Pacific Rim: What Went Wrong

Do I need to say it? Spoiler Alert.

The kids and I snuck out the see Pacific Rim this weekend. And, after some good sleep and a chance to think about it, I’ve come to realize that Toro cheated us all. Which is too bad — there was great potential in this epic tale.

This should have been a trilogy. If he wanted to herald back to the tale of his youth, those grand conflicts of that movie era, he could have — he should have — done this in three parts. After all, these are tales that have laid dormant for a long, long time, and viewers wouldn’t necessarily jump right into it, as they did in the 60’s and 70’s.

Part 1 should have been Pacific Rim: Rise of the Kaiju. With rare exception, today’s films just don’t have large, strange creatures walking the earth with man in a modern setting. So, take the time to bring them back. One crawls from the sea, man loses his mind and attacks with everything he has, and wins. Yeah, team. Until some time later when the next one crawls out. Mankind gets all political, squabbles, and more and more gets destroyed. This would be a great way to cover the man-vs-beast debate, comment on the global politics of bigger issues, and shape the bonding of mankind against a single topic / opponent. End the movie with the first jaeger and its first victory — piloted, perhaps, by Pentecost.

If Cloverfield had crawled from the ocean, instead of landing, it could have been a part of this first installment. But only a part. How many kaiju fights would it take before someone realized that needed to build a jaeger?

Pacific Rim 2: Steigen des Jägers is just about the fight, and the efforts to use technology to fight better. The minor story line, the sub-plot can be about those people and their effort to close the rift altogether, as compared to those who want to better fight and win against the waves of kaiju that are attacking. Winning, vs. ending the fighting altogether. There’s a piece of this theme that plays out in the actual movie, and I think this would be a key element to the second film — we can become such good fighters, that we can and will always win without needing to think about how to stop fighting / close the rift. Newer jaegers, and emerging bigger and bigger kaijus. And the growing unification of mankind in the fight against the beast. Somewhere along the way, mankind comes to think that they have a handle on the beasts, and then they don’t, and mankind concludes that the giant walls will work. Mankind makes plans to end the jaeger program, and abandon the seas to the beasts. The jaegers rise, the jaegers fall, the era comes to a close. Mankind has a plan.

Which would have taken us to where we are today: Pacific Rim 3: Shove a Banana in Their Tailpipe. With a small contingency of machines left, each different and each specialized, they could have / should have dispatched them one at a time to best fight the beasts as they appeared. It would hve made sense to have left some parts of the world alone — Oh, there’s a kaiju crawling across Europe, oh well. Fight the fights you can win, use the weapon that you can use. And the balance in thinking — from fight better, to end the fighting — tips here to, well, the story line from the actual movie.

And, since we’re talking about spoilers, let me ask — sweet jesus, what were they thinking, having the two chief scientists do a mind-meld with a kaiju? Gee, just hand over all of your research and all of your plan, all in one drift, to everything connected to the kaiju hive-mind. That’s beyond stupid. Did no one watch Firefly?

One thought on “Pacific Rim: What Went Wrong

  1. First – I haven’t seen it… so I’m sure you’re correct.

    Second, as I started reading this, before I got to the Cloverfield part, I was already thinking, “The Broderick Godzilla was Part 1 and Cloverfield was Part 2”.

    Third, according to Abrams, Clover didn’t fall from the sky. She crawled from the sea.

    And, yeah, while this sounds like the right way to do it, and it woulda been AWESOME… 2013 is also the last act of Afghanistan. I gotta wonder if any of that is in Toro’s psyche, jumping into the whole “war weary” third act on purpose.

    My big question is, if so, in Toro’s mind…. are we the humans, or the kaiju?

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