WARNING: There are some spoilers here, so if you haven’t watched the movie, DO NOT PROCEED. Thank you.
If you’ve been looking for some Transformers-like, Godzilla-like action mixed with a one of a kind alien invasion and some amazing and beautifully crafted computer generated images (CGI), Pacific Rim is the movie for you.
Director Guillermo del Toro (who directed the unforgettable movies Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth) presents to us a movie which practically brings a child’s dream back to life. The basic premise of the movie is that in 2013, an alien invasion comes from the most unexpected of places: Under the Pacific Ocean. These huge monsters are dubbed as the “Kaijus”, and are threatening to overthrow the human race. The human’s solution to this alien problem is to build “Jaegers”; 27-story tall robots that are piloted by either one or two people (although it’s damaging to one’s health to pilot by yourself, and it’s extremely difficult) that have weapons of their own, and are basically war machines that are, at first, effective against the Kaijus that attack the world. Over the years, the Jaegers successfully protect the nations of the Pacific Rim (The countries that surround the Pacific Ocean, which includes Russia, China, Australia, the United States of America, and other Asian countries) from Kaiju attacks.
Fast-forward to the year 2025, and the Kaijus themselves are getting bigger, stronger, and harder to defeat, up to the point that only four Jaegers are left (the Jaegers that are piloted and belong to the Chinese, Russians, Australians and Americans). The question now is, will these four Jaegers and their crew be enough to stop the incoming Kaiju invasion?
This movie has caught the attention of critics who are giving them mixed reviews; I thought I’d just like to add my sentiments to the pot.
The effects were a sight to behold; it’s not easy to make gigantic monsters and robots which actually look authentic enough to make us ooh and aah in delight. The fights between the Kaijus and the Jaegers were amazing (there were many of those) and some of them had me on the edge of my seat. It also amazed me how each Kaiju was different; one looked like an eel, another looked like a huge gorilla, and one of my personal favorite Kaiju’s was the one that looked like a crab. There was so much thought put into their designs and abilities, and the same goes for the Jaegers.
I also commend Rinko Kikuchi‘s (who plays as the main characters’ co-pilot later on in the film and is shown in the picture above) acting and her character’s back story. Although others say that she is weak as a leading female protagonist, I would like to say otherwise. (A friend of mine noted that she would’ve been happier if Megan Fox was the leading female, hmmmm.) She exudes an air of innocence that becomes her, and I love the way she so obviously looks up at her co-pilot and tries to prove her worth.
I would have liked the love story between Raleigh and Mako to have blossomed, though. (I admit, I am a sucker for love stories inside action, sci-fi movies.) It wasn’t given much to go on to, except for the obvious tension between them, and they didn’t even get to kiss in the last scene. It was a flimsy relationship, which brings me to my next point.
Being both a bookworm and somewhat robot-geek, I both frowned at and applauded at the apparent lack of a plot; a solid, juicy plot, by that. It seemed as if the movie makers were focusing more on the special effects and fights, and then they decided, “Okay, let’s just slide in a plot, it’s a movie and needs some sort of a plot, anyway…” It’s a shallow, overused attempt at a plot wherein the main characters, who are somewhat ‘alone’ characters in the sense that they have been left behind by people that they love, due to the Kaiju attacks, have to work together in order to save the world.
The geeky side of me, however, applauded the lack of film because, well, it gave more time to the awesome fights between the Kaijus and the Jaegers during the film. Trust me, the fights really were worth the money I paid to watch. Common arguments from other critics state that this may have been intentional on del Toro’s part; yes, I agree with them, since del Toro himself stated that one of his intentions was to introduce the kaijus and the mecha genres to the children’s generation.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film has more style than substance. Despite this fact, however, many have chosen to give it an above average rating. I’d give it an 8/10 myself, if it weren’t for the things I had mentioned earlier. But now that I think about it, maybe Pacific Rim was supposed to be that: just a good, smashing hit with lots of robots kicking alien butt.
Hey, you don’t see me complaining (much).