Review: Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim is truly more of a humanist movie than a transhumanist movie, however the film will be of interest to transhumanists and especially those that enjoy a good giant CG robot battle.

The story is about fairly average humans trying really hard to stay alive. The film is set in the near future, the 2020s, when Earth is under attack by the “kaiju” which are colossal monsters which emerge from a portal in the ocean floor. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to creates the Jaegers, which are gigantic humanoid  robots or mecha. Each Jaeger is controlled by two pilots whose minds are joined by a “neural bridge” creating “the drift”. Only the drift and neural bridge touched directly on transhumanist (NBIC) technologies although obviously the mecha themselves must embody a variety of advanced technologies in order to operate.

The “neural handshake” and “neural bridge” are proposed as the underlying technologies of the drift. The drift  allows minds of the mecha pilots to merge and work as one. In the drift the pilots share each other’s memories and thoughts, both good and bad, and have a direct experience of the other pilot’s mind.

During the course of the movie, due to the urgency of the situation in which the characters found themselves, this technology was not explored beyond an immediate means of survival.  To the extent that Pacific Rim speaks to transhumanist issues at all, it is limited to the idea that as humans we will use any and all means to keep ourselves alive. And some of us will do more than others.

It’s pretty. The concept is fairly novel on several levels. Who doesn’t love mecha, ne? I love mecha. These were good mecha!  Shiney!

Transhumanists also support cancelling the apocalypse.

Pacifc Rim has a strong female character, although she could have been better. Lovely cinematography, not the most perfect and amazing, but this is really very well done.

It’s an adventure story and doesn’t presume to be more. There are some thoughtful bits, but they’re the same kind of thoughtful bits one usually gets in this type of film. Parental issues, heroic death, bad memories, and the threat of the end of the world echo in most adventure movies and also in Pacific Rim.

I liked the main characters and I could overlook the few parts that didn’t sync too well.

Summary: Pacific Rim is a decent movie – the kind one could play for background noise. Awesome robot battles outshine the limited transhumanist tech mentioned. The idea of the drift was interesting, but the idea is never developed.

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