If you’re a Reviewman regular, you’ve (hopefully) already read my thoughts on Pacific Rim. Whether you agreed or disagreed, I at the very least hope you found it grammatically sound. More importantly, I hope it was enlightening and factually correct, two things Rex Reed’s review of the same film definitely is not. Please open it and follow along with me.
This confused, untrue mish-mashed turd Mr. Reed is attempting to pass off as a review should never have gone to print, and whoever’s in charge at The New York Observer should have their eyes and head checked by qualified professionals.
The problems start in the very first sentence: “Everyone knows summer is a dumping ground for rubbish.” I have near-newborn cousins who can tell me that summer is in fact a season. It’s not a tangible object like, say, a toilet, verge or garbage tip, and therefore you can’t dump stuff on it. I don’t care which way you’re trying to swing it. If you want to make bold claims and write off an entire season based solely on the content of the local cinema, at least illustrate your point competently.
Rex concludes his opening paragraph by stating that “The result is being called, by people with intelligence and taste, Godzilla Meets Predator.”
Firstly, this sentence is confusing. I know both movies are regarded as classics, and if people with intelligence and taste are calling Pacific Rim a convergence of two classics, that must be a good thing, right? So why did Rex Reed give the movie a paltry ¼ rating?
Secondly, Pacific Rim is not being called Godzilla Meets Predator by anyone, let alone people with “intelligence and taste”. Quickly Googling “Godzilla Meets Predator” yields 1,460,000 results, and while I’m not prepared to scour through all of them, nothing from the first five pages references Pacific Rim in any way, shape or form, except Mr Reed’s questionable piece.
There are probably good reasons for this, so let’s lay them out. If Godzilla is being likened to the Kaiju, then the Predators must represent the Jaegers. The Godzilla reference is justified, indeed, the influence of that film is evident in Pacific Rim’s antagonists, the hulking Kaiju beasts. They’re skyscraper-sized monsters who appear set on wiping out humanity. They’re similar in size, appearance and intention to Godzilla.
The Predator, on the other hand, is an armoured alien not much larger than the average Arnold Schwarzenegger, who uses an arsenal of weapons to ritually hunt humans and Xenomorphs for no purpose other than sport. Jaegers are robots built by humans, operated by humans tasked with saving humans. In many ways, they’re the exact opposite of Predators, hence why no one with half a brain would liken a Predator to a Jaeger.
Let me sum up Rex Reed’s equation here.
Giant monster that kills humanity = giant monster that kills humanity. Fair enough.
Sentient alien that hunts humans for sport = inanimate robot vehicle piloted by humans for the purpose of defending humanity. No way.
Poor Rex Reed loses his train of thought here. Let me highlight his derailing: “I suppose some effort should be made to extend at least a one-star rating for computer graphics, since that is all this incredible waste of time and money is about, but don’t look for anything that remotely resembles smart dialogue or inventive technology. Even the special effects are cheesy and stupid.” Wait… so did you like the special effects or not?
Rex proceeds to go on a bizarre, disjointed tangent about how unfortunate it is that people play videogames and watch escapist popcorn cinema instead of playing poker. It’s a cheap, over-generalised shot at the demographic of this film, and it’s uncalled for.
If this review has any merit, it’s that it has a twist in the third paragraph: it appears as though Rex Reed hasn’t even seen the movie! “In Pacific Rim, millions of lives and cities that weren’t already destroyed by the zombies in World War Z have been wiped out by some kind of intergalactic holocaust”. It’s explicitly stated in the first five minutes of the film that the Kaiju came from a portal between dimensions beneath the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, by definition, the invasion cannot have been “intergalactic”. I would have accepted “interdimensional”.
“Kaijus look like a cross between anthropomorphic sea urchins and T. rexes.” T Rexes is a solid comparison. However, last time I checked, a sea urchin was a small ball of spines. There is nothing in this film that even closely resembles a small ball of spines.
This is a sea urchin.
These are Kaiju. Unlike the sea urchin, a Kaiju won’t fit in the palm of your hand, and also has a face. These are just differences I whipped up then, I’m sure you can find a few of your own.
“The only way to fight them is to invent monsters of our own called “Jaegers”—steel robots the size of the Chrysler Building with astronauts inside acting as pilots.” Again with the space stuff… really? Calling a Jaeger Pilot an astronaut is like calling me a deep sea diver: I haven’t got the relevant qualifications and I’ve never been deeper than three metres below sea level.
“The last surviving pilot to operate inside a Jaeger is a man named Becket…” Wrong. There are clearly three operational Jaeger teams, two teams of two and one of three. That’s a grand total of seven living pilots.
“Becket launches a 2,400-pound mega-nuclear bomb against the remainder of the underwater Kaijus from inside an outdated, condemned Jaeger that is ready for the junk pile.” Wrong. Becket’s mission is to co-pilot a Jaeger and defend a separate Jaeger that has been tasked with delivering the bomb.
Did you think Reed was done with the twists? Think again! Twist two: Rex Reed doesn’t actually know about movies!
“Pacific Rim was directed, more or less, by Mexico’s Guillermo del Toro. His debut film was a neat little horror called Kronos, but I have personally disliked everything he’s done since. I was not a fan of the labored, overrated Pan’s Labyrinth, and I hated the equally contrived and pretentious ghost story The Orphanage.” This is perhaps Rex Reed’s most embarrassing passage. Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my favourite films of all time, but hey that’s just me. However, Guillermo del Toro did not direct The Orphanage, JA Bayona did. That’s not my opinion. That’s a fact. If one has had a journalism degree for over half a century, one should be learned in the art of collecting facts. Or, you could just do a fucking Google search.
Reed ends his review with a classic piece of nonsense speak, the skidmark atop a stinking heap of paragraph-based poo. “It’s important in a mindless frolic like this to find someone to root for, but although the humans knock themselves out in Pacific Rim, they’re pure cardboard. Sometimes you’d much rather get to know the robots.” Mate, this sentence, and your review, are mindless frolics. I’ve seen more coherent passages in a tin of Heinz Alphabetti Spaghetti. If you can decode this absolute ripper of a closing passage send me your answers on a postcard, please let me know.
As for this review, I give it 1 out of 5, only because of the twists.