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Face-Off: Pacific Rim vs. Godzilla (2014)

06.16.2015by: Brian Bitner
Hard on the heels of JURASSIC WORLD, the giant meanie movies of 2013 and 2014 are here to screech and throw each other into buildings. Geek favorite Guillermo del Toro finally brought the long awaited PACIFIC RIM to life in 2013, and Gareth Edwards resurrected everyone's favorite kaiju in 2014's GODZILLA. For two movies that sound like they should be pretty much the same thing, we are looking at two vastly different films which rarely handle similar subject matter in the same way. Ready? Fight!
CAST
Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Ron Perlman, Clifton Collins Jr., Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini

PACIFIC RIM has a fine roster of actors, but most of the supporting cast are treated as little more than cartoon characters, and even the leads are directed to fairly flat performances.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Carson Bolde, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn

GODZILLA takes itself a bit more seriously, thus giving its actors a chance to actually act. As expected, Bryan Cranston knocks it out of the park during his short time onscreen, and the Maximoff twins deliver sufficiently emotional performances.
PLOT
Attack of the giant flying electric monsters!

Waves of kaiju attack through an interdimensional portal while humanity strives to fend them off with giant manned machines known as jaeger. Meanwhile, two scientists attempt to give humanity a leg up by interfacing with the kaiju hive mind.

PACIFIC RIM is a story we haven't quite seen before, so I'm giving it the edge here. Also, humans are actually responsible for saving themselves in this one.
Attack of the giant flying electric monsters!

Two MUTOs walk toward each other in the interest of destructively making out and raising a family while Godzilla attempts to take them both out. Humans pretend they have a say in the matter.

Okay, humans destroy the MUTO eggs and transport a nuclear warhead to a safe location; that is absolutely significant. As far as the immediate MUTO threat, however, the outcome would be the same if humanity had simply sat back and watched Godzilla do his thing.
VISUALS / ACTION
PACIFIC RIM's eyes were a little too big for its stomach. Both the visuals and action are handled well, but the mentality of, "let's just do every crazy thing we can think of" ultimately results in scenes that feel too over the top, CGI-laden, and illogical.

Case in point, it's pretty fantastic when Gipsy Danger strolls in holding an ocean liner and proceeds to use it as a melee weapon... until a few minutes later when it's revealed they had a f*cking SWORD this whole time. A sword is not your last resort in battle, people.

Also, elbow rocket.
GODZILLA, taking a page from Gareth Edwards' previous film MONSTERS, keeps the action far off and incidental for much of the movie. This allows for a greater build of tension and immersion into the story, which also makes the action a bit more believable when we finally get to it. This technique is used a little too often, though, which we'll get to in the next segment.
FUN
Okay, before you all nerd rage too hard about the last category, I will happily admit that PACIFIC RIM's lack of logic or boundaries makes for a fun, very watchable movie. Just when you think you've settled in, some new craziness happens that keeps the kid in you happy.
Due to the more sober tone of GODZILLA, we don't end up with a very exciting film. Even the dramatic aspect of the story peters out after things get going with the beasties, so we're left somewhere in no-man's land with a dramaless drama and a monster vs. monster movie without much monster vs. monster... until Godzilla breathes fire down a chump's throat until his head comes off, that is.
CRITICAL RESPONSE
IMDB: 7.0/10
Metacritic: 64/100
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
JoBlo.com: 6/10 (9/10 - Chris Bumbray's take)
IMDB: 6.5/10
Metacritic: 62/100
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
JoBlo.com: 6/10
WORLDWIDE GROSS
$411,002,906
$528,676,069
IT'S A TIE!
Ultimately, both of these films fall in the "good not great" category, and it really comes down to what you want to see in a movie like this. PACIFIC RIM is a ton of fun if you turn off your brain but almost insulting to anyone looking for logic or gravitas in a summer blockbuster, while GODZILLA is a more well-balanced effort but doesn't deliver nearly the fun, intensity, or explosiveness one would expect from a movie about wrassling monsters. I have NO DOUBT you will have something to say about this matchup, but regardless of your preference, look for PACIFIC RIM 2 in 2017 and GODZILLA 2 the following year!

Agree? Disagree? Which do you prefer?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!

If you have a suggestion for a future Face-Off, let us know below or send me an email at brianbitner@joblo.com.

