Monday, July 22, 2013
Joel and I caught the Sunday morning viewing of Pacific Rim.
Everything you need to know about this movie can be gleaned from Top Gun.
In fact, I am 90% certain you could take the lines from Top Gun, voice it over this movie, and it would largely make sense.
Fortunately, Joel and I are Top Gun fans, so we enjoyed the movie for its entertainment value and for the fact that we tried to pick which Top Gun lines and characters would apply to a given scene or character in Pacific Rim.
The acting was actually decent (nothing like this unspeakable travesty), and the story was well-conceived, though formulaic. But you can't go into a Giant Summertime CGI Blockbuster expecting Oscar material, except for maybe the CGI. Largely, the storyline for Pacific Rim was a delivery vehicle for CGI fights between giant 50-story robots and 50-story alien creatures.
And. It. Was. Awesome.
But it had it all: diamond-in-the-rough hot-shot pilot with a personal tragedy, the Ice Man, the incredulous Commander always busting the hero's balls, the uncertain "co-pilot" (each robot is piloted by 2 troops, who must be able to establish a mental and emotional link for the robot to move), the forces of good on the brink of defeat, a faceless bureaucracy ready to dismantle the world's best chance of defense, on and on. There's actually, as Joel and I discussed, plenty of room for a series based on this, given the rich back story only hinted-at in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Pacific Rim for sure has way more style points and predictably-satisfying scenes and outcomes, but damn...it's fun! And I can't say enough about the CGI. These fights looked and felt real without the herky-jerky, hard-to-follow Transformers fight scenes.
Now, I kept it short on the review because that's not really my goal with this post. Go see Pacific Rim; I plan to take my 8-year-old to see it, who will probably go apeshit for it. My goal is this, reiterated from the 2nd sentence of this post: everything you need to know about this movie can be gleaned from Top Gun.
Pick any movie about pilots, piloting big machines, and maverick-y heroes, and they all stem from Top Gun. Top Gun, IMO, is the progenitor of that type of movie. These pilot/co-pilot, fantastic machinery flicks follow the Top Gun formula devised by late MSU professor Jim Cash.
This led our discussion to: all cop movies stem from Lethal Weapon (the uptight 'gimmie your badge and your gun' commander whose past turns out to be strangely similar to the hero's, the cop-on-the-edge, the reluctant but faithful partner who is wounded or dies, etc).
No point on a summer Monday other than: discuss.