The Asylum is not only a place for crazy people, but a production studio behind such great “mockbusters” as AVH: Alien vs. Hunter, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, Paranormal Entity, Transmorphers, and Snakes on a Train. So, you would have to be crazy to not watch these….right? Well, I sat down and let curiosity get the better of me, and I watched their latest, Atlantic Rim.
From the opening scene, Atlantic Rim is terrible, and it only gets worse. An oil rig is destroyed by a dragon-like monster from the bottom of the ocean. Next up, we are thrust into a military meeting of the mindless when Admiral Hadley (Graham Greene), Dr. Margaret Adams (Nicole Dickson), Lt. Wexler (Demetrius Stear), and Geise (Steven Marlow) who wears an eye patch and a scar over the eye. This brain trust cannot determine what happened to the oil rig, and they decide to send in Operation: Armada. The dialog here is laughably painful and trite.
We then cut to a Mardi Gras celebration where we meet Red (David Chokachi) and Tracy (Jackie Moore). Both inebriated and in camouflage fatigues. They have a disagreement with a guy smoking in the alley and his crony, which leads to a terribly and obviously choreographed fight. They get a call to return to base, and off they go. Once on base, they meet up with the third soldier in Operation: Armada, Jim (TREACH). They are briefed of the situation, and then they climb into their giant robots of matching color to their wetsuits. They are dropped into the ocean where they descend to the bottom. While on the bottom, the discover wreckage like no one has ever scene. Admiral Hadley delivers some line so painful, I turned off the movie, seventeen minutes in.
A few beers later, I turn it back on. The three robots encounter the dragon like monster, and Red pursues it, disobeying a direct order from the Admiral. He then comes up on land ahead of the creature at a beach. He tells everyone to get off the beach, but the people just cheer this giant robot. Then, the monster appears, and everyone scrambles. Red fights it, but cannot win. In the meantime, Admiral Hadley, Lt. Wexler, and Dr. Adams have boarded a helicopter and reached the battle in an amazingly short period of time. The Navy has scrambled a fleet and sent some fighter jets to assist. All of this is done through grainy “stock footage.” Apparently clear stock footage costs too much.
Fighter pilot Spitfire (Jared Cohn) launches a missile that Red helps direct right into the mouth of the monster, killing it. But, because Red disobeyed the direct order, he is arrested and thrown in the brig, but honored as a hero. What? As he is being arrested, Jim decides to help a random guy that is still alive amid all the destruction find his missing twelve-year-old daughter. Of course Jim finds her, convinces her to trust him because he is a “superhero” and carries her to safety just as the bar explodes. That’s right, she was in a bar with her dad.
Back to the destruction for a second, there is a lot of dead bodies just lying in the middle of the street, and a few of them blink as the camera pans by them. The bar mentioned above has a bunch of people dead where they sit, at the bar. This does not make any sense at all. None. Period.
Back in the brig, Red does all kinds of “furious” things: push-ups, sit-ups, pacing, and moves his cot. He then finds out that he is to receive a medal at a gala event, then he will be returned to the brig. I don’t get it. Anyway, the next day, another monster attacks. Instead of using the same tactic as before with the missile, the entire military uses their guns that are pointless. Tracy and Jim have to save Red from the brig before the monster destroys the building he is in. The second monster is killed, but a third one emerges. This one is bigger, so, I can only assume that it is the mommy monster.
The three robot pilots are given “halos” that allow their central nervous system to bond with their robot, but it hasn’t been field tested. This will give them faster response time, but they also “feel” the damage to their robot. In other words, if the robot is destroyed or takes too much damage, the pilot will die. They then fly to New York City to battle this latest monster. They are severely outmatched, but discover that they can pull a lever and weapons appear: axe, sword and giant hammer. Geise returns and orders a nuclear strike against orders because he has no faith Operation: Armada. He then threatens Admiral Hadley at gunpoint. Why? He has an eye-patch! Remember? He has a handgun in his waist band behind his back. I am sure this is standard military weapon carrying protocol.
When Atlantic Rim finally reaches its terrible unbelievable horrendous end, I wanted to cry. I wasted 81 minutes of my life. During the credits, I noticed that Jared Cohn not only played the part of Spitfire, but he also directed and took story credit. This movie is atomically horrible. Further research in The Asylum just made me laugh. They typically have a budget of less than a $1 million, shoot in a few weeks and carry a total production time of four months from conception to final product. That is all impressive, but what they churn out is of lower quality than a Lifetime Original or SyF Original. Pacific Rim does not have to worry about Atlantic Rim stealing any of its glory or box office.
RATING: .5/10 (I would watch this again before The Call, After Earth and G.I. Joe 2)