Tuesday, 16 July 2013
CINEMA: PACIFIC RIM
Giant monsters, mmmm!
I've loved giant monster movies for as long as I can remember. The original King Kong is probably, no, certainly my favourite movie ever. I liked the early Ray Harryhausen monsters of the 50's -giant octopus and rhedosaurus (dinosaur) and am a big fan of Japanese monsters. most notably Godzilla which is a prime inspiration, along with Japanese giant robots (which predated the pathetic Transformers) which inspired the film.
So you can imagine how hot I was for this movie.
And you can also imagine my disappointment that it wasn't nearly as good as I'd hoped.
First off it shares the same problem as the Godzilla flics. When the monsters aren't on the screen the film slows to a crawl because the puny humans aren't very interesting even when they're shouting at each other, which they do a lot here. Mind you, most giant monster movies suffer from the same problem. The only one I can remember that has a great human story in it is the Korean The Host which has a dysfunctional poor family as the focus; admittedly the monster is big but not gigantic either. Despite a strong cast, PR just doesn't cut it on the human front.
Secondly, way too much of the monster action is set either at night or in/under water or both and it tends to happen way too quickly to appreciate everything that's going on. It may be more realistic (like that should matter in a film like this!) but it doesn't help the enjoyment. Basically, brighter! slower! I also would have liked to see more robot on monster action on dry land and not just in anonymous cityscapes. And something I was wondering about while the robots were shooting or firing rockets or bludgeoning the monsters was if a short sword might not be more effective. In this I was right but they were saving it for the penultimate battle.
I never thought I'd say this but I am not adding Pacific Rim to my list of DVDs to buy and I'm someone who bought Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters on Blu-Ray! (And very good it is too -see my Amazon review or wait for me to get my finger out and review it here.)