requires whenever, irrespective of which Kaiju it is.

This is "Hard-line Commander with a secret soft spot" fulfilling his "We will put this line in the trailer" quota.

I think the most baffling thing about Pacific Rim for my perspective, is the internet reviewers and friends who told me it was good. Visually impressive, yes. Generic plot that rarely edges past acceptable and sometimes into "slap-stick" between the "science characters". Eh? Perhaps better than Man of Steel? Maybe, though that is barely an accolade. But when a character in Despicable Me 2 undergoes a more meaningful, less expected character arc than any character of a high budget Guillermo Del Toro film. Ouch. 


  1. Welcome back, though having seen an obituary for an Aaron Chapman in the Times, I thought you were dead and now have to un-mourn you. Anyway, found the robot fighty bits wondrous, but the rest was like finding your favourite blogger is dead.

    1. Didn't you find the rest hilarious though. I think the general having a bad cockney accent really made his character a thousand times more enjoyable. I know you can't credit a film for being badly made, but I think that in the same way we can compliment Titanic 2 for being so bad it's good, I think this movie deserves similar praise.

      Or were those bits as grating and annoying as a bad scene in a film normally are to you?

    2. I'm a great fan of something being 'so bad it's good' unless you are expecting 'so good it's good'. Maybe I should go and see it again with my 'ironic laughter hat on'.

    3. I laughed way too much about the obituary. Being Aaron Chapman just become a shade rarer. I also share your feeings on Pacific Rim, if I'd gone in there with my "cheesy Monster fight hat", I would proclaim it film of the year.

      As it stands it is competing with MoS for Disappointment of the year.

  2. Are we on for poem corner this weekend? I've done one on Syria that could plumb the depths of truly awful.

    1. Sure are, up tomorrow, this one has actually been "ready" for weeks.

      It is too poor to post, too complete to delete.

      I shall muster the courage tomorrow.

  3. "Waiting for David Cameron to say something stupid", I thought that was a daily occurance, although he is on holiday right now, I think. Oops, no politics.