For a while I thought the effect Pacific Rim had on me was the onset of serious mental illness. I reserve the right to add to this post as I discover some of the mad notes I've made on the subject over the last few weeks.. so I was hugely relieved to find it seems to have had a similar effect on an ongoing favourite of this blog, William Gibson!
He wrote, while tweeting about it all day after seeing it..
A ravishing display of intelligent, often wonderfully witty visual design, every frame alive with coherent language, in the service of what is at heart a children's story. A children's story for a very dark time, our own, about a very dark time as children understand such things: monsters, from beneath the bed — our own or the ocean's! It restores heroism to the realm of the humanistic, an extraordinary accomplishment given so much of the film culture of our day. The protagonists know, and demonstrate that they know, that it isn't about them. A sweetly simple fable, for all the titanic grandeur of its cosplay (which I took to be the message of the slowly pumping wooden bellows in the kaiju-drifting machine, which became for me the sly sweet heart of it all). A demonstration of the degree of heart *and* physicality that even very big-ticket FX can convey when there's an honest will to avoid the opposite; mega-scale FX that don't drain either away. A baroque that doesn't curdle, that never fetishizes itself.
What is it about this kids film? It really isn't THAT good..
I think it is
dense believable world + total lack of cynicism
that is doing it for us. Pacific Rim's great big creative balls are right out there for all to see. Like Star Wars in 1977, you get the feeling that at no point did anyone during production say "hang on this is all very cool - but what will the normal people think?"
Looking back Pacific Rim is probably best seen stone cold sober on a gigantic screen on a Saturday morning with a million kids who are not bothered that is not a sequel or adaptation of anything. It is so fresh, like a box of strawberries delivered at dawn straight from the field, you feel the years drop off you while it's on.
I've not been in a cinema with kids so into a movie in decades.. cheering...wooping the lot Its not as good as Star Wars but feels a lot like watching Star Wars for the first time
Enjoy the underground geekiness on fan created online Jeager cons while you can PR fans..in the wake of it's apparent failure at the US box office Pacific Rim is for the moment 'cult' and 'alternative.
Enjoy it because this movie is just too good for this status to last long. .When Pacific Rim becomes incredibly trendy in time for the sequel..
and I'm predicting a curve similar to Iron Man (for those who have chosen to forget the initial reaction to Iron Man was generally "superheroes??" and "Robert Downey ..WHO?" in the summer of 2008)
...Pacific Rim will be another grim example of how the alternative is absorbed by the mainstream. Which will at least make Guillermo and co happy.