So, before we begin, if you don’t share an affinity for giant robots or anime, this probably isn’t the article for you. But read it anyway. You’re here, why not?
I’m going to go on here for a bit in a blend of confessions and commands, but I promise you, at the end of it there will be a point and we here at CM would love some feedback regarding any movies mentioned (existing or in theory).
I’ve been a fan of Maximalism for a while now and didn’t even realize it. And thanks to the article by Cameron Cook, I now know how to refer to these tremendous films without using the phrase “CGI-Monster”.
But more specifically I want to examine movies that fall under this category: The Transformers trilogy, Real Steel, and the current blockbuster, Pacific Rim. I watched Pacific Rim, and honestly, I’m still trying to get rid of the goose bumps and adrenaline. That movie was completely unexpected for a simple Thursday night “let’s see if it’s as good as it should be” type of movie.
Now here’s where I lose half of you, but with good reason. I personally enjoyed all of the Transformers movies. Yes, even the middle one. To me, a movie’s worth hinges on each and every expectation of it. Mine were never very high and thus I’ve always been pleasantly surprised.
Now, if you’re still here that means that your opinion of my opinion is still somewhat intact, and you are curious where I’m going with this.
Good. Hang in there.
What did the Transformers movies bring to the screen that we can dissect and use in other movies? Well for one, the first film proved to me that a movie with giant robots can come pretty close to looking real. Well, as real as giant robots can look.
And I hear a lot of complaints about Pacific Rim looking like Transformers on steroids with Cloverfield in the mix, but there is way more to each of these movies than they get credit for.
Transformers also let us see that sound effects and score go a long way. Of course, I am speaking more to the Steve Jablonsky compositions than the Linkin Park credit themes when I say score.
What I liked about Real Steel in terms of things to take from it were the human and machine relationships, much more tied together than in the Transformers series.
So, what I am suggesting/pleading for/demanding is a Gundam Wing movie. If you’re not familiar with the series, it is an anime that revolves around the lives of five young men who represent their countries by piloting mech suits, known as Gundams. To be fair, that’s a very simplistic description, whose sole intention was only to outline the suits I’m talking about and peak your interest in watching the series, and to you long-time fans who are furrowing your eyebrows at me, I apologize – but it’s too late now.
To break it down: Transformers showed us giant robots about the size of two story houses or small buildings all the way down to boombox size, Real Steel used robots that were a bit bigger than humans, and Pacific Rim showed us – well one of them used a freight ship like a baseball bat. Big. But these weren’t so much giant robots as they were actually closer to the definition of a mech suit, i.e. something requiring a pilot(s).
Here’s my argument, which is really an argument that was presented to me by my best friend after the first Transformers movie came out, and that is that there is absolutely no reason why there shouldn’t be a Gundam Wing movie! We’ve seen for years now that these metal suits are more than possible to make and now, under the right director, can even make for a brilliant movie. Even in Pacific Rim there are things which are drawn from anime (from what I hear, there are one or two in particular, but I don’t know for sure) such as the fact that the pilots wear suits and stand in an open area cockpit, which allows them to move freely having the suit mimic the pilots’ actions just like in the series, G Gundam – not exactly a part of the series that I’m referring to in the rest of this article, but it’s there. You also have the move that the main character’s mech (Jaeger, as they are called) utilizes, in which there is rocket power added at the elbow for a heavy punch. This immediately reminded me of the series Big O, and to be perfectly honest, this is another series I feel would translate amazingly to the big screen. Sure, there is an entire Gundam Wing series and select movies to deal with in order to construct a plot, but surely if we can make a movie based on toys, then we can just as well make a movie which is based on one of the most influential anime series of all time.
Again, the bottom line is this: Transformers showed us that giant robots are possible, Real Steel gave us the relationships between man and machine, and Pacific Rim showed us that giant robot movies don’t have to revolve around the giant robots. The potential for a Gundam Wing movie has been etched in mega-movie stone.
Now, having gotten through to the end, we want to know what you think! Is the potential really there? Would Gundam Wing translate to the big screen? Share your thoughts!