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Hollywood has begun to understand – Robots! That’s what it’s all about, people. A movie with robots…and a human element.

PacificRimHeader

Not that Pac Rim is as good as RoboCop. For starters, PRim is really shallow. There’s bad guys, there’s good guys, there’s a tiny bit of romance…that’s it. It’s a big dumb action movie that happens to be done well. The zany scientists’ subplot is the only thing that gives the movie any intrigue, and it also contains the only segments with believable dialogue. All the military dude stuff…it’s overly dramatic. Hot-blooded SERIOUSNESS. It wasn’t as hokey as Man of Steel, but it’s uninteresting, regardless. Anyway, the scientists’ investigation into the monsters’ origin could have led to a deeper movie, but it just ended up serving the main plot. It’s a safe bet that the original script had way more going on, but not much made it into the final cut. Guillermo del Toro, the film’s director, says there is no “extended cut,” that the theatrical version is his “director’s cut.” Whatever, dude.

RoboCop doesn’t do this stuff. It’s as deep as can be, but it’s also a brutal and stupid revenge movie. It was engineered to be that way by Neumeier, Miner, and Verhoeven. It doesn’t feel like anything is missing, unless you watch the R-rated version – then you’re missing some extra blood and guts. Fun action + human emotion = good times.

Back to Pacific Rim – the movie is mostly a collection of homages to Japanese media…and really only two specific forms: Mech (giant robots) anime, and Kaiju (monster) movies. There’s many parallels to be drawn between Pacific Rim and the popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, though they both pull from older IPs. You’ve got the end of the world by waves of foreign invaders, multiple nations cooperating in defense, pilots mentally synching with their bots…etc. While I love a good tribute piece, RoboCop managed to do justice to its cultural references while creating a whole new chic. It’s as influential as it is influenced. Pacific Rim is too simple to be remembered for a long time, but it’s a well put-together movie for the time being.

Final note: While this type of movie couldn’t be done without it, CGI is still confusing and bad and dumb

NOT-ROBOCOP