No your eyes are not deceiving you, I’ve skipped way ahead in the movie reviews. Yes I will go back to them, I’m writing on a lot of them offline and will share them as soon as I’m finished. However, I saw Pacific Rim last night and OH MY GOODNESS. I haven’t fangirled during a movie so much since The Avengers. And it wasn’t all about Idris Elba, although for the record he looked and sounded mighty fine indeed. This was just, it was an experience, one I would seriously consider repeating in the theater if it were not for financial and a new movie I want to see every weekend at the theater reasons. But when it finally drops to dollar theatre my butt will probably be planted in the seat.
The usual theater I watch movies in had the only limited showings of this feature so I had to pay nearly twice what I usually pay to see it, (and not in 3D, gosh darn my screwed up eyes) but I completely did not care. It’s that’s good. Okay I’m gushing a bit, it’s a fangirl thing.
I guess I should tell you what it’s about. First don’t just dismiss this as Godzilla vs the Transformers. First of all the Kaiju (strange beasts) are way cooler, in creation and by sure fighting power than Gojira and the Jaeger (hunters) are human powered which brings a whole other dimension to a regular “robot” movie.
Pacific Rim is set in the present and near future. The greatest threat to the earth is not from the stars but from under the oceans. A fissure opens a portal to another dimension allowing what are termed Kaiju to enter our world. Hundreds of feet high and thousands of tons in weight these near Cthuluian monsters wreak havoc and kill tens of thousands in their wake. Regular military weapons eventually take them down but it takes days and the destruction of several cities. The problem is there is just not one attack, but many and over a period of at first months, then becoming faster to weeks between attacks. Humans are quickly running out of defense. World governments set aside differences and work to create something to combat the Kaiju. The result is the Jaegers, giant armored war machines with a human inside wired to control the movements with their own movements. They soon find out that the neuroconnection is too much and burns through a single pilot so they use two pilots connecting the right hemisphere of the brain of one pilot to the left hemisphere of the other pilot through a “neuro handshake”. It’s all scientific and stuff but illustrated nicely through the film so you can get the idea. Of course since pilots are essentially becoming one brain there is a lot of crossover of information and memories which is why they match people who fit together mentally. Which means most of the teams are siblings or family members. The good part, this plan works really well, the Jaeger’s are defeating the Kaiju with less and less loss of life, the pilots are heroes, celebrities, and the Kaiju are no longer considered the scary world destroying monsters until… You don’t want me to tell you the whole movie do you?
Now, why should you see this movie? Because it’s the most freakin’ awesome thing I’ve seen this year. And remember I’ve watched nearly two hundred movies. Need more? Okay, on with the bullet points.
- Guillermo del Toro creates some of the best worlds. And I always go to see his monsters, they are some of the few that truly creep me out. I like the story line and the well placed little moments of humor just when your heart needs to move out of your throat for a few minutes. With the exception of maybe Hellboy I haven’t really seen much of the humor aspect in del Toro movies before, I hope he includes it more often. It’ll help me sleep better after watching his films.
- The Kaiju and the Jaegers – I love these designs. The nightmarish look of the Kaiju without going gross, the evolution of the different types and their fighting. It wasn’t just the same fight over and over. And the Jaegers were a lovely blend of new technology covered on the outside with steel plate that made it science fiction yet still routed in the present.
- Pilots – The two pilot system adds another layer of depth to the story and although it’s obvious who the main characters are some of the others get some important screen time as well. I also like that Jaeger is not just a piece of operated machinery where the pilot occasionally get’s thrown around the deck and maybe a pretty little gash on their head. It’s much more brutal than that. But I want to stress not gory or torture porn. But I found it sometimes pretty intense in how fragile the pilots are inside a seemingly indestructible machine.
- Now you didn’t think I would do this review without fangirling all over Idris Elba did you? Mr. del Toro pulled a great performance out of Mr. Elba in this one. His voice, his standing, you truly believed he was the commander. Every time he used his “commanding” voice my heart went all a flutter. Did I mention he looks damn good in a uniform? I really think this role had the potential to push him past his Luther and The Wire cult status into bona fide star. And we fangirls and boys will be all going, “see, I told you so.” Also Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Beckett and Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori work very well together and although I thought Hunnam was good I think Kikuchi was the slightly better performer.
- And lastly the second stringers. Usually these characters are just support for the main characters but I think they held their own particularly Dr. Newton (Charlie Day) and Gottlieb (Burn Gorman). Their secondary story adds a lot to the overall story and sometimes gives us that much needed comic breather and slight aside from the battles raging on.
I don’t know what else to tell you besides, if you don’t see this movie I think you are totally missing out.