Godzillas vs. Transformers

If I were to give you any advice if/when you decide to go see Pacific Rim, it would be.. if you're seeing it in IMAX 3D.....whatever you do DON'T SIT IN THE FRONT ROW. Unfortunately, I had no other choice at my screening and believe me I suffered the consequences. As such, I'm not sure how much this affected my reading of the film, and so I can't really tell how accurate my opinion will be to what I might feel like if I had seen it in other circumstances. When you have a huge headache fogging your brain for two hours, it's hard to see clearly. But in terms of brainpower, this is the type of movie where it will be necessary to shut off your brain anyway.

While I was in line to redeem my passes for this film, a little girl who was accompanying her father decided to make conversation with me and asked what movie I was seeing. When she didn't recognize the title of the film, she asked what the movie was about. I told her "It's about these big scary monsters that come to earth, and these robots that fight them." She said nonchalantly "Oh. I've seen that movie before." I laughed and told her she was probably right...we probably all have seen this movie before. And well...she was pretty much spot on. That said, the action that you are no doubt seeing this film for is pretty spectacular. The other stuff? Well...that's where things get a little dicey.

My first problem with the film is, if you've seen any of the trailers, you've already seen the entire backstory this movie gives. I felt that there was so much unexplored territory in the story that was set up that was far more interesting than the story we got. The setup essentially is what I told that little girl: monsters come to earth, and robots fight them. Still....a movie CAN work with such a thin premise (and I'm not saying the film totally DOESN'T....I just wanted more from it,) but all of the pieces have to be in place. I think one of the biggest things that make or breaks a movie for me is not mind blowing action sequences....but rather strong memorable characters. That's what sticks with me. In fact, in searching my blog for previous posts on Pacific Rim to make sure I didn't use duplicate pictures, I found my preview post on the film and I said the following: Personally I'm hoping the characters can be good enough to make it truly memorable....the world doesn't need another Transformers.

Unfortunately, this film only had two (POSSIBLY three) side characters that really lit up the screen, and everyone else was two dimensional.  Charlie Hunnam is a fine lead (visually and otherwise,) but, unfortunately, his character lacks much of a personality....but then again so did all of the characters besides the scientists. It's kind of a problem in a movie like this when you make pretty much ALL of your characters expendable. Remind me again why we care if the monster eats these guys? I don't know...it just was kind of interesting to me to see these lead characters get these grand entrances...when none of them were really earned at all. If they knew they were making a b-movie reveling in action sequences only, I felt like they just should have gone all out and made ALL the characters as stereotypical as possible with cheesy dialogue galore.

Still. Some of the action sequences were just absolutely stunning and are definitely worth seeing on the big screen. More than just a few moments had me riveted and on the edge of my seat. The film is enjoyable and entertaining for long stretches at a time...... it's just not something that you'll remember for years to come. I wish more filmmakers would understand you can achieve BOTH....but in this reviewers' opinion, it's only the former. So shut off the brain cells and enjoy what you can....and whatever you do, don't sit in the front row! EMILY RATING: 6.9/10


Sarah said...

Well, it's good to know that Charlie Hunnam, who I first saw in Nicholas Nickleby is still getting opportunities. He did a fantastic job in Nicholas Nickleby. Well, if nothing else, it sounds like the perfect popcorn flick.

Johanna said...

You know that this has absolutely zero appeal to me. :)