Kevin: That actually leads into our next review. This one’s by Rex Reed of the New York Observer.
Nick: The football coach?
Kevin: That would be great, but no. Basically, he’s the biggest troll of movie criticism.
Jane: I don’t like his stuff.
Kevin: Nobody likes him. So, let me read this. “An hour and 20 minutes into this 2 hour 11 minute endurance test, a hungry Kaiju attacks the city of Hong Kong and eats the neon sign of every Cantonese restaurant in Victoria Harbor. It’s sort of worth waiting around for.”
Kevin: What does that even mean?
Jane: I guess he hates this world so much…
Kevin: It also seems a little racist, what he’s saying. Nothing overt, but it feels racist.
Jane: Yeah, it is. I guess that’s one of the critiques of the movie; they had a lot of international characters but the ones who really got to talk were still mostly white.
Nick: I agree with that critique. Also, can I just say, we do not need fucking bland-as-shit white male main characters anymore.
Nick: I mean, for fuck’s sake. After the movie, I was like, “is that the same guy from Tron Legacy?” because they’re both movies with absolute personality black holes in the lead, and I don’t know why. He wasn’t even in the marketing. This movie is about monsters and robots, so you can do a cool, interesting main character. It doesn’t have to be this fucking idiot.
Kevin: The funny thing is that I think all of the acting in the movie is really good except the lead, Charlie Hunnam.
Jane: So bad.
Kevin: So, so terrible. I think he was the one major failure of this movie.
Nick: Yeah, and also they didn’t need to have the other white team be the only team with lines, y’know. That was a little egregious.
Kevin: I did kind of like the father/son dynamic. I wasn’t totally against it.
Nick: Couldn’t be a Chinese father and son?
Kevin: I love the Chinese Jaeger with three pilots. It literally makes no sense. “They’re triplets, they have three arms.” They should have six arms!
Nick: What was the name of the three arm technique? I can’t remember… the Get Fucking Killed Immediately technique?
Darryl: And the Russian’s robot is like the largest, clunkiest robot, but also the most powerful, and the Chinese one is the most elegant robot. The gymnast of robots.
Jane: I love the introduction to the robots. I love scenes in sci-fi films where they have to somehow work in the explanation of the world, so I loved Charlie Day’s character as a vehicle to explain everything while he’s also marveling at it.
Nick: Yeah, it does that good infodump thing where he’s discovering stuff along with the audience, rather than just telling you things.
Kevin: Okay onto the next quote. This is from Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: “If this is the best we can do in terms of movies, if something like this can speak to the soul of audiences, maybe we should just turn over the camera and equipment to the alien dinosaurs and see what they come up with.”
Jane: Who are they hiring? These writers are so bad. It just makes no sense.
Kevin: He must be complaining about the character development. Which is limited, but it does very well for the limited time it has. This is a movie that had to be made for an international audience. Blatantly. Internationally, movies have to do everything. They have to have action, drama, comedy, and romance. Pacific Rim balances all of those things very well.
Darryl: It makes me think of a classically structured play. Like, each major robot sequence is the end of its act. You could make a comparison to a Shakespeare play, in that there’s only one character who has a lot of development, which would be Stacker Pentecost, and all the others are there for flavor and color. At any given time, the audience isn’t saturated by any particular thread. It’s not going to be like The Tree of Life where you have eight really deep characters, or however many. In that sense, you’ll find better parallels to movies made in the ’40s or ’50s.
Kevin: It’s interesting because Idris Elba isn’t the main character, but he’s the central character.
Darryl: He’s the protagonist in that he’s the one pushing the action forward.
Jane: He even says, at one point, like, “I need to be the still point.” His delivery was so good. It speaks to him as a character, but he had the best dialogue.
Kevin: He knows how to ham things up. Can we agree that “we are canceling the apocalypse” is the stupidest thing ever written? But he totally sells it.
Nick: Right, and this movie is very popular online, but I think the only two lines I’ve seen people having fun with on Twitter were that one and the “rule number one, don’t touch me” one. Those might be the only two really memorable lines in the movie, and it’s no coincidence they’re his.
Darryl: “Not Gipsy Danger, she’s analog.”
Kevin: That’s the one line that Charlie Hunnam delivers well because he looks like he’s about to crack up as he says it.
Nick: It helps that he’s such a clueless actor saying such a clueless line.
Darryl: Then the computer voice guides them through the whole fight.
Nick: Did the filmmakers know how silly that was, that line? They had to.
Jane: Everyone in my theater laughed.
Darryl: Mine too.
Kevin: It’s a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Jane: At all.