Home > Movie and Anime Reviews > Movie Review Pacific Rim (2013)

Movie Review Pacific Rim (2013)

Movie Review Pacific Rim (2013)

The Robots are Giant and the Action is Huge

pacific Rim poster

What if Godzilla was bad and Mecha-Godzilla was good?

Giant Robo, Tranzor Z, Gundam, Big O, Voltron and Evengelion- are all part of our collective memory for what a hulking, monstrous robot adventure should be. Add Godzilla in the mix and you have mass destruction on a city-wide scale. The premise is pretty simple. A giant ocean fissure releases aliens into our dimension hell-bent on destroying humanity. They use big monsters so we use giant robots to match them. What ensues are some of the biggest bot battles depicted on screen.

Bang for the Bot

What we get is some really, really, really high quality CGI work that tops the Transformers franchise without repeating the look. Pacific Rim steps away from the Transformers city-motif by pitching its battles at night and in the rain- arguably the toughest combination to render convincingly. Even their at-sea and underwater work looks awesome. If you just go for the sights, you’ll be blown away.  The story, written in part by Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans 2010) focuses on the relationships between pilots for the giant robot Jaegers. It takes two to pilot one and the sync between them is very important. Pacific Rim reaches for dramatic impact without getting too sappy or corny.

A small nod goes to movies like Robot Jox and Robo Warriors who tried to bring us stomping bot action with the expected 80s b-movie results. This is finally realized as Director Guillermo del Toro brings his visionary passion and eye to full effect. Job well done. A point that I was somewhat apprehensive about is how ‘The Americans’ would tread upon the Japanese giant-robot culture. It was… interesting to see western stereotypes still in effect as the Japanese citizens were throwbacks to villagers -even in a very Blade Runner-ish city. The Russian pilots were Drago and his girlfriend from Rocky IV and the Chinese team were anonymous…Chinese…men in (Communist) red suits. We have a Japanese female who is established as being a warrior, but then, is sunk down to being the weak link of the party. Let’s just say our hero does a little too much checking up on her during the battles. It suggests weakness and I’m not sure how much of that is the sympathetic female-cliché and how much is derived from the traditional foot-binding-meekness stereotype.

Following his solid appearance in Prometheus [reviewed by me here] is Idris Elba adding some brass and authority to the picture. Charlie Hunnam plays the main pilot Raleigh Becket, joined by Rinko Kikuchi who is the promising prospect Mako Mori. Alongside this central cast are a few nice turns from the un-expected expected scientists. You’ll see. Another fine addition is Ron Pearlman, which caused the entire audience to tighten up as soon as he appeared. We all knew he was about to add something cool to the movie. He does and the movie does what it sets out to do. See this while it’s still in theaters. Pacific Rim was meant for the big screen.

Like giant robots? Me too. I even made a song about it. “The Big Dynamic Robot Show Episode One” from my Doctor Atomics and the Fortress of Solitude album.

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  1. July 16, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Reblogged this on Rapper's Delite.

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