Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pacific Rim

[reviewed on August 5th 2013]

Is Pacific Rim just another Transformers wannabee (short answer:  no) or is the mecha versus kaiju movie everything geeks, nerds and otakus are looking for (short answer:  oh hell yeah).

Main Takeaway
Combine one part 70's robot cartoons (Gundam, Mazinger Z), half part 80's Voltron with a dash of Robotech, mix two parts Godzilla and add a healthy dollop of Independence Day and you get Pacific Rim.  Verdict:  oh hell yeah, in 3D.

  • lots of Robots versus Monsters scenes, especially in the middle act that culminates into a big fight scene that had the audience cheering.  The only times I've heard the audience that I was with cheer at a movie was the Death Star run in Star Wars and recently, the Hulk doing his thing in The Avengers.
  • a good number of robots, each with their own unique design and personality
  • Elbow Rocket!  FTW!
  • interesting set up, where it takes two people to control a single robot
  • interesting backstory regarding Kikuchi Rinko's character
  • Idris Elba (dude that says "today, we are canceling the apocalypse" in the trailer) is pretty much the heart that drives the movie forward
  • Charlie Day playing JJ Abrams.  I swear ... I thought JJ Abrams was acting in this movie
  • Ron Perlman, Vincent from CBS's Beauty and the Beast and Guillermo Del Toro regular (he's Hellboy!), in a scene chewing role only he can play

  • paper thin story
  • rice paper thin characters
  • a good number of monsters that all kind of look the same (big, creepy, with wafer thin personality)
  • Tokyo doesn't get destroyed.  Hong Kong does.  You would think a movie that pays homage to the old Toho Godzilla movies would at least have the decency to destroy Tokyo landmarks like SkyTree.  Maybe Tokyo will get destroyed in the sequel that will hopefully have a better than wafer thin storyline
  • rah-rah, unite together to save humanity, reminiscent of the last act of another movie full of paper thin characters (Independence Day)
  • ending somewhat reminiscent of the last act of another movie with a paper thing story (Independence Day)

For anyone who has ever watched the robot cartoon shows from the late 70's or caught a late night showing of Godzilla versus Mothra on TV, Pacific Rim is pretty much a love letter to the heyday of those Japanese driven animation and man-in-suit monster movies.  The special effects are top notch.  Transformers, while also top notch in its special effects, drops the ball with its asinine characters.  Sure, with Pacific Rim, you have your stock characters (your father figure character, man-boy character trying to redeem himself from past unspeakable deeds, daughter figure character trying to prove herself in a man + robot world, douche-bag character with chip on shoulder (wouldn't be a DB without a chip on his shoulder) and yeah, the acting is all over the place but hey, it's way better than watching Shia LeBeouf trying to be cool while arguing with a car.  If there was a fault with this movie, it would be it's near carbon copy of the third act from ID4.

Starring:  Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman
Written By:  Travis Cheacam, Guillermo Del Toro
Directed By:  Guillermo Del Toro
Genre:  Action/Science Fiction
Rated PG-13

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