There have been many occasions where I have walked out of a film feeling absolutely nothing. This usually comes in the form of a num and hollow void that lingers due to amateur-hour acting, lack of plot/moral message, and believability. As a avid movie-goer and prideful escapist, if the world that the director and producers create fails to be a gracious host to its guest of honor (You and I), then I want my cheedarbucks back in my wallet with the rest of it’s friends.
In light of that rant, Pacific Rim did not disappoint. The film is a triumph of the human spirit, and is beautifully imagined and executed. There were points in the film where the hair on my arms stood up, as if my biology and chemical make-up were giving the film a salute for lighting the torch of the human condition and spirit for all to see.
The film subtly reminds us that we all should never give up on each other and ourselves because once we lose hope (a more powerful emotion than fear) we are essentially le F*ck’d as a species. The main characters of the films also show that you as an individual have immense power as one, and that all the tools you need to be a leader are inside you. It all reminded me of an epic quote from the movie Sucker Punch:
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”
Pacific Rim, past all the extravagant destruction, fighting, and CGI, reminds us that we all come from ancient star dust, and that we all have the power to fight our greatest demons and to navigate our lives with total confidence if we choose to believe that we are powerful individuals.
Director: Guillermo del Toro Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Over the last couple of summers we have been served to a lot of tasty nerdy delights up to and including enormous fighting robots along with monsters and aliens- but what if you could have that all in one film? That’s what Guillermo del Toro wants to show us, and man does he ever. I worship superhero movies as much as the next guy, but Pacific Rim brought the 12 year old boy out of me and soul crushed my spirit into a state of mind that left me saying, “Avengers who?”
The film kicks off by setting up the world where giant monsters known as Kaijus found a way into our world through an inter-dimensional portal beneath the Pacific Ocean. After a slew of attacks by the giant creatures humanity knew they needed to mount some kind of counter offensive against them so they created giant robots called Jaegers(similar and pronounced the same as Jäger) to fight the Kaijus. If you are a history buff, or have a keen interest in the history of Germany and the language, you would know that the word Jäger is a German military term adopted during the Age of Enlightenment to describe elite light infantry units; especially skirmishers.
The writers for this film did a great job in selecting this term and attributing it to the giant robots that the humans in our future would use to protect our coastlines from the alien menace. The military usage of Jäger, which literatlly means “hunter” in German, is perfect since the Jaegers used to fight the Kaijus in Pacific Rim did just that; hunted and eradicated the threat with elite status.
You see, the film is set in 2025, the 12th year of a war against alien creatures who reside in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The world at this point has been established as a sort of globalists wet-dream; a “One World Order”. This new order had been of course been brought about by the external and extraterrestrial threat that the Kaijus presented to mankind. Instead of us humans fighting each other- and scapegoating opposing countries and people in order to secure resources by means of war, the world has rallied through the war with the kaijus that urge to colonize our planet. By this time if you were a pilot in the Jaeger program you were essentially a rock-star amongst the general population; you are elite. It is of the highest honour to fight for the human race in one of these machines.
The idea of the Jaegers is that two pilots combine their minds (memories and all) to form a bond that makes their fighting skills sync to be more effective at fighting the monsters. Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) is a former pilot that gets brought back in to help the Jaeger program to make one last push to stop the Kaijus from entering our world before humanity is utterly extinguished. He and his co-pilot have to overcome their past memories and history in order to be effective in the present moment while saving the world.
The thing about Pacific Rim is that it does not really excel in terms of acting- in fact a lot of it is really cheesy even in the more dramatic moments. The weird thing about that is that it works, and even when there are not giant robots and monsters beating the crap out of each other, the film is incredibly entertaining. The drama while cheesy remains interesting and therefore does not feel like filler while we wait for another fight scene.
To add more to the proceedings, if you feel an overload of CGI fight scenes there are also a slew of hand to hand fights scenes to break things up a bit and propel the story. The world created by these scenes in addition to the eye candy is incredibly creative, and just serves to immerse the viewer (at least this viewer) into the experience. There isn’t much in the way of deep acting or character depth, but in my opinion the film doesn’t need it with the sheer amount of jaw dropping action sequences one of which last 15 minutes before we ever see the title card. The minor character development that could be seen in the film, however, was done through the creative way of the “neural hand-shake” to which the pilots had to go through in order to synch up before they could operate their beastly machines.
This film gets a solid A Rating:
To simply put it, it got the job done in terms of it’s role at the cinema.
Pacific rim got me in the theater simply by having a simple premise such as giant robots vs. giant monsters, but made me fall head over heels with it with a rousing musical theme, terrific special effects and an incredible sense of fun throughout. The script lacks deep character development and wallows a little too much is cliche, but the simplicity of the story doesn’t bug me in the slightest. Pacific Rim bleeds the spirit of a summer blockbuster, but trumps every single one released so far this year.