One of this summers blockbuster films was Guillermo del toro’s Pacific Rim. A movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters. The good people at Titan Books asked if I would like to review the novelization (by author Alex Irvine) of the film. To which I said, “of course,” because it is a story about giant robots fighting giant monsters. To be honest they didn’t even have to ask. I suspect they don’t really get the whole “Atomic Moo” vibe, otherwise they’d have just sent the book with a note that read, “Giant Robots fight Giant Monsters!” That little sentence (I’m not even sure it’s even a complete sentence, but then again I’m a blogger. What do I know of grammer? knyuck!) is all I need to get really excited about a book where in giant robots fight giant monsters! Here’s a quick synopsis prior to the review:
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
I feel a lot of credit has to be given to the film makers and producers who put a story like Pacific Rim out there for audiences. I have not looked too much into it, but our movie selections of any thing with giant robots, giant monsters (or any combination of the two) seem to be very slim. So, bonus points for doing something different in that way. Unfortunately, everything else in this story is the same old gunk Hollywood has been throwing at us for years. The characters, their personal stories, and even the way they interact with each other, is a lack luster combination of the boring and generic. To be honest, it was a little disappointing that they would put something out there like this and then not push the content further with characters from somewhere off the beaten path. In Pacific Rim we have the wounded warrior, the eager apprentice, the hard ass chief, and the young hot shot with a chip on his shoulder. Oh, and a science nerd. He’s weird and awkward. Y’know, like nerds are supposed to be. Page after page is generic hero putting up with generic hot shot, then onto generic conversation with generic chief, with predictable results. ahhck!
I should wrap this up here, because the more I think about this book (and movie) the angrier I get. So, I’ll end this with a note to the good people making our movies and novels: Please stop trying to make your movie/ story appeal to everyone. I’m not saying going for a cult or a niche market is going to make a movie better, but at least try and pretend your audience is smarter than you (they’re probably not, but just pretend…) and then make a story to try an impress that smart audience. All were getting now are stories that talk down to us and, as a movie fan and avid book reader, I don’t want to pay for those type of stories anymore! Wow, I just nerd raged a little there, but dammit! You had giant robots fighting giant monsters and you made it as interesting as a set of Ikea instructions for assembling a beige bookshelf! What the fuck! Yeah that’s right. No “WTF” acronym there. You get the full “what the fuck” for this one!
Pacific Rim the novel can be purchased in all major book stores or online at Titan Books.
Below I posted a trailer from the film.