Pacific Rim

30 Jul

Somewhere between the worlds of Armageddon, Godzilla and Transformers lies Guillermo del Toro’s latest adventure Pacific Rim. As the creator of the beautifully haunting ‘El Orfanato‘ (The Orphanage) and the visually stunning ‘Pans Labyrinth’, there were high expectations for the director who has left audiences astounded on many occasions. Well one thing is for certain, expectations have been met.

Pacific-Rim-Movie-HD-WallpaperFrom a history told to us over the explosive opening credits, we learn that Earth has been threatened for years by mysterious and enormous monsters called Kaiju that have arisen from the deepest of oceans through an otherworldly porthole, and in an attempt to eliminate the scaly creatures, a number of specialised weapons (or gigantic robots) were created called Jaegers. Controlled by two pilots whose minds are locked together in a neural bridge, one pilot operating the right side and one the left, the Jaegers became a succesful and efficient solution to Earths problems. That was until the Kaiju learnt from each relentless attack and adapted themselves, becoming almost unstoppable.

Pacific Rim triumphs in two areas. The first triumph comes from the visual effects. Boasting a team of well over 200 people, literally no expense has been spared in order to make del Toro’s film a spectacular visual display for the eyes to enjoy. The Jaegers are designed as majestic, haggard heaps of metal whose movements are clunky but effective. The most enjoyable ‘Jaeger scene’ comes from the image posted above in which the Jaeger ‘Gypsy Danger’ arrives exhausted and mechanically disemboweled on a beach, to the awe and wonderment of a Grandfather and his Grandson. The visuals are simply astounding, with every wave of water and every collapse of metal accounted for, leaving the audience with the same feelings as the beach-dwellers. The Kaiju are depicted as memorizing and terrifying serpent and dragon-like monsters who move effortlessly through water and destructively through the streets of the worlds cities. They really are something special to look at, particularly in the ocean-based fight sequences as they are engulfed in salt water and ripped apart by the Jaegers. Even without seeing Pacific Rim in 3D (a trend I find more annoying than groundbreaking), the SFX are breathtaking and by far some of the best I have seen in a long while.

pacific-rim-review-4__spanThe second and final area that Guillermo and his team have triumphed in is their ability to make a ridiculous, cheesy and darn right laughable homage to old-school B-movies, literally one of the most enjoyable films released in a while. At no point does the fact that the script is poorly written annoy you – ‘There are things you can’t fight – acts of God. You see a hurricane coming, you get out-of-the-way. But when you’re in a Jaeger, you can finally fight the hurricane. You can win’…Yep. At no point does the fact that the film is packed with clichés annoy you – the woman proving she is as strong as a man by fighting him (using Bamboo). And at no point does the madness of everything annoy you – a Jaeger rises from the sea wielding a ship and proceeds to smash a Kaiju’s head in with it. The visuals, the sound and the huge element of fun simply come together to make the experience undeniably enjoyable.

3166992-pacific-rim-charlie-hunnam-rinko-kikuchi2The actors do a good job. There aren’t any Oscar-winning performances here but when they have to speak, they do it well. Rinko Kikuchi is stunning as Mako – the girl with something to prove – and her relationship with Green Street’s Charlie Hunnam who plays leading man Raleigh is both sweet and kick-ass. When they are linked together through the neural-bridge in the rust-bucket that is Gypsy Danger, trust me, your heart will melt. It is also pleasing to see ex-Eastender and talented actor Robert Kasinsky, who sadly didn’t make it onto our screens in The Hobbit, making the big time, even if it is with a very questionable accent. Overall, the cast add a welcoming humanistic touch to a world ruled by giant robots and big fish with arms and legs.

Pacific Rim, like Prometheus, is a film that relies much more on its spectacular visuals than its carefully devised plot, but unlike Prometheus Guillermo has not dressed his film up to be something it’s not. From the moment the trailer starts you know what to expect when you decide to venture to the cinema to buy your ticket – an action-packed, cheese fest that reminds you of all the movies you saw when you were a child that filled the imagination and developed the joy in the heart. This is a film that cynics, film lovers and even journalists can and will enjoy as it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Selling Point – The visuals.

Quote-a-rama – ‘Yeah, Gipsy! Kick his ass!’ – Told you the script was a bit poor.

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