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I really can't resist, even though I haven't actually seen "Pacific Rim" yet...
But this is the Tet Zoo analysis of the 'science' of 'Pacific Rim'


Plenty of spoilers, if you care.

I was fascinated to note that some of the reasons I was urged to see this movie were that, hey it was [no it isn't, actually] headlined by a black man and an Asian woman, and that it had two really cool nerds/geeks in it, are contradicted by Naish who notes an almost complete absence of women and that the geeks/nerds are totally Hollywood stereotypes (or, in the opinion of Mark Kermode, comic relief.)

I may still go, though am worried about being deafened... and, of course, annoyed.

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I think he was too busy analysing the monsters to see the women ... but he is right about the nerds being comic relief.

There are 56 credited characters. Of those, six are female, and if those six, one is a young version of the one major female character, one is an AI voice, and one puts in an appearance as someone's Mom. I think Darren has a point.

some of the reasons I was urged to see this movie were that, hey it was [no it isn't, actually] headlined by a black man and an Asian woman,

If you're referring to my post, I never said that. What I said was: The top two co-stars behind the hero are a Japanese woman and a black man.

It was all over Tumblr, actually. Your post was sorta confirming the message.

Edited at 2013-07-27 04:11 am (UTC)

Still not saying that they were the headliners. I said "behind the hero."

Edited at 2013-07-27 04:15 am (UTC)

Then why would (not only you) have thought that people going to see this movie would make any difference to the mindset of Hollywood suits? PoC and women are second-listed all the time in blockbusters.

I am waaaay too drunk to really answer this properly, but basically I was pleased because the entire movie wasn't just white men. The man in charge of the program is black. The person the hero wants for his partner is a Japanese woman. This matters. This is important. I wish more movies had this kind of diversity.

You must see very different movies than I do... I agree absolutely that there should be more women and PoC headlining and represented in movies, particularly summer blockbusters. But, perhaps because I don't watch any films by Michael Bay, I don't see many with fewer women in the cast than Pacific Rim (see my reply to Fran) and very few films that don't have the odd 'ethnic' representative somewhere in the middle rank of the cast list. (Idris Elba, a fine actor who has made some really bad choices, seems to have based his entire Hollywood career on doing this.)

Edited at 2013-07-27 04:48 am (UTC)

Actually, most of the action films I've come across are along the everyone-is-white-and-nearly-everyone-is-male line, including The Avengers, which I loved! But - off the top of my head - that film contained exactly one black character and three women with speaking parts and that's pretty much it. The male Avengers alone outnumbered Pepper Potts, Maria Hill and Natasha Romanov. Even in RED, the film which handed Helen Mirren a machine gun and earned my undying love by so doing, there were five or six male action heroes to Helen Mirren's machine gun-toting former spy and one very confused ingénue, plus an evil bit-part character. In case you haven't seen it, there is a PoC character in it. He's one of the action heroes. He dies halfway through.

I think possibly the most appropriate comparison for Pacific Rim is Star Trek: Into Darkness - two big sci-fi blockbusters full of action/adventure, aimed squarely at a mainstream audience - and that, in that context, Pacific Rim is very valuable in terms of diversity. ST:ID whitewashed Khan and reduced women to totty in their underwear or mothers, that's it. (These are basic observations only; I'm sure you know Trek far better than I do and can think of far more reasons to fulminate about ST:ID.) It's highly regrettable that PR has such a hideously limited female cast, and yes, they could have done more on that front. Nonetheless, Stacker Pentecost and Mako Mori matter. Especially Mako, who isn't the female lead because she's the love interest; she's the female lead because she's extraordinarily competent and intelligent and uniquely qualified to fight the Kaiju. The fact that the male lead worships the ground she walks on is a nice addition, but in some senses secondary. They could be Drift compatible without him thinking she's the bomb.

I completely agree with your point that we need more diverse representation in more media - but that includes films by Michael Bay (who I agree is gross) and his ilk. It's not a group I'd put Guillermo del Toro in, but PR fits into it, and I think it's an important step in the direction of greater diversity in media. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

I looked down my pile of recent films on DVD and they were all about the same - a small number of women (and The Avengers did, at least, have two women in major roles, which is one more than Pacific Rim) and maybe a couple of ethnic characters in middle rank roles (exactly like Pacific Rim.) What I dislike is the idea of this movie being held up as any better than, say, Prometheus, which had two women actually headlining!

Edited at 2013-07-27 06:24 pm (UTC)

Oh, and as I have pointed out elsewhere to Becky, the most bankable star in Hollywood, who can get some really, really bad films made and yet make money on his name above the title alone is a black man - to wit, Will Smith. Look up his entry on Wikipedia if you don't believe me.

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