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2:51AM on 06/17/2015
Both films had me so pumped for their release from the trailers that I could not wait. Both films were a letdown. Both are just okay nothing special. Both had some bad acting by a few cast members. I say a tie is warranted.
Both films had me so pumped for their release from the trailers that I could not wait. Both films were a letdown. Both are just okay nothing special. Both had some bad acting by a few cast members. I say a tie is warranted.
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10:02PM on 06/16/2015

Ron Perlman trumps the entire Godzilla cast

I saw both in IMAX 3D glory, and while Godzilla was good and I liked it, it doesn't hold a torch to the sheer fun and ridiculousness of Pacific Rim. Godzilla's flaw was it took itself too seriously; Pacific Rim's strength was it knew it was over the top and milked it for every sweet second of it.
I saw both in IMAX 3D glory, and while Godzilla was good and I liked it, it doesn't hold a torch to the sheer fun and ridiculousness of Pacific Rim. Godzilla's flaw was it took itself too seriously; Pacific Rim's strength was it knew it was over the top and milked it for every sweet second of it.
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5:18PM on 06/16/2015
Just reading the comments over and what's surprising to me is how so many people think Pacific Rim was a fun movie. I love Del Toro, but this was easily his worst film, and it failed to really engage in even the most basic popcorn entertainment aspects. There were no moments that made you go "that's badass" like there should have been. Instead the whole thing just made me kind of shrug my shoulders and go "meh." It just wasn't creative at all and Del Toro really had every opportunity to
Just reading the comments over and what's surprising to me is how so many people think Pacific Rim was a fun movie. I love Del Toro, but this was easily his worst film, and it failed to really engage in even the most basic popcorn entertainment aspects. There were no moments that made you go "that's badass" like there should have been. Instead the whole thing just made me kind of shrug my shoulders and go "meh." It just wasn't creative at all and Del Toro really had every opportunity to capitalize on the premise, but sadly just phoned it in.
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6:15PM on 06/17/2015
In defense of Godzilla, it really was all about the build up to the climatic battle at the end, and while i'm open to a sequel with more action, I quite enjoyed Edwards take on it. I disagree about the visuals being muddled as I didn't really have a problem being able to see what was going on. Godzilla was just shot way better than Pacific Rim. Pacific Rim may have had giant robots and monsters, but it was filmed with all the bravado of a goofy power rangers episode minus the fun. It was just
In defense of Godzilla, it really was all about the build up to the climatic battle at the end, and while i'm open to a sequel with more action, I quite enjoyed Edwards take on it. I disagree about the visuals being muddled as I didn't really have a problem being able to see what was going on. Godzilla was just shot way better than Pacific Rim. Pacific Rim may have had giant robots and monsters, but it was filmed with all the bravado of a goofy power rangers episode minus the fun. It was just way too clunky to be a fun popcorn movie.
11:14AM on 06/17/2015
How can you do a 2 1/2 hour Godzilla film, and you see the title beast for only 10 minutes, and on top of that make it so when you dont cut away from the money shots, the action is so dark, muddled in the background for a great majority, and near impossible to see.
How can you do a 2 1/2 hour Godzilla film, and you see the title beast for only 10 minutes, and on top of that make it so when you dont cut away from the money shots, the action is so dark, muddled in the background for a great majority, and near impossible to see.
10:22PM on 06/16/2015
I'll take a fun popcorn movie over a boring movie with an iconic monster anyday, how can you make a Godzilla movie so gloomy & dull?
I'll take a fun popcorn movie over a boring movie with an iconic monster anyday, how can you make a Godzilla movie so gloomy & dull?
2:17PM on 06/16/2015
Pacific Rim & Jurassic World it's a tie! Godzilla is no even close...
Pacific Rim & Jurassic World it's a tie! Godzilla is no even close...
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12:19PM on 06/16/2015

Pacific Rim should have won!

Godzilla was so dumb. The monsters were boring, the focus on the army was lame and there were so many moments that made you hit your head against a wall. "Hey, these things can smell plutonium from 200 miles away, lets load a big plutonium missel onto a slow train and transport it and only protect it with our guns!"
Godzilla was so dumb. The monsters were boring, the focus on the army was lame and there were so many moments that made you hit your head against a wall. "Hey, these things can smell plutonium from 200 miles away, lets load a big plutonium missel onto a slow train and transport it and only protect it with our guns!"
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12:44PM on 06/16/2015
Agreed. Not to mention the ridiculous use of Bryan Cranston. smh
Agreed. Not to mention the ridiculous use of Bryan Cranston. smh
11:47AM on 06/16/2015
Pacific Rim wins and it's not even close. Better story, better visuals, better use of characters, and simply more fun. Saw it in 3D, which is abnormal for me, and I had a blast. Godzilla was a major letdown. The only cool part was when he shot blue fire from his mouth and did that crazy scream.
Pacific Rim wins and it's not even close. Better story, better visuals, better use of characters, and simply more fun. Saw it in 3D, which is abnormal for me, and I had a blast. Godzilla was a major letdown. The only cool part was when he shot blue fire from his mouth and did that crazy scream.
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11:24AM on 06/16/2015

