Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pacific Rim Review

Why are you reading this? Go see it! It is awesome. Yes it that good.
OK you want a real review.

It is a movie about a giant monsters called Kaiju (Japanese for Giant Monster) emerging from an interdimensional rift and terrorizing the planet. To combat them giant robots called Jaegers were built. The Jaegers are too complex for a single individual so two have to work together to pilot them by using a mind melding technology known as drifting.

Why it good?

Well look at what you consider the best of the OSR. I bet you consider it good because it bring something new but at the same time it is thoroughly meshed in the tropes and mechanics of classic D&D. Without being overly wordy or pretentious.

That what exactly Pacific Rim feels like. Everything you like about the old Saturday Afternoon giant monster films is in here but better. There is a sense of a deeper background but they don't throw it in your face or waste a lot of time explaining it. The characters have depth and their issues feel natural. The actors do a good job. 

Of course the Giant Monsters are awesome. 

Don't get me wrong there is no exploration of deep truths in this movie. And there are a few issues, too much of it is in dark lighting, along one obvious technobabble flaw. But they are minor compared to shear awesomness of seeing giant robots, smashing giant robots.

It just fun. So stop reading this and go see it.

It awesome.

P.S. I were the Battletech guys, I would do a cut down version of their BT mechanics, figure out how to represent the monsters with  a SSD add mechanics and get a license pronto. Or hell just make up their own monsters and release the game.


Leonardo said...

I keep reading enthusiastic reviews about this movie and, to be honest, I'm beginning to feel a little out of place since I don't share in the enthusiasm. Actually, I almost ended up despising Pacific Rim.
It might be because I expected way too much, but when I listen to people saying that the movie reminds them of Evangelion, I feel like I live on a different planet. The only things those two fictional works share are huge robots and huge aliens...

To me Pacific Rim was definitely shallow and trivial, more like it was born as an excuse to show off a ton of hyperrealistic special CG effects than an actual movie.
I really can't see how those characters can seriously be considered deep.
It feels like the production spent all his attention and money on the graphic compartment and didn't have any interest in developing a decent script.
That's a shame, especially because they actually had a very interesting and pretty original intuition: the idea of employing two mind-linked pilots to control the robot, each one managing his own half of the machines's functions and limbs, deserved a much better and much deeper treatment.

Just think about the price that piloting such a piece of military hardware would impose on the pilots, and its psychological consequences.
It's not just about accessing someone else's painful memories and feelings, it's about having someone poking into the deepest and most secret recesses of your mind. It's about someone looking at those parts of your soul that you might not be comfortable with yourself or whose existence you might actually prefer to forget. Such a symbiosis would involve a degree of intimacy that would easily trespass into a violation of a person's mental integrity.
Had the authors of Pacifc Rim focused their storytelling on such a theme, the movie would have looked a lot more like Evangelion (not surprisingly, there is a scene in Evangelion that see Asuka psychically attacked by an Angel that infiltrates her mind, stirring terrible memories related to her mother's suicide, and resulting in a rape-like experience that leaves the girl even more mentally scarred than she already was).

Robert Conley said...

I think the point of the movie was to see giant robots smash giant monsters. And set in a milieu that was interesting enough.

For example the Nolan Batman series was certainly good and Dark Knight (middle film) was outstanding. But sometimes you want watch Batman be Batman.

In this case I wanted to see an interesting Giant Robot vs Giant Monster fight. Which is exactly what I felt I got.

Hedgehobbit said...

My main complaint was that there really wasn't enough in the way of giant robots fighting. There were really only three full fights. The first one and the last one were filmed in the water and you couldn't really tell what was going one.

The one fight in Hong Kong was awesome. There just wasn't enough of that. Compare the move to Real Steel which had tons of fights against varied enemies where you could tell what was going on. That's what I was expecting. Not fights half submerged, in the rain and at night.

Rich said...

I was listening to Chris Hussey on the Fear the Boot podcast a while back and he said when he wrote "Hot Spots" for Battletech, he had a planet with large dragon like creatures that you could fight with your mechs. He was joking that he wanted royalties from the creators of the pacific rim movie :) I found the Hot Spots Battletech supplement on Amazon, although I've never played the game...

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