Everyone knows The Asylum, famous for making Sharknado movies, but they make tons of “mockbusters”, low budget movies made to capitalize off of big budget films with similar names. And because the budget of these films is so low, frankly, the quality is all over the place. Some are good, some are not so good.
This movie falls squarely into the latter category.
So let’s take a gander at Atlantic Rim and see how bad it really is.
When an oil rig disappears under mysterious circumstances, the military activates the Armada Program, which features three giant robots designed for deep ocean exploration. They find the rig, but also the giant monster that caused its destruction. The monster heads for the coast, causing Red, the pilot of the red robot, to disobey orders, thus revealing the top-secret program to the world. But he also kills the monster, which gets him a commendation, followed by a quick trip to solitary confinement. But there are two more monsters out there and Red’s partners spring him to fight the beasts, all the while trying to stop elements within the military from launching a nuclear missile at the monster, which just so happens to be in New York City.
This movie is bad. Not just bad but really atrociously awful. The acting is terrible. The effects are ridiculous. The story is nonsensical. The director clearly doesn’t take any of this seriously and they rip off every movie they can think of, from the obvious Pacific Rim to the original Avengers movie. There is no part of this flick that isn’t utterly ludicrous. And continuity? Forget it. Near the end of the movie, Admiral Hadley gets shot in the arm while trying to take down a crazed military idiot, but less than a minute later, he’s just walking around without a mark on him. Oh, and the bit where they run out of ammo and their robots are literally just beating on the monster with their fists until the scientist goes “Oh yeah!” and tells them they’ve got melee weapons so they can beat on the monster with swords and axes. It’s just silly.
But does it fall into the “so bad it’s good” category? I’d like to say yes but I really can’t. To fall into that category, the movie has to be so unintentionally terrible that the horrible nature of the movie becomes its best point. But this isn’t unintentionally terrible. It’s just bad. It’s either bad on purpose or bad because director Jared Cohn just didn’t care. The acting is way over the top, the actors spend all of their time gnawing on the scenery, the story is stupid, the CGI is bad and the movie didn’t leave me laughing, it left me wincing. This is just a bad movie. But if you like bad movies, maybe you’ll get something out of it. If you’ve got 85 minutes and nothing at all to do, I guess there might be worse things that you could do than sit through this thing. That’s about as backhanded a compliment as I can manage for Atlantic Rim.