It's not a tie, Pacific Rim wasn't a crushing let down like Godzilla 2014 was

I liked Pacific Rim, but didn't love it at first. Godzilla I was very excited to see, but was irritated almost to the point of walking out after they kept cutting away from the real action to follow stupid soldiers and other distractions. After seeing Godzilla, I really appreciated Pacific Rim much more.
I liked Pacific Rim, but didn't love it at first. Godzilla I was very excited to see, but was irritated almost to the point of walking out after they kept cutting away from the real action to follow stupid soldiers and other distractions. After seeing Godzilla, I really appreciated Pacific Rim much more.
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11:09PM on 06/16/2015
First Hour and a Half of Godzilla in a Nutshell: oh shit! ohhhhhhh shit! here comes Godzilla! it's about to go down!! wait, what?
First Hour and a Half of Godzilla in a Nutshell: oh shit! ohhhhhhh shit! here comes Godzilla! it's about to go down!! wait, what?
10:45AM on 06/16/2015

Pacific Rim. This is not even a conest.

I watched Godzilla in Theaters and te only impressive moment was when you see Godzilla in Hawaii. I watched Pacific Rim for the first time at home (to my great shame) and the sense of scale blew me away. Never did I question the size of the creatures or the Jagers. In adsolutley no way did Godzilla have a better story. I was engrossed and entertained every second of Pacific Rim. It also win's on charecters (It has Idris Elba) all of whome I liked and enjoyed watching.

Actually everything
I watched Godzilla in Theaters and te only impressive moment was when you see Godzilla in Hawaii. I watched Pacific Rim for the first time at home (to my great shame) and the sense of scale blew me away. Never did I question the size of the creatures or the Jagers. In adsolutley no way did Godzilla have a better story. I was engrossed and entertained every second of Pacific Rim. It also win's on charecters (It has Idris Elba) all of whome I liked and enjoyed watching.

Actually everything was better in Pacific Rim. It's one of my favorite summer films of the last decade.
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+2
10:38AM on 06/16/2015
GODZILLA: 4/10
PACIFIC RIM: 7/10
GODZILLA: 4/10
PACIFIC RIM: 7/10
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9:37AM on 06/16/2015

Apocalypse Cancelled

Sorry but PR wins. First, Gojira faked us out making us think Bryan Cranston was really IN it. Second, it wandered quite a bit and made it hard to connect to the characters like they wanted you to. PR, on the other hand, was meant to be rocket-punching havoc and cheesy fun and it NAILED IT. for me, PR wins.
Sorry but PR wins. First, Gojira faked us out making us think Bryan Cranston was really IN it. Second, it wandered quite a bit and made it hard to connect to the characters like they wanted you to. PR, on the other hand, was meant to be rocket-punching havoc and cheesy fun and it NAILED IT. for me, PR wins.
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9:15AM on 06/16/2015
Pacific Rim. Godzilla was awesome, but took waaay to long to see anything worth while. One of the first fights ended so abruptly... one second they're about to fight downtown, then cuts immediately to the aftermath scene... WTF??
Pacific Rim. Godzilla was awesome, but took waaay to long to see anything worth while. One of the first fights ended so abruptly... one second they're about to fight downtown, then cuts immediately to the aftermath scene... WTF??
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11:33AM on 06/16/2015
I really hated how the director kept mentioning Jaws. Godzilla isn't f'ing Jaws. I seen Edwards Monsters after, it's almost the same crap we seen in Godzilla, with the monsters being in the background and we are forced to watch stupid humans. I'm not looking forward to his Star Wars film, I can tell you that much.
I really hated how the director kept mentioning Jaws. Godzilla isn't f'ing Jaws. I seen Edwards Monsters after, it's almost the same crap we seen in Godzilla, with the monsters being in the background and we are forced to watch stupid humans. I'm not looking forward to his Star Wars film, I can tell you that much.
9:10AM on 06/16/2015
Pacific Rim looked like a cartoon. They had a cool concept, but the visuals and cinematography failed to provide any sense of awe that a movie about giant monsters should provide. It was also way too predictable and cliche. Godzilla, on the other hand, delivered way more of what I was looking for in a giant monster movie. That final battle easily beats any scene in Pacific Rim.
Pacific Rim looked like a cartoon. They had a cool concept, but the visuals and cinematography failed to provide any sense of awe that a movie about giant monsters should provide. It was also way too predictable and cliche. Godzilla, on the other hand, delivered way more of what I was looking for in a giant monster movie. That final battle easily beats any scene in Pacific Rim.
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8:51AM on 06/16/2015

