#524/#75 Pacific Rim
When a portal to another world opens beneath the Pacific Ocean and monsters start spilling out, humanity must adapt if they are to survive. Building giant mechs called Jaegers to battle these creatures they seem to be turning the tide for a while, however lately more rapid and closer together attacks are occurring. This leads the remaining few Jaeger pilots to attempt a suicide run on the portal in order to end this invasion once and for all.
I’m not really a giant mech or giant monster guy but even my interest was peeked by this movie. It’s hardly high drama, or even requiring your full concentration, but it is probably the best form of giant creatures battling movie you could hope for.
Comparisons to the Transformers movies have been plentiful, and not without merit, but it’s clear to see how much better this genre of film making can be when, firstly, the director cares about his project and, secondly, cinematography and effects are given proper attention. It’s amazing that actually being able to see what’s happening when the giant monsters fight makes for a more engaging action scene than jagged bunches of metal slamming into each other at high speeds while the camera is shaking. Crazy I know!
Story-wise though they’re probably on par with one another. Pacific Rim is actually pretty standard by all accounts other than the spectacular fight scenes. There’s a (maybe?) love story between the two leads (Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi) which, if they’re going for a brothers in arms friendship thing, works well but if it was supposed to be a romance was terribly implemented. Similarly a father-son dynamic between the two Australian Jaeger pilots and a rivalry between the younger Australian and our leading man, which both get some lip service throughout, are interesting but ultimately insubstantial and peter out by themselves. It’s always better to try and reach for some emotional investment from the audience in the characters but I’m glad they focused their real attention on the fights.
Idris Elba gives a really strong performance here. He’s always a good actor but both the weight and power he brings to being the commander, as well as the emotion in the softer moments with Kikichi’s character, really show how well he can carry a film. Ron Perlman, in a fairly small role this time, also manages to steal any scene his in and was a welcome addition to the cast. The rest fit there roles well enough but didn’t really stand out in and real way.
Pacific Rim is what it is. If you’re looking for an intricate plot about the nuances of this world and how and why these events are happening then you’re going to get some info but you’re going to be largely disappointed. If however you go in expecting to see robots wail on some monsters in well executed and well shot scenes with a good CGI effects, then you’re going to be entertained. I suggest doing the latter. 4/5