Pacific Rim (2013)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Although this film falls into the trappings and pitfalls of a summer blockbuster style film, it is much better than most other US made giant monster films in recent years. Lots of action, lots of monster & robot brawls in the middle of the city – smashing things, breaking things – what more could you ask for? It was modeled after Kaiju films but was ultimately Americanized – perhaps a bit too much. Nevertheless, the action scenes are stunning. Rich colors and BIG scope make Pacific Rim a visually amazing film.
All the Top-Gun stuff has become standard in many of the later Godzilla movies and even that one female pilot on a personal vendetta because her parents/ brother/ grandparents were killed by Big-G has become a familiar storyline. The monster attacks at night were a homage to early Kaiju films. Godzilla only attacked at night and the same with Gamera. The rain masks some of the digital quality of the CG and I didn’t mind that. I did think the scientists were a bit much, I didn’t find their scenes all that amusing but many Kaiju films often have silly sub-characters. The scientist’s scenes were hokey but kept to a minimum.
We watch giant monster movies mainly to see all-out monster brawls and monster destruction. I think further character depth would have just slowed down the action. If you want character depth watch a Scorsese film. You want Monster & Robot battles, watch Pacific Rim. The characters of Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam), Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) and Stacker (Idris Elba) were inspiring in a ‘Independence Day’ way. Every time a Jaeger beat a Kaiju, the audience in the theater cheered. What part of the action would you cut out to add more dialogue and character development? I’m glad Stacker’s big speech was short and I’m glad the film wasn’t three hours.
The scene of Mako as a child, running through the empty streets calling for her mom and dad, with the crab-clawed Kaiju hunting her down was awesome. It was the highlight of the non-battle parts of the film. The little girl basically stole the show.
One thought about the monsters and robots. You can either accept CGI as the modern special-fx method and embrace it with the knowledge that some directors and filmmakers are going to be better at delivering it than others – OR – you can dismiss it and not see any new movies. If you choose the later, you’ll be missing out on some fun monster films. The choice is yours. After seeing Jurassic Park, can we really go back to a guy-in-a-suit, stop-animation/claymation, or clunky puppetronics?
So, the big question is, do I like Pacific Rim enough to purchase the blu-ray or dvd. The answer is yes. I will most likely purchase it, but it will have to be on sale or at a discount price. I will put it in my newer giant monster film section which includes; Monsters, Tremors, Host, The Troll Hunter, Cloverfeild and Q-The Winged Serpent. I will watch it from time-to-time, but not as often as I would watch King Kong, Godzilla or Harryhausen films. Of course, I am a monster film fan. Those of you that are lesser fans of monster-mania would probably be better off just waiting until this is shown on TV, cable or Netflix.
Robots in Film – a complete pictorial history
My Top 10 Robots in film and TV
I really enjoyed this flick, even if I am a little Del Toro bias lol. Just bought the Steelbook version yesterday. Great write-up!
I’m so glad you liked it. I was supposed to go see it but got sick and never made it.
Going to buy it too. Monster films are a love of mine. It would be interesting to compare our movie shelves. I have my favorites in the easy to grab place and many are classics.
It was nice on the big screen but the 3D wasn’t anything spectacular. It should be good watching on dvd or bluray 🙂
Nice review. So much fun, especially when I first saw it in the movies a ways back. However, time has been kind to this one and it’s a surprise we haven’t heard any talks of a sequel just yet. “Just yet”, being the key phrase.
That will probably depend on dvd/bluray sales. It actually didn’t do that great as far as boxoffice numbers but no giant monster flick ever does – except for maybe Cloverfeild.
Thanks! Lots of pictures! This is high on my “Blu-ray 3D come to Me” list. No extended unrated cut though, that’s a pity. And i’m not tired of Ron Perlman and Idris Elba yet but it’s getting there so i hope their roles are not so big…?
I’m more of the second type of person, but this one looked entertaining enough. Better than something like Transformers 3 (4? Which one are they on now?)
The problem with Transformers, even just taking the action sequences into consideration was everything moved way too fast. I kinda liked the first one but most of the time I couldn’t tell what was happening in the battles. The monsters and bots were slowed down in Pacific Rim like in the traditional Godzilla films. It will never be considered a classic but it was fun to watch.
I think Mr. T will be reviewing this one at my blog soon. I can’t speak for him, but I liked it overall. Of course I knew I would. Everyone can enjoy a robot and a giant monster beating the snot out of each other providing robots and said monsters actually have snot.
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