Friday, July 12, 2013
REVIEW -- PACIFIC RIM
Growing up I always loved watching the big Godzilla movies and have been a lover of Kaiju movies all my life. I always still am a huge fan of giant robot animes so when I heard about Pacific Rim it sounded like it was going to be a dream come true.
One thing that did worry me though was the amount of marketing this movie was getting. I've noticed over the years that most of the time when a movie is heavily marketed it usually ends up tanking, and this is something I did not want to happen to Pacific Rim. My fears have been quelled after viewing the movie last night.
If there is one huge summer box office movie then this movie is it. Pacific Rim brings everything that makes a big loud summer blockbuster to the screen and it does it in spades. This has been one of the best experiences in the theatre in quite sometime. First things first, the story.
Kaiju have been living in what's known as a breach at the bottom of the ocean for millions of years, waiting for the Earth's atmosphere to be right for coming to the surface. Their purpose...to destroy humanity and claim Earth as their own.
The only means of fighting these creatures were the military from different countries, but the military just wasn't strong enough to push back these beasts. Thus the Jaeger program was built. The Jaegers were large human piloted robots that were the Earth's answer to stop the Kaiju invasion. It worked. These Jaeger pilots were seen as rock stars and became household names and Earth was at peace once again.
Another breach is found and Earth is once again at war with the Kaiju. It's up to these skilled pilots to come back into action and attempt to put an end to these monsters once and for all.
Guillermo del Toro directed this beast and it really showed how much he cared for both the giant robot movies as well as the Kaiju movies. He directs this movie with passion and heart and each frame is a spectacle to behold. He makes you believe these things are real and for just over two hours brings out your inner child. I've always enjoyed del Toro's movies and this one is near teh top of his list. It's damn near perfect. The pacing, the direction, the story telling and let's not forget the monster sized battles. He brings everything together with such finesse and timing that there never seems to be a dull moment.
That doesn't mean that everything is nonstop monster battles, there are long moments of good story telling which brings you closer to the characters of this movie. From the main character Raleigh, to his partner Mako, to their leader Pentecoste. You are not bogged down with long stretches of character development but you are given enough that you become invested in them and care what happens to these people. This has been rare lately in these big action style movies. Pacific Rim delivers on both story and the battles it's been advertising.
The acting is good as well. Charlie Hunnam(Jax from Sons of Anarchy), plays Raleigh Becket, an ace pilot who used to take on these Kaiju with his brother Yancy, portrayed by fellow Nova Scotian(Diego Klattenhoff). Hunnam is a talented actor and he not only brings guts and glory to the character Raleigh but also brings warmth and heart to the character. Hunnam is great to watch on screen and definitely has great chemistry with Rinko Kikuchi(Mako Mori), his piloting partner.
Rinko Kikuchi from the TV series Moteki plays up and coming pilot Mako Mori, a Japanese girl who was left orphaned because of the Kaiju attacks. Kikuchi has great onscreen presence and instant chemistry with he costar Hunnam and this makes the bond between the two believable and heartfelt. a terrific performance all around from this talented actress.
Idris Elba, most will know from the BBC show Luther is a tour de force as Stacker Pentecost, the leader of Jaeger group. He takes no prisoners and Elba's strong presence really resonates through the character. This character was made for Elba and his talents shine through and you begin to hang on each line he delivers. Elba is always a delight to watch on screen and in Pacific Rim is no exception.
Charlie Day and Burn Gorman play Dr. Newton Geiszler and Gottlieb. They are kind of like a little comedic relief in the movie but they work so well and are so much fun to watch. Day's character Geiszler is somewhat of a Kaiju Groupie and is hell bent on figuring out what makes them tick and how to stop their invasion. Gorman's Gottlieb is a very eccentric, whacky scientist that is all about the math of the situation and thinks he has figured out when and how many Kaiju will attack at any given point in time. Both actors are so much fun to watch on screen and play very well off of each other.
Then there is Ron Pearlman. What can be said about Pearlman that hasn't already. A powerhous and always entertaining actor to watch, no matter what he is in. In this, he plays Hannibal Chau, a black market Kaiju parts dealer. He's a sinister kind of character but his presence on screen makes you love him, no matter how shady he may be. Pearlman always has that command of the screen whenever he is on and in Pacific Rim he is in command whenever the camera is on him. The scenes between him and Day and priceless and make up for some funny scenes.
ILM stepped in and handled the effects in this movie and I have to say, this is some of the best special effects I have seen in a movie in a very long time. Nothing looked greenscreened, nothing looked like it was on a set. Everything looked natural and as realistic as possible.
Hats off to ILM and the other effect houses that worked on this movie. If this doesn't get an Oscar for at least Best Special Effects something is wrong. Every scene and every frame is a wonder to behold, specially when the mechs and Kaiju are on screen. One thing that del Toro always brings to the screen is a unique visual style and with Pacific Rim he has brought it, and brought it big.
Ramin Djawadi composed the music for Pacific Rim. Wonder what else he has done? Look not further than to Game of Thrones, Prison Break, Flash Forward, Fright Night. His work in Pacific Rim is top notch and is one of the better soundtracks in the last few years.
The themes will stick with you after leaving the movie, which lately hasn't been happening with orchestral works. I''m hoping at the very least he get's nominated for Best Original Score come Oscar time.
Make no mistake, this movie is one to be seen on the big screen. It is one hell of a ride and clocking in at just over 2 hours, it seems over before it starts. Definitely a movie that will not bore you. So far Pacific Rim is the best film of the summer.
I can easily recommend this movie. Pacific Rim is the movie to see this summer. I give it 5 stars out of 5. Turn off your mind, sit back in your seat and be prepared to be amazed. Gipsy Danger for the win. 'Till next time my friends.