No, there really is an Altantic Rim movie! It was released straight-to-DVD by The Asylum. If you don’t know The Asylum and what they’re all about, they create “mockbusters” (yes, that’s a real thing). These are low-budget films that try to capitalize on upcoming Hollywood blockbusters. For example, when the live-action version of the Transformers came out, The Asylum filmed and released Transmorphers. With the apparent popularity of the first Paranormal Activity, they made Paranormal Entity.
So, when Pacific Rim was riding a major hype wave, The Asylum knew what to do and created their own “giant robots fighting monsters” movie. Since I did a review on Pacific Rim and it’s sort of predecessor, Robot Jox, I might as well do a review of Atlantic Rim!
So, here’s a quick summary of my review since this is going to be a SPOILER-FILLED review: It’s awful! It’s so bad I had to say it in bold font!
As a kid growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I know how to have a good time watching low budget movies. In fact, I think it was a prerequisite to enjoy cheap movies during those times. A lot of them actually became some of the most popular movies ever. The original Evil Dead and Attack of The Killer Tomatoes are just a couple of examples that did extremely well despite their low budgets. I also enjoy bad movies as well. Movies like The Punisher starring Dolph Lungren and Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins are extremely enjoyable in my opinion.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for Altantic Rim. The problem with it is that I didn’t feel any soul from it. The other films that I mentioned were fun because you can feel the passion in their creation. I couldn’t feel that same passion while watching Atlantic Rim.
Here’s the general plot of Atlantic Rim. An oil rig in the Atlantic (hence, the name of the film) disappears for no apparent reason and the Navy decides to activate Project Armada, three robots designed to… I don’t really know. They never mentioned the point of why they were constructing these enormous robots in the first place since they apparently didn’t have any idea that there were giant monsters in the first place! They just happened to have them ready and equip them with weapons (more on that later).
So, once the robot reaches the location of the destroyed oil rig, they discover one of the giant monsters. One of the pilots, Red (who is the generic “loose cannon” hero), pursues the monster and disobeys a direct order by emerging from the ocean to warn the public of the impending monster landfall. Red combats the monster and manages to kill it with the help of a fighter pilot named “Spitfire” shooting a missile down the creature’s mouth.
After the battle, Jim, one of the other robot pilots, rescues a little girl from a burning bar. Why the girl is in a bar even though she’s way under the age of 18 is beyond me. Anyway, Jim rescues the girl… and that’s it. The girl and her father are never mentioned after that point. Red is arrested for not following orders and is thrown in a… warehouse, I guess?
Admiral Hadley informs Red that he needs to attend a victory celebration since he was the one who defeated the beast (no mention of Spitfire’s role in the victory) and is released temporarily. Tracy, Red’s girlfriend and the third pilot from Project Armada, accompanies Jim. Tracy wants to leave the party early to check on Jim (who’s helping the injured) but Red wants to stay at the party. They added this just to hint at what’s to happen in the future (dun-dun-dun).
The next day, another monster emerges from the ocean and attack the naval base. Tracy and Jim race to Jim’s warehouse to free him from his locked warehouse before the monster destroys the facility and succeed. Planes drop bombs on the monster and it retreats back into the water. While at a bar, Tracy confesses to Red that she hooked up with Jim… and that’s it.
Another monster immediately emerges next to New York and starts raining destruction on the city. The pilots are given new “halo” controls, essentially headbands that enable them to pilot their robots by mere thought, increasing their reaction time but also making them feel the pain of the robots. They fly to New York (the robots have jetpacks all of a sudden) to battle the monster.
Initially, they have difficulty as the monster is much larger than the others they faced before. The lead scientist advises them to deploy their melee weapons… yep. Red has an axe. Tracy is equipped with a sword and Jim has a hammer. Why do they have different weapons even though the robots look exactly alike? Guess the engineers loved watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they were young.
Geise, a commander who has an (awesome) eyepatch, wants Admiral Hadley to order a nuclear strike on the city to kill the monster. When Hadley refuses, Geise goes over his head and launch the nuke at the city. Red is informed of the situation and goes after the missile while Tracy and Jim fight the monster. Red jams the missile’s frequency, preventing it from exploding. Geise then goes to the control room of the robot and threatens the lead scientist to shut down the robots. Hadley steps in and gets shot (it’s only a flesh wound) but another soldier disarms Geise during the confusion.
Tracy loses consciousness during the battle and Jim carries her to safety. Red carries the missile and rams it into the monster. He then carries the missile into space and lets the nuke detonate. Red’s robot crashes but he comes out unharmed.
The end… thank God!
Atlantic Rim is literally the worst movie I’ve watched. And I’m using the word “literally” in the strictest sense; as in it is definitely the worst movie I’ve seen ever. I’ve never seen The Room so I can’t comment on that, okay?
There are scenes that serve no purpose (Jim rescuing the girl, Tracy and Jim hooking up, etc.) and seem to be there just to add to the length of the movie. The CGI looks like something you’d see from the PlayStation… the original gray box PlayStation. And the acting is pretty bad. Admiral Hadley’s face never changed… even when he was shot! Either he’s a tough bastard or, more likely, his face is just frozen like that.
I guess it can be one of those movies that may be fun to watch if you’re with a bunch of friends who love making fun of movies… and you’re all really, really, really drunk. I still stand by my overall conclusion that Atlantic Rim is the worst movie I’ve watched and, whenever I review a film in the future and I think it’s bad, I’ll probably say the same thing about it…
“At least it’s not as bad as Atlantic Rim.”
If you want to feel my pain (or you did get a bunch of really, really, really drunk friends who love making fun of films), you can watch the entire thing… but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Did you watch Atlantic Rim? Are there any Asylum films that are fun to watch? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!