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Movie Review: Pacific Rim

So this was the first action movie this summer that I loved without reservation. It was good writing, good acting, gender dynamics that made me SO HAPPY, POCs everywhere...yeah. ALL OF THE FEELS.

The thing that struck me the most is how I think this is the first film I've seen with a m/f dynamic where the woman doesn't have to "prove" herself. From the start, Raleigh wants Mako as his partner, and Pentecost forthrightly says that he knows she'll be a great pilot, he just doesn't want her out there because ~fatherly feels~. I love that the lead female character is not sexualized, is clever and physical, and is completely accepted.

I also liked that their love story, if you can call it that, isn't the typical love story; there's no fake obstacles, there's no misunderstandings, blah blah blah. It's "you're awesome, I'm awesome, let's be awesome together." I'm not sure exactly what their relationship is exactly--it's not standard romance, but it feels way more than just platonic.

**Sideways note, part of the drift-compatibility seemed to be genetic, as all teams we saw (up until the end) were siblings or father/son. The Russian team shared a surname but it wasn't clear if they were siblings or a couple, and they could be read either way.

I liked the idea of reading Raleigh and Mako as platonic just because that's something you don't see in popular culture, but I'm also not sure if that's what was going on. They never kissed but they did check each other out...well, she checked HIM out at the beginning, and he just said she looked good in the suit (which could be read either way).

I don't know, either way I just love them.

And Idris fucking Elba. IDRIS FUCKING ELBA. Just. asdfghjk. Okay. Let's start with how unreservedly awesome it is to have the BAMF leader be a POC whom everyone else follows without hesitation and whose loyalty is complete, who gets to make the St Crispin's speech AND gets to be the literal knight in shining armor to a young girl (did anyone else cry? I cried) and also the noble sacrifice play (I cried more).

And also: the abundance of POCs everywhere. It may seem like a small thing, but having the ton of Asian people in the base made me happy--it wasn't "let the westerners save people" it was "let everybody save everybody."

And Ron Perlman, because he just needs to be there, for reasons.

Sigh. I went twice. It held up really well on a second viewing. Definitely the most solid movie of the summer.

Comments

( 5 comments — Add your .02 )
littlepunkryo
Jul. 17th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
The actor for the Russian guy confirmed that the pair of them were a married couple in one of the interviews I think. I really find it fascinating that it seems like the robots work best with deep bonds - i.e. those of siblings, parent/child groups or married couples - and I kind of want to read all the fic exploring that. It makes me wonder if they also work just on like the potential of connection because Mako and Raleigh had only just met and were fantastically in sync and Stacker and that Aussie kid managed just fine even though they didn't seem close.

This universe is just really fascinating and everyone needs to see this movie.
caitri
Jul. 17th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
Sweet, thanks for that confirmation!! In one of the cafeteria scenes the woman puts her hand on his chest in a way I thought was more coupley than siblingey, which was why I wondered.

I also got the feeling with Stacker and Aussie that their bond would do for a short term one-way mission but wouldn't work on a regular basis; Stacker emphasizing that he could "carry nothing into the drift" seemed to imply that that bonds could be worked out on a more-than-test basis but less than full-time basis.

I think the Mako/Raleigh connection was based a lot on empathy, which I think some people just have but is rare. Does that make sense? Like, it reminded me of Dragonriders of Pern: some people have an innate ability/sensitivity to others that makes them ideal for these telepathic connections.

I'm not sure how I feel about fic for the film; I tend to like "where do they go next" stories and the film was just so solidly "closed" at the end. OTOH, Mako and Raleigh won't have that telepathic connection anymore--will that make things better or worse? ...I need to not think of plotbunnies...
elanya
Jul. 17th, 2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
*peeks from behind her fingers*

I am going to go see this shortly, and am excited to see it getting good reviews from fannish folks :D
browngirl
Jul. 17th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC)
Yes and yes and also YES.

And also, behold the Fan Jaegers:
http://4thstringjaegers.tumblr.com
avictoriangirl
Jul. 17th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC)
I really liked this movie too, for pretty much all of the same reasons. I also enjoyed the two researchers, Gottlieb and Dr. Geiszler. They were hilarious and so much in love! :D
( 5 comments — Add your .02 )

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