If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that I've been OBSESSED with "Pacific Rim" since the movie was announced. And last night I went to my IMAX 3-D showing of it, hoping not to be let down.
I mean, it's a movie with giant robots fighting giant monsters (Kaiju), and, as someone who loves the hell out of the old Godzilla movies, I was SO READY for this movie.
Before I critique Pacific Rim, I would like to go on-record saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. If ever there were a summer blockbuster action movie made for me, it would totally be this one. Cities get wrecked by Kaiju, and giant robots that take me back to my Power Rangers fandom days show up to fight them. Seriously, if you aren't sure whether or not you should see this movie, get thee to a theater and try to find an IMAX/IMAX 3-D showing because it was friggin amazing.
With that said.
Where were my ladies at in this movie? The world gets destroyed, countries unite to build giant robots, people are picked to pilot said robots and...apparently males are the only ones capable enough to pilot these things.
While it's totally true that Mako Mori, the female lead played by the awesome Rinko Kukuchi, plays a significant role (and does get to co-pilot a Jaeger), she's...the only significant female character in the whole movie.
I'm just gonna repeat that. Mako Mori is the ONLY significant female in the entire damn movie.
The only other female character who gets a name is another co-pilot from Russia, and I think she gets one line.
This seriously took my enjoyment level of the movie down several notches. Why couldn't there have been a Jaeger pilot team of two female characters? Why couldn't one of the scientist characters have been played by a female?
WHY COULDN'T THERE HAVE BEEN A MOMENT WHERE THE ONLY TWO FEMALE CHARACTERS IN A MOVIE SPOKE TO EACH OTHER?
Even when Idris Elba's character's talking to the U.N. at the beginning of the movie, the people shown in the panel are ALL GUYS. There's ONE FEMALE amongst all the U.N. dudes. ONE.
Apparently, in the future, women have even less to do than we do now.
So...what happened? Did the Kaiju show up and all the females on the planet shrieked and fainted in terror? Did we just decide that Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em robot piloting was better left off to the guys? Did we really regress so much after those monsters attacked that there were literally no women left on the planet to do anything significant?
The movie will get credit in the fact that Mako is never hyper-sexualized, and is actually treated like a human being. There aren't any gratuitous fanservice shots (I'm looking at you, Star Trek: Into Darkness). So it gets points there in it's treatment of her and the fact that she has flaws and is a strong character.
BUT Y'ALL. There were...hang on, let me count, 15 male characters who were super significant in the movie. And of those, probably about 11 of them got more lines than the female Russian Jaeger co-pilot (her name, by the way, is Lt. A. Kaidanovsky).
Color me disappointed. If, say, one of the scientist characters had been changed to a female, or another pilot had also been a female, or the Bridge Operator guy who talked with the pilots had been female, nothing drastic would've changed. Relationships in the movie would be the same, and oh look, females would've gotten something useful to do.
I'm getting really tired of this. I LOVE the fact that this movie was international, I really do. But COME ON. Women have a place in actiony summer blockbusters just as much as men do. They can be just as flawed, or evil, or kick-ass, and, at the same time, NOT be hyper-sexualized. There has to be a way to make this happen.
Because it'd be nice to see a future where women actually, you know, EXIST.