Monster movies started with classic horror characters like Frankenstein and Dracula. Later, giant monsters were introduced in films like King Kong and The Giant Behemoth. Now, when you mention monster movies people think of Godzilla, Cloverfield, and even Jurassic Park. While Pacific Rim (or as I call it Better Transformers) could become a successful monster movie franchise (sequel slated for 2017) I find it unlikely that Atlantic Rim will ever be a blip on the radar. Despite a similar title and concept, Atlantic Rim doesn’t have the special effects to even be considered a bad copy. Keeping in mind Pacific Rim is a ripoff of Voltron and Power Rangers, Atlantic Rim is like taking a photocopy of an old photocopy and passing that off as original.
The story is the exposition from Pacific Rim. Basically, a group of deep sea manned robots discover a monster in the ocean and after it attacks everyone runs for their lives while the team in the giant robots fight it off. For some odd reason, giant manned humanoid robots already were made before the monsters and are equipped with melee and projectile weapons. My first question: What were they built for? That may be a more interesting movie. Countries don’t spend millions upon millions of dollars on giant robots for kicks. I want the movie about them and the other countries building giant robots to fight each other. Beyond that, there is also a love triangle that doesn’t get resolved, an injured monster that wasn’t killed, and a potential for more and bigger robots. I suppose, they are going to touch on these plots in the sequel (I guess quitters never win in the movie business).
The effects are what you expect from an Asylum film. 90’s top of the line special effects are the standard for anything by The Asylum and they are exactly what you get in Atlantic Rim. I don’t consider the effects bad, but I grew up in the 90’s so I consider everything better than ReBoot to be amazing. The closest equivalent I can think of is the effects from the dinosaur shows that are on The Learning Channel.
Bottom of the barrel perfectly describes the ‘actors’ in Atlantic Rim. Between former Baywatch alum (David Chokachi), ex-husband to a hip hop star (Anthony ‘Treach’ Criss), an actress most known for her portrayal of ‘Sexy Photographer’ (Jackie Moore), and that Native American guy from everything (Graham Greene), it’s easy to see how this could be classified as a D-list film. I was hoping there was going to be some kind of humanoid leader of the monsters played by Brigitte Nielsen. I feel Nielsen could really have brought it home; there is always a chance in the next installment.
Speaking of Atlantic Rim 2: Diminutive Hordes (or something equally nonsensical), I have some ideas for the sequel. After the events from Atlantic Rim they decide that the large robots are too slow and inefficient. Instead of the giant suits they build a large number of small high-powered exoskeleton suits (think Elysium meets steam-punk Iron Man). They are able to handle the threats so far but after killing a few more monsters there is a new kind of smaller monster (I will call them Jargs) that is emerging that is faster. It turns out the larger monsters were eating the Jargs and that was controlling their population. Since humans killed most of the large monsters these Jargs are coming in droves. Queue big special effects scene with a bunch of grizzly bear sized Jargs and a lot of hand to hand fighting with men and women in exosuits. I would close the movie with a shot of a group of the Jargs escaping under the sea to what seems like an underwater city where we see millions of Jargs which would lead right into Atlantic Rim 3: Jarg and in Charge.