Pacific Rim

Thought Pacific Rim was more fun and enjoyable.
Thought Pacific Rim was more fun and enjoyable.
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8:16AM on 06/16/2015
I'd say Godzilla is the better film even if Pacific Rim has better / crazier action. Pacific Rim basically has Monsters vs Robots for its running time and that's it, it needed better investment in the characters to make you give more of a crap about the effects. Godzilla had plenty of human drama, but the director seemed to revel in the act of cutting away from the action (he even laughs about pissing people off by cutting away from good scenes somewhere in the special features). It's an
I'd say Godzilla is the better film even if Pacific Rim has better / crazier action. Pacific Rim basically has Monsters vs Robots for its running time and that's it, it needed better investment in the characters to make you give more of a crap about the effects. Godzilla had plenty of human drama, but the director seemed to revel in the act of cutting away from the action (he even laughs about pissing people off by cutting away from good scenes somewhere in the special features). It's an acceptable tactic if you eventually give the audience what they want, but the later fight scenes were so dark and indistinct that he almost screwed up the movie. Regardless, I love the feel and the intent of Godzilla more than the execution of Pacific Rim, even though neither film was flawlessly handled.
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8:56AM on 06/16/2015
I think PR is less at fault because at least it delivered in its intent more than GODZILLA. The latter thought it was being "clever" by cutting away from what the audience initially wanted, filling a movie with boring, stupid, insipid, one-dimensional characters and ALSO denying fans what they came for: giant monsters fighting.
I think PR is less at fault because at least it delivered in its intent more than GODZILLA. The latter thought it was being "clever" by cutting away from what the audience initially wanted, filling a movie with boring, stupid, insipid, one-dimensional characters and ALSO denying fans what they came for: giant monsters fighting.
+3
7:55AM on 06/16/2015
Pacific Rim is so much better it's not even a contest.
Pacific Rim is so much better it's not even a contest.
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+4
7:42AM on 06/16/2015

What is the tie breaker?

Which one is more fun? Pacific Rim.
You can't say that Godzilla has more 'logic'. It tries to have more tension, that's true, but to ME, it fails. If Godzilla had as interesting characters or coversations as JAWS, it would be superior. But as it hasn't, it's just a monster movie with little monster action. Both movies have cliché characters, but at least, Pacific Rim has more action scenes, more fun, and is visually better.
Which one is more fun? Pacific Rim.
You can't say that Godzilla has more 'logic'. It tries to have more tension, that's true, but to ME, it fails. If Godzilla had as interesting characters or coversations as JAWS, it would be superior. But as it hasn't, it's just a monster movie with little monster action. Both movies have cliché characters, but at least, Pacific Rim has more action scenes, more fun, and is visually better.
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8:53AM on 06/16/2015
Your comment is better than mine. Succint, and truthful. I hate people comparing it to JAWS. Yes, it hides "the main beast" until fully revealed in the end, but it lacks everything else about JAWS that made it so watchable.
Your comment is better than mine. Succint, and truthful. I hate people comparing it to JAWS. Yes, it hides "the main beast" until fully revealed in the end, but it lacks everything else about JAWS that made it so watchable.
-2
7:18AM on 06/16/2015
I managed to seat through all of Fatzilla.
Only managed 20 minutes of the Rim and just gave up
I managed to seat through all of Fatzilla.
Only managed 20 minutes of the Rim and just gave up
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+3
7:01AM on 06/16/2015
Both movies had their share of awesomeness and lameness. Pacific Rim wins for me because I was entertained from beginning to end. Godzilla was a cock tease for 75% of the movie (Godzilla and another giant monster begin to battle and you cut away to never show it? It was a funny cut away, but to never go back to it?).
Both movies had their share of awesomeness and lameness. Pacific Rim wins for me because I was entertained from beginning to end. Godzilla was a cock tease for 75% of the movie (Godzilla and another giant monster begin to battle and you cut away to never show it? It was a funny cut away, but to never go back to it?).
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6:02AM on 06/16/2015
I gotta go with good ole' Godzilla. He's been around a long, long time.
I gotta go with good ole' Godzilla. He's been around a long, long time.
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5:24AM on 06/16/2015
Godzilla.Cranston was awesome sauce plus Juliette Binoche did better acting whilst wearing a hazmat suit then most of the actresses.
Godzilla.Cranston was awesome sauce plus Juliette Binoche did better acting whilst wearing a hazmat suit then most of the actresses.
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5:15AM on 06/16/2015
Nope. Not a tie. Pacific Rim for me. It really is a kind of movie that you need to turn off your brain and enjoy Kaiju madness.
Nope. Not a tie. Pacific Rim for me. It really is a kind of movie that you need to turn off your brain and enjoy Kaiju madness.
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+2
5:13AM on 06/16/2015

