Pacific Rim: What It Lacks


Take it easy and put those pitch forks away. Pacific Rim is easily this summer’s biggest blockbuster. And as such, many people are going to comment on all of the little things that the movie was missing. That’s not what this article is about. Quite the opposite, actually. Let me explain.

When I first read the plot synopsis of Pacific Rim, I was automatically interested.

In the future, humans create giant humanoid mechs, called Jaegers, to fight alien monsters that come from the ocean floor.

Awesome, right? But then why did I have my doubts? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that so many summer blockbusters have awesome plots on paper, but the final product is far from spectacular (see Bay, Michael). By the time I caught the film opening weekend, all doubts were plasma cannoned to oblivion.

So what made this film different then so many other summer blockbusters? The more I analyzed the flick, the more I realized it wasn’t about what the movie had. I mean, there was some original content, but for the most part nothing here was groundbreaking. What I realized was that what made this movie so good was what it lacked.

No Military Recruiting

Sure, this movie is about war and weapons and contains themes related to those things. But nowhere is any specific military group mentioned. This movie easily could have slapped an Army logo all over it in an attempt to show the awesome things they are capable of. But alas, no recruiting was found anywhere in this film.

No Nationalism

Furthermore, there is no American dominance shown off in this movie. For starters, the Jaeger are created and piloted by people from nations all across the globe. But even more importantly, the attacks happen in different countries as well. I mean, come on. How many movies can we watch about Manhattan getting attacked? It is getting old. It was a breath of fresh air seeing the majority of the movie take place in Hong Kong.


No Megan Fox or the like

So many summer movies like to flaunt their big budget by hiring hot celebrity eye candy. None of that is found in Pacific Rim. Instead, we get bad-ass women piloting the Jaeger. Always nice to see a summer flick not objectifying women.

No Crappy Soundtrack

No Linkin Park. No generic rap. No radio singles. No standard rock songs. Just a great score.

No Product Placement

From what I could see, there was no obvious in-your-face product placement. There will always be some sort of brand or logo found in any film. But in a movie like this, it is was pleasantly surprising to not see some major placement by a company.

Everyone Signed up for this Shit

Dear every character in a summer movie featuring an action scene: you did sign up for this shit. Stop saying you didn’t. Thank you writers Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro for not including this line.

Tons more could be added to this list. At the end of the day, Pacific Rim managed to be a massive movie with great action, great effects, and a passable story. And because it avoided most of the pitfalls of summer movies, it easily becomes one of the best blockbuster movies in recent time.



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