Thursday, 11 July 2013

Movie Review: Pacific Rim

It is obvious that a lot of fans of both anime and Godzilla have been following this movie throughout its production. We have had our concerns about quality, acting, pacing, and all that important stuff that goes into making a good movie. Well, earlier this evening I and a couple of others went to one of the first screenings of Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim, here on Guam, and after seeing the film in its entirety, I had one thing to say:


... In the good, great, awesome, and epic sort of way!

Pacific Rim has met my kaiju sized expectations and managed to exceed them. It was that great of a movie. I went with my uncle, and a friend. Both had no idea what they were getting into. They were by no means fans of the genre. After tonight, however, they were pleasantly surprised and shaken to their cores by what they saw. They absolutely loved this film. They, and myself, had a ball!

Before I proceed, I do not wish to spoil anything major from the movie. Why? Because I want those who have not yet seen it to go in with the same unknowing feeling as I did and come out with the same sense of glorious disbelief as I have. It's been almost an hour since I came home from the theater and my heart is still pounding from the intensity. Pacific Rim is packed with action from start to finish. Intertwined with that action is a coherent story where you get to know the characters and begin to care for them, laugh with them, and cry with them.

Raleigh Becket, played by Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam was absolutely perfect for his role. He had that warrior attitude, but also had that sense of sympathy and innocence that you rarely get in these type of movies. Mako Mori, played by Rinko Kikuchi, was adorable. She and Raleigh have this chemistry that really works for their characters. They hit it off from the start and from there the bond between the two grows even deeper. Mako is perhaps the most determined character in the film due to her past. There are a couple of flashback scenes involving Mako as a child, which were quite thrilling. Marshall Stacker Pentecost, played by Idris Elba, was another perfect casting choice. He had that stern military attitude, but you can tell that he is still a man with imperfections and needed someone to rely on. Perhaps my most favorite character in the entire film was Dr. Newton Geizler played by It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Charlie Day. His character is exactly what I imagined it would be, hyperactive, kaiju fan-boy, obnoxious, and risk taking. I couldn't help but see a bit of his Sunny character seep into his role a bit, but it was welcoming and a departure from the nerdy, lab-coat-wearing scientist that you see in a lot of kaiju films. Ron Perlman's character, Hannibal Chau, was pretty great as well. The fact that he's in this film is no surprise since Perlman has worked on many of Del Toro's other films and starred in the titular role in the two Hellboy movies.

Now onto the Kaiju and the Jaegers. The film opens with text defining Kaiju as the Japanese term for Giant Beast, and Jaeger as the German word for Hunter. It really works thereon out as the film proceeds to tell the audience of the history of the Kaiju and of the Jaeger program. The Jaegers themselves vary in shapes and sizes, much like the Kaiju. They adopt the fighting styles based on their pilots and the machine's own capabilities. Gypsy Danger is pretty much your typical battler, using hand-to-hand combat. Striker Eureka is a brawler who relies on her speed and agility. Cherno Alpha is a tank and is built to withstand major blows. Crimson Typhoon has an array of martial arts in her fighting style, which is very impressive when seen on the big screen. The Kaiju themselves are NOT mindless beasts. They are intelligent and do have their own personalities. In total, I think there are at least ten or more Kaiju seen on screen in this movie! The Hong Kong battle was the most intense sequence in the entire film, and the highlight overall!

Even though this film was great, it did have one shortcoming, in my opinion. This is something I can easily overlook, but there are certain Jaegers who could have used a lot more screen time than they should've. That's all I will say in that regard.

From start to finish, Pacific Rim, was nothing but an intense rollercoaster ride! I laughed, I cried, I was in awe. The moment, early in the film, when Gypsy Danger is deployed to battle Knifehead, I literally shed tears of sheer awesomeness. The music, sound, visuals all added up to one amazing sequence and from then on, I knew that this film was going to be nothing but great.

If you have your doubts about this movie, then don't fear! This movie is the real deal, and it does throw the occasional curveball right at you. I left the theater vowing that this is my new favorite movie of all time and that I want to see it again, soon!

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