Pacific Rim- Review
Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim blew me away. It’s like everything and nothing you’ve ever seen before while simultaneously remaining completely unmatched. There’s like this perfect balance between “Wow! Godzilla” to “What the hell is going on?! I never would have thought of that!”. From Cronos and Pan’s Labyrinth to Hellboy and now Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro as a chillingly visual director has yet to disappoint me.The creatures and demons that creep out of this man’s head are strikingly frightening and play on our deepest and most profound childhood fears. Del Toro has that way of making an audience revert back to their youth when one was still looking in the closet and under the bed, terrified at what might crawl out from under there.
With Pacific Rim, del Toro’s talent for scaring the beejeezus out of us is more prominent than ever. Not only did Pacific Rim curdle my blood, it also awakened something in me that I haven’t felt at the movies in a while; nostalgia. The components in this movie feel as though they were taken from every aspect of science-fiction pop culture.Watching the Jaegers fight the Kaiju reminded me of old Power Ranger battles (back when that was cool) and Mothra vs Godzilla. Also there’s mind melding and getting “lost in the drift”, which basically means that if you’re not careful you’ll end up in an imaginative world conjured up by your own self-conscious that is totally not nice. Sound familiar? There was also a hint of Stephen King’s The Mist and Transformers, Tron and oh! Portal with GLaDOS yelling Gipsy Danger every chance she got. Sort of. Gipsy Danger was actually the name of the main protagonist’s Jaeger and Ellen McLain was the AI voice in the Gipsy Danger Jaeger.
Idris Elba stars as Stacker Pentecost, the Marshall of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps and Charlie Hunnam stars as Raleigh Becket, a young Jaeger pilot who mans the Gipsy Danger. Both actors play incredibly complicated characters whom never get to experience closure from the damaged minds that afflict them. Ron Perlman comes in as a cameo and brings that level of bizarre that only Ron Perlman can bring but he does it with class. Having Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler was priceless. His character serves as the ingenious scientist who ultimately discovers the only way to defeat the Kaiju but he does it while continuing to make us giggle as the comic relief.
Pacific Rim begins well into the Kaiju war around 2020 and provides us with a quick introduction into how the entire world learned of the Kaiju invasion. I loved how Pacific Rim didn’t bore us by going into excruciating detail of the attack or how the invasion began. I’ve seen the world end in every which way a million times; I don’t need another movie showing that to me. Pacific Rim assumes that we are competent enough to follow the brief overview and to believe that the world could ever become like this. It basically paints a picture of a planet filled with these monstrous Kaiju and glorified Jaeger pilots and makes us accept that the end is imminent and it does it well. The fight scenes between the Kaiju and Jaeger made me cringe, laugh, bite my lip, squeal, and sit in the theater with a stupid childish grin on my face the entire time. Any time that I thought that the creatures couldn’t get any more devilish, another Kaiju pops out of “the breach” and completely makes the previous one look like a sissy. Somewhere towards the end of Pacific Rim, the movie takes flight and the action scenes that followed literally had me fist pumping while I simultaneously mouthed the words, “Yes!”.
Pacific Rim is not the smartest film out this year but it makes up for that with all the badassery and action-packed fight scenes that hold up the entire movie. The character development is near nonexistent but that doesn’t matter because if you don’t get into your Jaeger and fight a Kaiju in the next 30 minutes, you won’t be canceling any apocalypse. Don’t get me wrong, there is a small tiny bit of character development in this film but that isn’t what makes it wonderful. There’s this whole emotional backstory between Pentecost and Mako Mori, a young cadet in training played by Rinko Kikuchi, that makes you understand Pentecost’s motivations for doing and acting as he does. But the real character comes from the Jaeger and the Kaiju themselves, with each one coming out with a personality of its own. And that’s what really defines the movie and makes it brilliant. I think what really sold it for me was the fact that the movie was okay with not being taken too seriously. It played with elements of silliness while maintaining a harmony with desperation and a sense of urgency. As previously mentioned, Pacific Rim is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it manages to provide us with just enough scientific techno babble to sound convincing enough to pull it off. In other words, it’s easy to follow and not intellectually complex. By the end of the movie I was shouting, “I saved science!” because I knew and understood everything that had just transpired.
There were some big surprises in the film that I didn’t even fathom were possible by just simply watching the trailer. Big Kudos to Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro for spinning this enraptured tale about giant mech warriors fighting these curiously ungodly monstrosities and making it into something that is both reminiscent of old classic films of the same genre and entirely original. If you like science, mechs, monsters, cute Asian girls and awesome stuff, go watch Pacific Rim. I didn’t watch it in 3D yet I still enjoyed it, so 3D is not necessary. If you’ve already seen the film, tell us your favorite or worst moments from film in the comments section below.