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July 14, 2013


Do you see this poster? Do you see a ridiculously awesome, go-big-or-go-home premise involving giant monsters and giant robots? Good. Now go see the movie.

Yes, Pacific Rim is a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters To Save Mankind. It’s an epic, unapologetic B movie. You know this. I know this. It knows this, and it tries to be–and succeeds at being–the best B movie it can be, without ever taking itself too seriously. Pass the popcorn.

No one’s saying it’s perfect. For example: Charlie Hunnam’s Blondie McJaegerson (sorry, Raleigh Becket) doesn’t have enough charisma to fill a teacup, for one thing. Fortunately, the task of carrying the film doesn’t fall to him, and is more than deftly handled by a rockstar supporting cast featuring the likes of the magnificent Idris Elba and Torchwood’s Burn Gorman. The movie also–despite Rinko Kikuchi’s sublime female lead performance as pilot Mako Mori–fails the Bechdel test so hard it can’t have been trying.

But in an age of endless Hollywood remakes, reboots, rehashes, and reimaginings, Pacific Rim is a refreshingly original product that does a lot of things right, and I for one am pleased to have spoken for it with my money at the box office. For once, when we’re told that mankind is united in the face of an overwhelming obstacle, we actually see evidence that the world has stepped up to fight: Pacific Rim is a joyful cacophony of accents and languages, and the ensemble of Jaeger pilots and techs hail from not only America but also China, Russia, Japan, and Australia. For once, the relationship between the male and female leads is not overtly sexual, and Kikuchi’s badass, vengeance-seeking Mori is not sidelined as a damsel in distress for our “hero” to save.  And for once, you’re looking at a summer action movie that might be pretty dumb, but (a) doesn’t exhibit any gaping plot holes, and (b) is all in good, explosive, robot-on-monster fun.

And it is fun–so much fun. Go support it.

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