As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse. (from IMDB)
I want you to listen, and listen carefully.
Pacific Rim is one of the best action movies of this summer, and potentially this year even… IF you take this movie for what it really is.
Lot of people took jab at this movie because it wasn’t deep enough, ‘LOL EVANGELION’ (which is wrong, by the way. Del Toro was inspired by old-school mecha animes such as Tetsujin-28) and all that. And you know what, I’ll admit it right off. Yes this movie is predictable, yes this movie has every Kaiju and Mecha genre cliches you can find, yes it can get silly at times, and yes this movie has no particular underlying philosophy like some other sci-fi movies tried to do in recent years.
But I don’t care, because holy fuck I LOVED THIS MOVIE! Because I knew what this movie was, and the movie presented itself with utmost honesty.
Plot is the most cliche and straight-forward aspect of this movie, aside from character architects. Kaijus (yes they’re actually calling these monsters Kaiju) attack the world, humanity builds giant robots known as Jaegers to fight them back. Humanity is being pushed to the brink of extinction due to frequency of Kaiju appearance, so they have last ditch plan to end everything. If you’ve been watching Godzilla movies and/or every man vs ____ anime, I’m sure you can guess how it all ends.
Characters are stereotypical as well, but the actors hold up on their own. Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi held up well as Raleigh and Mako, and other cast member did just as well. But there are three people that stole the movie for me. First and on top, Idris Elba as Marshall Pentacost. He had such a presence and his tones were fierce, and yet you can sense a hint of humanity in what often comes out mechanical. He also had some of the best lines in the movie, and this could be his breakout performance in my opinion. The other actors are Charlie Day as Newton Geiszler and Ron Pearlman as Hannibal Chau. Man, these two were just eccentric and really gave the movie the humor punch it needed. That scene after the credit, it was priceless.
But the real and true stars of this movie are Jaegers and Kaijus themselves. Mother of metallic gods, do these Jaegers look awesome. Industrial Light & Magic has done a wonderful job bringing these mechas and monsters into life. Each Jaegers’ parts are uber-detailed, with realistic intricacy that it’ll leave you in awe. In addition, the idea behind the two-pilot control because of neural link limitation is original and genius, due to how it works into the plot seamlessly. Not to mention, these behemoths movie with as much realism as possible that you would actually get immersed in the fighting scenes. It feels real and hits with tons of impact when Kaiju rips apart Jaeger parts, with debris flying and parts shattering with such force that I was just glued to the screen. On the Kaiju side, they’re created just as intricate as Jaegers are. Not to mention, their movements are also realistic and each Kaijus are presented in unique aesthetics. One Kaiju would spit acid, while the other one would blast EMP, and so on. The key here is attention to details, as that is what makes the Kaiju vs Jaegers battle scene so amazing.
I do have to bring up cinematography and musical score. The fight scenes are well-paced and angled just right that you can see the battles clearly. It’s not too slow, but it’s not blindingly disorienting like some other recent movies. Couple that with epic music enhances the Kaiju battle that is reminiscent of the old Godzilla movies. The music was damn near Oscar-worthy, as it was grand, heavy, and powerful.
Despite cliches and stereotypes, I loved Pacific Rim. As Mecha and Tokusatsu fan, it was everything I hoped it would be: a great action flick with giant robots and monsters. They promised robots bashing monster skulls, and they delivered in spade. Pacific Rim could be a new beginning of something amazing, a big-budget Hollywood movies that’s original and not tied to any existing franchises. Hopefully, this movie does well enough that we can see more unique properties like this. If you haven’t see Pacific Rim yet, GO SEE IT NOW!
4.5 Kaiju brains out of 5