Drift Compatible – Geek Empire. In which L. Rhodes uses Pacific Rim as a pivot to talk about kaiju films as manifestations of urban anxiety, and issues that come out of genre and fandom in general. Good reminder that I can learn from bad movies, too.

When a fanboy defends Pacific Rim to those audience members by saying, “What did you expect?” the underlying issue is genre. An astute viewer will learn to expect certain things from movies that fall into certain genres. A clever filmmaker will learn how to use those expectations to advantage. A fair-minded critic will keep those expectations in mind when judging a genre film. Things are rarely so simple. For one thing, genres carry their own history implicitly, and that often makes it difficult to understand just what’s at stake…

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim. It’s a pretty mediocre-to-bad movie that I had a lot of fun watching. The dialogue is merely serviceable when it isn’t just blatant crib notes for the audience. It borrows from many good sources (Japanese montster/mecha/anime traditions, Top Gun, Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, Aliens, and more…), but doesn’t rise to their level. It trades in some really terrible international typing. The comic-relief duo is cringe-worthy. It also got caught in a weird zone where it was too long, they edited it down so there are strange gaps and emotional undertones that aren’t prepared well. And it’s still too long. And yet… I had fun. Guess I lucked out with good company and a good attitude that afternoon. The fights are good corny spectacles that activated my brain’s primitive comic fanboy region. It’s not good, but you might have a good time.