Pacific Rim Retrospective Review
Pacific Rim is a science fiction action film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman.
The Story/The Direction:
The film takes place on future Earth where humans are at war with humongous sea monsters called Kaiju. To fight them, humanity creates just as big humanoid mechas called Jaegers. These Jaegers are controlled by at least two pilots, whose joined minds move the Jaeger in battle. As the Kaiju become more powerful and the Jaegers being destroyed faster than they are built, the Jaeger program is discontinued. However, Marshal Stacker Pentecost (Elba) believes that to end the Kaiju War, they must destroy the hole these Kaiju are coming through by nuking it. He pulls Raleigh Becket (Hunnam), a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teams him up with rookie pilot Mako Mori (Kikuchi) to defeat the Kaiju.
Del Toro, the director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Cronos, and the Hellboy films, brings a film about giant robots doing battle with sea monsters from another dimension. Being a genre that has mostly been engulfed by the Transformers films, due to the amount of them more than anything else, a film coming into this genre has a difficult task to set it apart from them. If there is anything to take away from this film, it is its design. Del Toro has been known for his creativity and artistry when it comes to creatures and the worlds that they live in. He supplies a detail to these entities that only a passionate person could do. As such, the fight sequences are astonishing to look at as there is an appreciation for both the design of both the Kaiju and the Jaegers. To see these two gigantic beings battle is so much fun to watch. While this film is far from Del Toro's best film, his fingerprints are all over it. He looks at each detail and the mythology of these creatures and robots i.e. he had the operations connected to a driver's personal connection to the other driver.
While not really anything more than you expect, each person plays their character with vigor with standout going to Elba. He provides a performance that'll have any viewer to join the Jaeger Initiative after his "prevent the apocalypse" speech. The other characters are fairly generic but most of their relationships with each other feel authentic. The audience feels the father/daughter relationship between Mako and Pentecost thanks to their emotional/tragic backstory. The different views between scientists Newton Geiszler (Day) and Gottlieb (Gorman) parallel any scientist trying to understand the unknown. While their goal of understanding the kaiju's biology is the same, they disagree on whether to use an intuitive or data-based approach to test their hypothesis which provides some very humorous moments. The kaiju's mythology is very interesting to learn about and adds to the world that Toro has created.
While the actors in this film do fine jobs, their characters aren't much to look at in comparison to their enormous co-stars. In addition, this film is not that original and the lack of character development for the main two stars, Hunnam and Kikuchi, gives very little for viewers to care about. Their relationship feels fairly forced and the dialogue could be said to be cliche. The film is clearly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, anime, Godzilla and many other monster films. However, it does not set itself apart from them aside from an updated version with new creatures. The plot plays out in the exact way that the viewers think it will. This makes the film's re-watchability problematic as there's no gripping plot line to keep it interesting for its 132-minute runtime.
However even as plot drags on, when the Jaegers and Kaiju's come on screen, its a lot of fun to watch. The design of the creatures is fantastic and the action scenes will make the audience forget about the problems with the film and make the film rewatchable as long as they are far apart. This film is nothing more than what it tries to be, a fun time watching giant robots fighting giant monsters that any fan of Power Rangers, the Gundam anime or any other similar art form will enjoy. This film's battle sequences alone make the Blu-ray purchase worth every penny.
Rating: 4.0/5.0 bowties
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