The huge Chinese box-office haul for Pacific Rim helped get it over the hump and on the road to a sequel — but an official in the People’s Liberation Army thinks the sci-fi action flick is just 2-plus hours of “American propaganda.”
In the official military publication PLA Daily, Chinese officer Zhang Jieli wrote a scathing attack of Guillermo del Toro’s monsters-vs.-mechs flick, which had a mediocre U.S. opening but has proven a solid hit globally.
Much of the film is set just outside Hong Kong, and follows a team of (mostly) American pilots tasked with fighting off the alien invasion. For Jieli, the setup seems to imply that Americans are supposed to be the world’s heroes — while glossing over the fact that it’s pure fiction about an alien invasion with skyscraper-sized robots.
Here are some excerpts from his post:
“Hollywood has always been the best American propaganda machine. The decisive battle against the monsters was deliberately set in South China Sea adjacent to Hong Kong ... The intention was to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific area and saving the mankind ... [The film pushes] American values and global strategies ... Soldiers should sharpen their eyes and enforce a ‘firewall’ to avoid ideological erosion when watching American movies. More importantly, they should strengthen their combat capability to safeguard national security and interests.”
To date, Pacific Rim has brought in a remarkable $106.2 million in China alone (which is a few million more than its U.S. haul). The flick has scored $397 million worldwide, and could break the $400 million mark before it's all said and done.
What do you think? Is Pacific Rim pushing American propaganda? Or is it, you know, just a movie?