5 reasons Pacific Rim is the most important blockbuster of the year

by Brodie Marchant Featured 28 Comments 22 Votes 3966 Views 17/07/2013 Back to Articles

Pacific Rim has had critics and audiences alike battling like Jaegars and Kaiju all across the web for the past week.
It may be more 'heated discussion' than 'global destruction' but people are passionately fighting, not for the sake of mankind, but for that of the Hollywood blockbuster (which some may even consider the sake of mankind.) Guillermo Del Toro's epic is really separating viewers. Some folk are shouting adoring praise, whilst others are vehemently tearing it apart.

Is Pacific Rim our Noah's Ark amongst this sea of Hollywood monstrosities or is just another nasty Kaiju in disguise? Valid opinions are being heard on both sides of the fence, but instead of more of that, how about we try list some reasons as to why this movie is important and why we care so damn much about whether Pacific Rim is good or not.

An original property


Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Furious 6, Iron Man 3, Oz the Great and the Powerful, Jack the Giant Slayer, The Hangover Part III, World War Z, Monsters University, The Lone Ranger, The Wolverine. Just listing those is tiring, and I apologize for bringing back numerous bad memories and regretfully lost coin.

As we are all well aware of, the franchise and the sequel are huge movie business epidemics. They are generally sure-fire hits for the studios, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee quality and it really stifles the potential for new creativity. Not to mention that we are being spoon fed the same movies time and time again.

Pacific Rim may take a lot of influences from many properties in the past, Del Toro's wide range of interests are definitely put on display here in this which so many are calling a love letter. But the mere fact that Pacific Rim is a 200 million dollar movie that did not exist in any way shape or form 10 years ago is nothing short of a miracle.

A niche blockbuster


Niche blockbusters do not exist. By nature they are designed for as wide of an audience as possible. Take a look at Transformers, the original franchise was aimed at kids, but they bumped the movies up to a teenage focus group. You have to wonder why there's a parent sub-plot in all three movies. No young person enjoyed these parts, they were clearly there to entertain the parents bringing their kids along.
This is unacceptable tripe clogging up these movies. Why can't we have a Superman movie aimed purely at comic book geeks?

Pacific Rim is made for children and the few of us adults that can tap into their inner-child. It's filled with the same level of cheese that a saturday morning cartoon would be. It's pretty much a 200 million dollar Power Rangers, without the “transformification” (you can add that new term to your movie-speak glossary) seen in the live action Transformers.

For those that the silly plot and stereotypical characters worked for, I suspect it's because they fit the niche. They just wanted to have pure childish fun, and checked their big boy pants at the door.

Blockbusters being made for minority groups is a step in the right direction to making better big movies.

Coherent action


This one may be controversial. Due to some of the dulled projections cinemas use to save costs showing in 3D, some of the battles set at night may have been completely incomprehensible for some. But for those whose cinema didn't screw them over, what we got was glorious slow moving action.

In many action films today, the cutting is rapid and often incoherent. Take a look at the opening of Quantum of Solace. Explain to me what is happening past 'James Bond is driving a car real fast, and so are other people, I think...'

By the nature of the colossal battles taking place in Pacific Rim, every movement is a lot slower. It takes a large amount of heft to raise an arm as big as a building. What some folk are calling the most intense action of the year is also the slowest action of the year. Take a second to let that sink in.

This leads into the next reason, but take this tidbit into account too: Del Toro actually planned the action sequences so specifically, that even when they cut to the inside of the Jaegars, the characters would be facing the same direction, so as not to confuse audiences. For the film students out there, that's the 180 degree rule taken to the extreme.

Destruction weighted with consequence


Star Trek into Darkness and Man of Steel are both culprits of not really caring that the actions in the films likely killed thousands of people. In Man of Steel there isn't even a throwaway line of recognition to the leveling of an entire city. We get an awkward kiss instead.

Pacific Rim is set at the end of these Kaiju attacks. Entire city's have been destroyed by these beasts all around the world and that's lead the world to join forces, set aside their differences and fight back. It's mankind’s last stand. The losses are too great, and every single human knows this.

This is also true in the smaller (heh) sense. What makes the epic fights between robot and monster so engaging is that there is physical damage shown on each party which influences the direction the battle takes.

One swipe from a Kaiju easily takes off a Jaegar's limb. This is still a kids movie, but they really get away with a lot of dismemberment. It's refreshing to see real damage being done, and to batter Man of Steel even further; it was pretty boring seeing two indestructible beings fight each other for 20 minutes.

Kaiju's are a global threat - Jaegar's are a global response


Del Toro has envisioned a world where the center of the universe is not America. It's a relief to see other countries joining in to save the world. There's a Japanese Jaegar, a Russian one and even an Australian one (unfortunately actual living Aussies were not cast as these characters, and what resulted were some pretty iffy accents.)

Pacific Rim truly felt like the whole world was responding to a giant global threat. For an international audience like us, it's much easier to become invested when your home is just as much at stake as the character's.

I think we can forgive the bad accents, seeing as Striker Eureka was a pretty badass Jaegar.

Just as the movie itself is, the discussion surrounding Pacific Rim is also important, and likely has legs to continue on for years. We are yet to see the cultural impact this new property could have.

What are your thoughts? Is this the next Star Wars, as it's being claimed as? Or will this fade as quickly as that last original blockbuster we got. The one with Tom Cruise. I forget it's name...

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Australian Release: Out Now

5 reasons Pacific Rim is the most important blockbuster of the year Comments

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... Or that godawful After Earth.

Fantastic write up.
Tano
+
Does anyone find it funny that the Sydney Opera House is consistently right at the forefront of gates into hell/alien invasions/monster battles/natural disasters?