Rim Job

Pacific Rim wins this thing, hands down! Mostly because... Godzilla sucked donkey dicks.
Pacific Rim wins this thing, hands down! Mostly because... Godzilla sucked donkey dicks.
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1:39AM on 06/16/2015

Surprisingly I would pick Pacific Rim

While it was dumb, silly & very campy, it's a fun little movie to kill 2 hours of your life. Now I found Godzilla to be extremely boring & he is BARELY IN IT! Then they make the mistake of killing off the best character in the first 30 minutes. Makes the 1998 version look like Citizen Kane.
While it was dumb, silly & very campy, it's a fun little movie to kill 2 hours of your life. Now I found Godzilla to be extremely boring & he is BARELY IN IT! Then they make the mistake of killing off the best character in the first 30 minutes. Makes the 1998 version look like Citizen Kane.
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1:20AM on 06/16/2015

Didn't like PR too much. But I hated Godzilla

Both were "dumb", but I had zero fun in GODZILLA. So much was wrong in GODZILLA; especially the characters/cast, the story... and not seeing Godzilla or monsters fighting much. It's one of those movies that are so stupid it's DARING you to say "it's dumb" so others can say "yeah, well, what did you expect?"
PR was quite bad, as well. But it was juuuuuust enough to keep me from getting pissed off by its own stupidity.
Both were "dumb", but I had zero fun in GODZILLA. So much was wrong in GODZILLA; especially the characters/cast, the story... and not seeing Godzilla or monsters fighting much. It's one of those movies that are so stupid it's DARING you to say "it's dumb" so others can say "yeah, well, what did you expect?"
PR was quite bad, as well. But it was juuuuuust enough to keep me from getting pissed off by its own stupidity.
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+0
1:02AM on 06/16/2015

I agree.....

I liked both films, but Pac Rim had way too many "turn your brain off" moments, while Godzilla tried so much to play hard to get that it became ridiculous after a while.

I thought Godzilla was the better movie, but Pac Rim was more fun. I could have lived with the choices Edwards made for the film if they'd just kept Cranston around for the whole thing. He was easily the best, most invigorating part of the film, and it was utterly stupid to kill him off so they could replace him with the
I liked both films, but Pac Rim had way too many "turn your brain off" moments, while Godzilla tried so much to play hard to get that it became ridiculous after a while.

I thought Godzilla was the better movie, but Pac Rim was more fun. I could have lived with the choices Edwards made for the film if they'd just kept Cranston around for the whole thing. He was easily the best, most invigorating part of the film, and it was utterly stupid to kill him off so they could replace him with the charismatically challenged Johnson.
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-2
1:01AM on 06/16/2015

I agree.....

I liked both films, but Pac Rim had way too many "turn your brain off" moments, while Godzilla tried so much to play hard to get that it became ridiculous after a while.

I thought Godzilla was the better movie, but Pac Rim was more fun. I could have lived with the choices Edwards made for the film if they'd just kept Cranston around for the whole thing. He was easily the best, most invigorating part of the film, and it was utterly stupid to kill him off so they could replace him with the
I liked both films, but Pac Rim had way too many "turn your brain off" moments, while Godzilla tried so much to play hard to get that it became ridiculous after a while.

I thought Godzilla was the better movie, but Pac Rim was more fun. I could have lived with the choices Edwards made for the film if they'd just kept Cranston around for the whole thing. He was easily the best, most invigorating part of the film, and it was utterly stupid to kill him off so they could replace him with the charismatically challenged Johnson.
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