Pacific Rim’s Job

Real conversation between me and my significant other:

PacificRim-DancingBearMe: I’m going to see Pacific Rim.

Her: What’s that one about?

Me: It’s a movie about giant robots and giant monsters.

Her: And …? (raised eyebrow look, asking for more information)

Me: I don’t know what else to tell you. If you’re not sold by now, … there’s nothing more I can say.


I like dancing bears. I don’t need dancing bears, but I like them. They’re entertaining. They do things that people do, but they’re bears! It’s insane. And senseless.

There are times in a man’s life when he has to be serious. When we discuss the subtleties of the American justice system and try to figure out what would make the world a better place, that is a time to be serious. When we talk about what lasting impressions our generation will make on the world and what kind of planet we want to leave for our descendants, that is a time to be serious and even perhaps a bit dour.

There are even times when we watch movies like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or Mud, when we see through the camera into a world not too much unlike our own and understand the temptations of mankind, the failings of the human soul, and the compulsion to find answers to deep, meaningful questions. Watching movies like that makes us examine our own choices and figure out why we are who we are. It puts us in touch with our world and ourselves in ways that no other medium can. The world needs movies like that.

Just like the world needs doctors as well as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, accountants, and farmers, there needs to be a variety of movies, as well. We need thought-provoking movies as well as movies like Pacific Rim. If a movie like Tinker Tailor is a surgeon, then Pacific Rim is a dancing bear at the circus.

And you know what? I like dancing bears. I don’t need dancing bears, but I like them. They’re entertaining. They do things that people do, but they’re bears! It’s insane. And senseless.

What the hell purpose does a dancing bear serve? The same purpose as Pacific Rim. It doesn’t even make as much sense as Fast & Furious 6.

Forget sense. Forget purpose. Forget gravity and physics and what you know about what punishment a human body can take. Just enjoy the spectacle of mayhem, carnage, and a guy in futuristic armor shouting, “We are canceling the apocalypse!!” This is super-sized Rock-Em’ Sock’-Em Robots vs. umpteen Godzillas.

If that’s not your bag, then keep looking for your heartwarming story of a single mother trying to find a way to raise her young son in a troubling world.

Several months ago, a real conversation between me and my friend Robert:

Robert: You hear about Guillermo Del Toro’s new film Pacific Rim?

Me: What’s that one about?

Robert: Giant robots and giant monsters.

Me: I’m there.

Robert: It’s supposedly also got …

Me: Don’t care. I’m seeing the midnight show.

True story.

I’m not telling you to go out and see this movie. I’m telling you that if a movie about giant (Huge! Over 100 feet tall!) robots fighting giant monsters (Huge and disgusting! One looks like a cross between a deformed turtle and a camel’s lips!) interests you, and one with a decent budget, even, then Pacific Rim is the way to go.

Just sayin’.