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05/10/2018 22:59:27 •••

Utterly repugnant

I can sincerely say I have never hated a movie quite as much as I hate Pacific Rim: Uprising.

The original Pacific Rim was a fairly dense, yet bite-sized little movie. It jumped right into the middle of a toku-inspired war between giant robots and giant monsters, and focused on the teamwork and personal growth of those people who had to unite to save the world. There was mystery and intrigue as we found out what the kaiju truly were, personal development as the pilots figure out who they are and how to operate together, and a sense of real camaraderie among very different people. The robots had style, the kaiju were scary, and despite the reveal that they were weapons, they still felt like individual characters, with a strong presence.

Uprising does the following things with all of this:

  • Neuters the colorful, painting-like visual style in favor of a Bayformers-esque surface look.

  • Forgets to have characters with story arcs, chemistry, or really anything to work with.

  • Introduces a subplot that ends up going nowhere and meaning nothing.

  • Introduces nonsensical retcons of the first movie.

  • Waits until the last fifteen minutes to actually bring in any kaiju.

  • Stuffs one of the best characters in the original into the fridge, in what is unambiguously a sexist move.

  • Turns one of the other best characters into the main villain. This one in particular pisses me off because Newt's interest in kaiju is framed as the reason for his being the villain, to the point where the movie seems to be saying "If you're in this for the monsters and not the robots, then fuck off."

  • And of course, turns a story about hope, teamwork and personal growth into a military-fetishism piece.

There is just nothing of merit in this film. I keep hearing that it's a fun "turn your brain off" action movie, but it's not. This movie commits the sin of making battles between mecha and monsters *boring!* How do you DO that?

And as a final indignity, it made me think, for a brief moment, that Newt was talking to a kaiju brain, who would become her own character and rebel against the masters, leading to a kaiju revolution or something. Then it tore all of that away forever.

The worst kinds of sequels are those that make the original retroactively worse. PRU is one such sequel.

04/09/2018 00:00:00

Regarding the sexist point, I would think it may be more pandering to Chinese audience if it is to be believed a scene at the end of the movie would have fitted that character better.

04/14/2018 00:00:00

OK, not going to argue with you about most of the review, but claiming that fridging Mako was \"unambiguously a sexist move\" is just silly. Seriously, explain that to me: how is killing her off sexist? Because she\'s a woman and she died? It\'s not like she was hit by a ray that caused her ovaries to fatally explode. Poor use of the word \"unambiguously\".

04/15/2018 00:00:00

I have argued the differences between killing a female character and stuffing her into the fridge before. The difference boils down to respect. Is this the end of a character\'s story, or is she being reduced to a thing?

Mako was not given any respect. Mako was reduced to a thing. She had no arc, no impact on any of the characters, and what dialogue she did receive was stilted and robotic. Her arc from the previous movie is just gone, and with it is any impact she has on the story.

Also, none of the monsters were unambiguously female like in the first movie, so we don\'t even get any new kaiju waifus. =P

05/10/2018 00:00:00

I'm not saying Mako's death was handled well, or happened for a good reason, but that doesn't answer my question: what was actually sexist about it? Just the fact that the trope namer for Stuffed Into The Fridge was a woman (although it'd more accurately be I Let Gwen Stacy Die or at worst Disposable Woman in this case) and therefore the trope is Always Female and therefore automatically sexist? It's not (although Disposable Woman is listed on the Always Female index, "disposable men" do actually exist, and Stuffed Into The Fridge can happen to male characters as well). Yes, her death was pretty dumb. The fact that it happened to a female character does NOT automatically make it sexist (if they hadn't brought Mako back and had brought Raleigh back to play her role instead, it would have been just as dumb).


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