- PACIFIC RIM This is Crimson Typhoon, the cool Chinese jaeger! I have too much time on my hands.
The Hollywood Reporter has a pretty interesting story up about how... oh, take it away, Reporter:
In a bylined commentary carried by the People's Liberation Army Daily, Zhang Jieli, wrote that Hollywood movies "have always served as a propaganda machine to convey American values and their strategies in the world." He said Pacific Rim, which has grossed more than $100 million in China, failed to convey a peaceful message but instead "exported the U.S.'s rebalancing of its Asia-Pacific strategy." (Via.)
The interesting part isn't actually the story, either the Reporter's or the one in People's Liberation Army Daily (which I read every day because they, UNLIKE SOME PAPERS I COULD MENTION, they still run Ziggy). No, the interesting part is that Pacific Rim is actually remarkably global and remarkably inclusive—something that's rare when it comes to American films in general, and for sure American blockbusters. With the possible exception of Independence Day, just about all American blockbusters focus on how America Is the Best. But in Pacific Rim's post-apocalyptic world, nations, as such, barely exist; while certain jaegers and certain jaeger pilots come from certain countries, they all work together, like it isn't even a big deal, to collectively beat the shit out of monsters. As with everything is in del Toro's movies, this is intentional:
“The pilots’ smaller stories actually make a bigger point, which is that we’re all together in the same robot [in life],” he says, chuckling a bit at the sound of this. “Either we get along or we die. I didn’t want this to be a recruitment ad or anything jingoistic. The idea of the movie is just for us to trust each other, to cross over barriers of color, sex, beliefs, whatever, and just stick together. Fundamentally, it’s a very simple message. But it’s one that I would have liked to have seen in an adventure movie when I was a 12-year-old.” (Via.)
If there's one film out there that's relentlessly jingoistic, it'd be any of the Transformers movies, the morals of which boil down to "The United States military will save you and/or fuck you up, and do so in as loud of a manner as possible." But when it comes to Transformers? China's all about Transformers.