Great read, anyway. Still haven't seen this. Maybe tonight ;)
Thanks dudes.
I tried to keep my opinion from the article as much as possible, I can really understand both viewpoints I've seen.

But I ****ing LOVED this movie XD
Awesomely well written article. Sadly I have to wait until the 28th to see the film, but this just makes me so damn excited to see it. Can't wait.

Nighty666 said: Awesomely well written article. Sadly I have to wait until the 28th to see the film, but this just makes me so damn excited to see it. Can't wait.


Since your seeing it in IMAX, it's going to be well worth the wait!
Another very important reason although this doesn't apply to very many people - It gave a lot of Kaiju movie fans big hopes that Godzilla 2014 won't become an atrocity to the brand like the 98 one was.

Pacific Rim is quickly climbing ranks to my favourite movie of all time.

Also, Crimson Typhoon was Chinese not Japanese :P (Couldn't help myself =D)
Although as a concept this story was around 10 years ago in the form of an anime named Neon Genesis Evangelion.

People/teenagers piloting massive mechs/robots in the hopes to save the world from over sized monsters sent to destroy us all.

Might I add the anime also did it a lot better in the way of a story line and character development.

*Backs out of the room before I get rotten fruit thrown at me*

Tano said: Does anyone find it funny that the Sydney Opera House is consistently right at the forefront of gates into hell/alien invasions/monster battles/natural disasters?


Yeah, I'm staying well away from that place..
@Leasha
Was Neon Genesis Evangelion really the first mech concept?
I feel that it's been around for a very long time...
@Leasha
Did some digging. The first one was in 1956.
en.wikipedia.org/...

Mecha is a giant stable of anime/manga. You know that Neon Genesis drew from 50 years of this genre just as Pacific Rim drew from 60 years of it, right?
Original ideas aside that still doesn't explain the terrible story line. Imo I really disliked all the characters. I didn't connect with any of them, the Aussie accents of the father and son made me cringe...

I loved the special effects. I'm a massive mech fan but yeeeeah. The story was just too poor in my opinion.

I'd argue that the world building was pretty terrific.
A lot of the cultural stuff surrounding the Kaiju's like the religion, and the market Ron Perlman is apart of was pretty cool.

And the story was just silly enough to be great.
If I'm reading this right...

You love the story in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
You hate the story in Pacific Rim.
But you find that Pacific Rim is a copy of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

So you technically love and hate the story? :P

Script and character issues I understand though. It is a legit reason for disliking this film... because if you can't accept the cheese, the hokey dialogue and OTT acting than you stand no chance of liking the film. All those grivances are good reasons to not like something *nod*
Indeed- parts of it are similar.
Story wise though Pacific Rim suffers heavily.
Good write up @OutsetBrodie good to see a movie guru actually talk positive about this movie. I will now start breaking in my car when I see a movie reviewer cross the road. :P
Didn't think you could have "Niche" and "Blockbuster" in the same sentence... well played.

Guyver said: Good write up @OutsetBrodie good to see a movie guru actually talk positive about this movie. I will now start breaking in my car when I see a movie reviewer cross the road.



You mean besides the vast majority of them that have been speaking positive about this for weeks? :P

Leasha said: Although as a concept this story was around 10 years ago in the form of an anime named Neon Genesis Evangelion...Might I add the anime also did it a lot better in the way of a story line and character development.



But Evangelion's story was so convoluted...
Also, Pacific Rim is 2 and a bit hours. It's hard to fit in as much character development as a show with 20+ episodes. Pacific Rim had a bare bones story but it got you right into the action.
I need to watch Evangelion properly, I've only seen a few episodes when it was on SBS back in the day - A handful of my friends have also compared it to Pacific Rim but I haven't seen much of a connection at all even with the Jaegers and the "Mecha" from Evangelion.
Awesome write up here @OutsetBrodie
As @Guyver mentioned its good to see something positive about the movie and you make some great points!
I saw it on the weekend and thought it was a great movie..

granted the aussie accents were dodgy and the
whole thing about Kaijus being dinosaurs were a bit iffy but i thought it was a good film.

Both my mate and I were on the edge of our seat during the fighting scenes...first movie i thought, they arent going to get out of this...

Tano said: Does anyone find it funny that the Sydney Opera House is consistently right at the forefront of gates into hell/alien invasions/monster battles/natural disasters?
Great read, anyway. Still haven't seen this. Maybe tonight



I think this is more for the Americans to know that is in fact australia. All it needed was a Kangaroo bouncing across lol

The one thing I am puzzled about this movie is though
how the Jaegers were getting defeated easily, and they thought that decommissioning them in place of a giant wall would be more promising? -_-
They said it's possible that they sent Kaiju during the dinosaur period and decided it wasn't time to harvest yet, but no one said that they were dinosaurs.

I believe they also said they have 2 brains similar to dinosaurs because their bodies are so big.
@KezDaMuss

Well it's supposed to be a bad idea. That's why we root for the characters fighting for their method. If the Government were to propose a good plan there would be no movie.

It's the same thing as what took place in Avengers.
The Government gave up on The Avengers and tried to nuke New York.

The difference is, in Del Toro land everything is a little more ridiculous.
i know i just thought it was a bit ehhh when they decided a giant wall would perform better than a giant machine...still a great movie though

Re:Dinosaurs I thought Charlie Days character said that they came as dinosaurs but the climate was potent for them after the mind drift part but may have misunderstood that bit
1 reason it's not

Because there is nothing in it to make it an important blockbuster

chucky110 said: 1 reason it's not
Because there is nothing in it to make it an important blockbuster


Good one.
I know

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