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Went to see Pacific Rim yesterday. It was a surprisingly good movie, better than I thought it would be. The characters were interesting, the plot denser than I thought it would be and it was very consistent both visually and in world building.

Now, I usually have problems with shows and movies that destroy entire cities on a grand scale. The most recent Godzilla movie managed to skirt the issue because Godzilla didn't destroy the buildings as much as damaged them. There was some wide scale destruction, but it wasn't "destroy the whole town" big. The Avengers managed to do a good job because it showed the Avengers trying to save everyone the best they could; plus it showed the whole aftermath thing. I did have issues with the Superman movie because the main fight was held right in the middle of New York and they really didn't touch on the innocent civilian loses.

So, I really expected to be bothered by the "Monsters destroy *insert city here*" but I really wasn’t. Part of it was the monsters (Kaiju) weren't a continual threat -- they appeared, were killed off and then there wasn't another one for a while. Then there was the whole "we can fight them off" idea, where the robots (Jaegers) were able to kill the Kaiju before they destroyed a lot of the city. When they did show the cities, they had bunkers where the people could go and hide to be safe(r) from the Kaiju. Plus it's kind of like living near a volcano -- people still do that despite the dangers. I mean, the Kaiju appeared in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and had a large number of cities to attack. People would (naturally) rationalize that they weren't in danger and would be (in their minds) prepared for such an attack.

I liked the intermixing of nationalities and cultures in the movie. It switched from language to language smoothly, as would happen when people of different nationalities worked closely together. Plus the Jaeger base was set somewhere in the Asiatic pacific, where you would have to speak some languages other than English. I thought that the mechanical look of everything was nice. It felt right. Now I understand that the physics sucked, but looked good and it wasn’t glaringly, obviously wrong to a layman like me. Really, in a movie, that’s is all I ask for.

I thought that the characters were nicely done. They weren't much more than archetypes, I'll admit that, but they worked. They gave us what we wanted and they did step out of the archetype when necessary. Besides they were all good archetypes.

I liked how they handled the alien attacks. I was happy with how they developed the motivations. I thought that they handled the humor well. I was actually a bit surprised by the ending, I was prepared for a different ending, but I like the one we got. I'm predictable that way.

I don't understand why it hasn't done better here in the US. Except that it's a "big robots fight giant alien" movie and people are idiots when it comes to hating things based on genres. It's the same reason cowboy movies don't do well here: People are idiots and spend a lot of their time looking for things to snark at or ways to feel superior than others rather than looking for entertainment

I like movies for what they are. Giant robots fighting aliens. Fine, it could be fun. It's a big special effects extravaganza? Fine. I like special effects. It’s silly romance with a sprinkling of comedy? Laughter’s good and I prefer happy endings. I love big adventure. I like impossible plot lines. I want to be entertained.

Pacific Rim was entertaining. I was willing to go to it just for the special effects and over-blown action. I got more than that. I got a visually interesting film. I got well-handled humor. I got some engaging characters. I got more of a plot than I expected.

That makes for a good movie in my book.

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