Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pacific Rim Genesis Evangelion

OK. Just caught Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim. I could just say, "Great concept. Loved it when it was Neon Genesis Evangelion. But to be fair ...
There’s a point where fictional tropes become part of the primordial stew into which writers feel free to dip their greedy spoons. Powersuits, for example. Heinlein envisioned ‘em in Starship Troopers. But the idea’s been out there so long, it’s just out there. Anime runs on powersuits, damnit. That ain't exactly stealing. Or the giant robot concept. (Strictly speaking, the giant robot powersuit concept.) It was an anime staple when director Hideaki Anno put his own slightly mocking spin on it in Neon Genesis Evangelion. (The giant robot powersuits have extension cords? Seriously?) That work was a primordial stew all its own. And -- to be unfair -- it strikes me that del Toro stuck his spoon into that stew when brewing up Pacific Rim. And that it is, exactly, stealing. If you want a recipe, take all the core concepts of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and strip away the complicated Machiavellian backstory, interlocking layers of philosophical/existential speculation and reference, and substitute a true action hero for the whiny Shinji character – and plug in a happy ending in the process. What you'll cook up is, well, something like Pacific Rim. A tasty stew, to be sure. But it tasted better the first time.

1 comment:

section9 said...

Going to see Pacific Rim tonight with Leonard and Tim Grumbly. It's Del Toro's substitute for Live Action NGE? Okay. Should be interesting. Thanks for your take: now I know what I'm in for.