Last night I saw PACIFIC RIM. That’s really ALMOST all I have to say about it. I saw it. It happened. It was on a gigantic IMAX screen and I was wearing stupid yellow plastic glasses and somehow Hollywood has managed to make a movie about giant robots punching  giant aliens that is so boring it barely held my interest. I’m not even kidding. I hardly even remember it less than 12 hours later.

Now maybe that’s part of the plan – maybe if they make a movie so full of spectacle and yet so utterly instantly forgettable – people will accidentally go see it twice or maybe purposefully do so out of an unwillingness to believe a movie so tailor made for them was such an epic opportunity to nap. Maybe that’ll be in the new TV ads next week:


The one thing that I do remember is that when Idiris Elba’s character decides to allow his protege, Mako Mori the opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream of totally freezing up and  almost killing everyone within a five mile radius from the cockpit of a giant robot  he does so by presenting her with a red shoe. It’s clear by the presentation of this shoe that it is indicative of their history together and that him giving her  this shoe MEANS something between them.

So after presenting her with the shoe, they cut to a scene of her in the giant robot. She is melding minds with the blond hero guy who looks like the blond hero guy who who was in TRON 2 – THE WRATH OF CGI JEFF BRIDGES  and also the blond hero guy who was in I AM NUMBER FOUR.  He may have been the same guy. He may have actually have been the same character. Point being it doesn’t matter because when they “drift” and her mind is mixed with his, she doesn’t even notice his memories and totally freaks out over one of her own.  Why did she need to “drift” to freak out over her OWN memory. She already HAD that memory. She could have freaked out about it at any time. Really struck me as an odd choice for them to take with the plot. Anyway . . .

Now that she is freaking out over the same memory she has had in her head for about twenty years or so, we get to actually SEE the memory and it is definitely worthy of freaking out over.  She is walking along the path of giant monster alien destruction wearing one red shoe and holding the other. This is the same red shoe that her Mentor hands her to say ,”Hey  – I’d like it if you would help pilot that giant robot just like everyone sitting in this movie theater knew you would the minute you stepped on screen.”  Clearly something is going to happen with this shoe. They are going to share a moment.  When Elba’s character finishes beating the bejesus out of the attacking alien and steps out of the head of the robot to look down at the little girl, he smiles at her .  She raises her hand in a sort of “thank you” gesture.  Then the  dream sequence is over. What the hell did the shoe mean? It must have meant SOMETHING.

I’m not a stupid guy.  I understand subtext. I get subtle. I comprehend symbolism and all manner of literary function. I have not the SLIGHTEST idea what that shoe is supposed to symbolize.  No idea. What COULD it mean? Why does he give her ONE? She had BOTH shoes – she was just HOLDING one! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Worse than all of this is the fact that at the end of the movie, Ron Perlman’s character escapes the gullet of a baby alien monster and immediately starts lamenting over  his missing shoe. This to me is indicative of the fact that I am NOT reading too much into it. It’s like they’re messing with me!  WHAT THE HELL DOES IT MEAN?  If you know please tell me as I really DO NOT want to have to sit through PACIFIC RIM again.

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  1. Mike MacLeod

    Hahaha, I haven’t seen this movie yet, kind of debating whether to just wait for DVD instead of going to theatre, many of the reviews have confirmed what I thought would be wrong with the film. But this editorial made me laugh, I hate when movies do that! They just put something in there that looks symbolic but don’t follow up with it or address it enough to really get the message across to the audience. No other examples are coming to mind right now. But I thought the approach to that problem in the article was hilarious, I love it when people just call out movies for being plain dumb.

  2. Scary Spice

    I think it is meant to be like a cinderella story, he is like the prince giving her the missing shoe. By giving her the shoe he is confirming that this is the job she was meant to do just like giving Cinderella her glass slipper confirmed she was the prince’s true love.

  3. Brian McNatt

    She had her hand raised because the sun was in her eyes, not as a gesture of thanks. She was only holding that one red shoe because it was damaged and couldn’t be worn. Him giving her the damaged shoe back represents him giving her a chance to avenge the loss of her family, which was when the shoe got damaged. The Ron Perlman bit was a last-minute joke.

    Jeez this is an embarrassing article.

  4. Brain Stew

    i wonder if it’s a nod to the popular folk song “Akai Kutsu” (Red Shoes) about a little girl who is given to an American when her mother becomes too poor to properly care for her. The story of the song is, of course, totally different but there’s a feeling in that shot of Idris Elba’s character finding her that reminds me of the lyric: “the girl who wore red shoes, was lead away by the foreign man. She got on his ship at Yokohama’s pier and he took her away.”

    Maybe like the red shoe represents both his admission that she’s ready to exact her vengeance but also acts as a reminder of her roots and what was taken from her?

  5. Gia

    At the end of the credits on the pay-per-view version that I watched tonight they gave a detailed back story of all the main characters. When the first monster attacked Mako was out with her family. Her dad tried to huddle them all together but in the chaos her shoe fell off and into the alley. She wanted her shoe back but her father had ahold of her other shoe that was still on her foot. She pulled away from him until her shoe broke off and she ran to get it. When she turned back to her family, they were gone. BTW at the end she says “Sensei, I love you.”


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