By Dan Aquino
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi
Let me get this started by saying that Pacific Rim lost out to both Despicable Me 2 and Grown Ups 2 on its opening weekend. I can forgive it for losing out to Despicable Me 2 since it is mostly geared towards kids and the first one was pretty successful. But c’mon America really, Grown Ups 2? Is this where we are headed to as a nation? People would rather see old lazy has-beens talk about fart jokes over gigantic robots fighting gigantic monsters? The thought alone makes me want to set things on fire. Simmer down Dan; you have a movie to review here. Anyway, here is my take on the underrated, underappreciated, Pacific Rim.
Pacific Rim starts out in the not too distant future where giant monsters rise from the ocean and start attacking major cities. To help combat these monsters, or Kaiju as they are known, humanity drops all of its petty arguments and comes together to start the Jaeger Program. Now some of you out there might think the Jaeger Program was humanities way of saying “we’re screwed, everyone get drunk while these things kill us!” But you would be wrong; the program was the building of giant mechs that are controlled by two pilots and kick serious ass. The Jaegers prove to be super effective against the Kaiju and soon the general public stops worrying about them entirely.
But all good things come to an end as we all know, and the Kaiju start to evolve. Jaegers start going down left and right until there is only a handful left. With nothing left to lose, Marshall Pentecost (Idris Elba) gathers together the last remaining pilots and plans to attack the Kaiju on their home turf.
Coming into this kind of movie, you know it’s going to be chock-full of CGI animation and special FX. Watching the Jaegers fighting the Kaiju was extremely fun to watch though as the CGI was pretty flawless. The attention to detail was what made it even better, you see every gear turning and pistons pumping to power the Jaeger into battle. Also the science behind how the pilots mind meld with the Jaegers is explained pretty thoroughly and the concept itself is pretty extraordinary. The two pilots share memories and feelings which help give us a closer look at each character individually.
If this movie falls short in one specific area I would have to pin point it on the acting. That’s not to say the acting is downright terrible, but it is full of campiness. Idris Elba easily runs circles around the rest of the cast and brings a certain swagger that only Stringer Bell can. Charlie Day also does a good job being the comedic relief as well as actually contributing to the story. Charlie Hunnam and Riko Kikuchi work okay together as they pilot the main Jaeger Gipsie Danger, but their emotional spectrum is either really sad, or really happy.
Wait A Minute…
One thing that bothered me about this movie was how they transported the Jaegers to battle. They had regular helicopters carrying these 2,500 ton robots. Accroding to Yahoo! Answers, which as well all know is a perfectly reliable source, it says that a standard military helicopter can only lift fifty tons. Now how in the hell do five helicopters manage to lift the Jaegers Guillermo del Toro? Answer me that!
Pacific Rim is the only other movie I have seen twice so far this summer (Iron Man 3 being the first) so that should give you some type of perspective for this movie. I’m always up for giant monsters destroying cities, and having equally giant robots fight them can only make it better. The pacing of the movie is good, they give you a good back story, and again Idris Elba is pretty awesome. Unfortunately the movie only took in around $48 million here in the states so who knows if there will be a sequel like del Toro wants, but if there is you can count me in.