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Watching Pacific Rim
(And occasionally glancing at Ina, who has gone to sleep. I expected that. Nothing bores her more than big machines hitting each other.)

Before I start, I must say that, though I love anime, I have always hated mecha.

However, I love the aesthetic of this movie. The design is a joy. The music is fab too.

The same cannot be said of the logic of the world building or the plot. The characters are so stereotyped it's difficult to believe in them even for a moment. As for the technobabble... it seems to be words just strung randomly together. And the laws of physics have been suspended for the duration.

(Interrupt: Oh Christ - dinosaurs did not have two brains. THIS IS A MYTH. The man is supposed to be a biologist for pity's sake.)

The FX is occasionally dreadful (and there are bits that are just plain silly) the characters are stereotypes and racial stereotypes at that. The acting is over-the-top, while plot and background are basically illogical. Who'd let any of these people loose (and sharing memories) in huge robots?

And what I said originally about this not being a feminist movie goes double, unless things change drastically in the last third....

Later: DNA was bad enough. Now we get wombs and umbilical cords - if the bloody things are placental mammals then I'm an insect.

Afterwards: no change to my opinion. Cliché after cliché and, while Mako is the most interesting character, it isn't saying a lot. I can, of course, see why fandom adored it. (Mainly the Drift - oh, the opportunities for fanfic...) At least, as Ina remarked, you can always see what is happening, which is very, very unusual for an effects-based film, even one that is not made for 3D. I was pretty bored during the last twenty minutes...

Two and a half stars out of five, mainly for the design and the cinematography.

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Yeah, gorgeous design, some nice moments, but a plot that was worse than many modern kids TV shows.

But was it worse than most anime plots? ... Just saying...

Well, most of the anime I've seen had better plots, but I'm very choosy about my anime, and I'm not fond of what little mecha I've seen.

I think a distillation of most of the posts about PR that I've seen would boil down to 'we love it because it's not about Raleigh's pain at losing his brother and is about the respect he has for Mako' and because that carries through to them not kissing at the end, and Mako is a great female character who's in an action movie to be something more than a sexy lampshade.

The movie didn't do an awful lot for me but I like the idea of it quite a bit. Could have done with more women in named roles or with actual speaking parts though.

The fact that something is this popular mostly due to its substantially lower than normal level of sexism is something one can only hope (fantasise) trickles through to impact on subsequent movie making choices.

Were there any other women with speaking roles? There may have been, but I can't say I noticed them. As none of them had a conversation with Mako, the Bechdel test was moot.

I didn't think the movie was 'about' anything much except, you know, saving the world from monsters (mainly by Becket.) You could equally say it was about revenge. Or redemption(though Idris Elba was so wooden, who could tell?) Becket was the standard all-American hero, and he finally saved the day, as expected. Mako was the equally standard Asian woman who is good at martial arts but has 'issues' (and Becket's insisting on her being on the team was, to put it mildly, silly after her earlier performance.) The Aussies were incredibly stereotyped. The geeks were unconvincing as geeks and just played for laughs - and the humour was far too slapstick for my personal taste.

The multi-racial casting is much more admirable than the role of women in this movie. Mako's role is prominent, but is it any more so than, say, the women in Alien, or Red, or Salt or even Star Wars?

Edited at 2013-11-18 01:49 pm (UTC)

I do not disagree, merely mentioning my translation of the general reasons for enthusiasm.

I think the female Russion jaeger pilot might get to say a few words, but only to her copilot, and I really don't think that counts.

Yeah, I know. It's an example of fans seeing what they want to see rather than what is actually there. There was a stronger (and more efficient) female presence in Hellboy: the Golden Army than in Pacific Rim (and Liz is even better in the Anime Hellboy movies.)

Interestingly, the audience in the US on the opening weekend was skewed heavily male (61%) and young.

I though the girl who played the young Mako gave the best performance, but then Del Toro has a knack with child actors. He also, and it has to be said that the aforementioned H:tGA is an example, a fascination with blokey conversation and fistfights.

Well, at least one of the aliens is female, and has a 'speaking part' (well, a 'showering the hero with venom and then dying' part). Come to think of it, there's nothing to suggest that all the aliens aren't female. Hollywood has a thing about female-and-pregnant-aliens which does nothing for the film business's feminist credentials.

Shows something about the patriarchy's fear of the power of reproduction...

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