The last big Hollywood attempt of this scale was Godzilla, starring Matthew Broderick… If you have forgotten about that, consider yourself lucky! But this isn’t the same sort of nuclear disaster spawned created of destruction, instead we have a bit of sci-fi mashup to get the story started.
In 2013, a rift developed between two tectonic plates which opened a portal through from another dimension. Spilling forth from this portal were the Kaiju, the horrifically huge monsters, hell bent on mindless destruction. At first the humans were ineffective at stopping them. fortunately, the world managed to put aside its differences and came together to stop the problem. Our heroes are the pilots who work together in a “neural bridge” to control gigantic robots of epic proportions. These are the Jaegers, translating to “hunters” who seek to take down the Kaiju in order to protect the humans. They’re bad assed rock stars who kill Kaiju for fun.
We don’t want to give away the plot details, not that there are honestly many to divulge. The story line itself is very one tracked, very obvious, and it seriously won’t tax your brain. Godzilla was obviously borne of worries about nuclear energy and all the woe that could bring to the world, and of course there is a subtle dig in Pacific Rim once again, this time aimed at everyone’s current favourite cause for future world destruction: climate change. It’s patronising, if nothing else. Having said that, it tackles the classic plot devices well without making you annoyed, even if they do only feel like filler in between the big action pieces that almost everyone going to see the film really went for. You’ve almost definitely seen the trailers, and if there is anything to take away from the, it’s that these big things are going to be having big battles!
Boy, oh boy, are these fights big. We were slightly concerned that they would feel just a little too disconnected and unrealistic. What we get essentially feels like a combination of pro boxing and alligator wrestling, all with plasma guns and rockets thrown in. You can almost feel yourself wanting to get in there and take a swing at the Kaiju. The fighting is really all this film is about, and it provides real marvel and spectacle of the kind that keeps kids eyes wide and will have them dreaming of monsters and robots for years to come. Of course, that’s how this film was born.
Guillermo Del Toro has talked, at some considerable length, about all of his influences and motivations behind making Pacific Rim. Kaiju movies from the east are undoubtedly the biggest influences, Del Torro’s often felt out of place, just like the monsters did. Instead of having an homage, he wanted to create something fresh though, putting away his old box sets and pictures, and imagining something new. All of this came from the mind of the guy who brought you the seriously turbulently twisted Pan’s Labyrinth, so you have to expect something a little odd! Unlike in those films that shaped Del Torro’s, CGI is at the heart of 2013′s summer blockbusters, and without a doubt gives this film everything it has.
If you haven’t been CGI’d to near death after seeing the Man of Steel, then this could finish you off. Almost everything in this movie is CGI’d. If anyone had to cry, we would imagine they would have generated the tears using computers. That’s not saying the acting is bad in this film. Really, there isn’t that much acting to do…
Charlie Hunnam, best known for beating the crap out of people in Green Street, has progressed to beating the crap out of giant monsters. He’s pretty damn good at it. His acting is also distinctly average, in honesty. He is given a few moments to really shine, but its just not capable to distinguish any real emotion. This is a problem throughout the film in fact, none of the actors really draw you in emotionally, and yet almost all of them try to at some point. I felt a little let down by this, as there was so much potential… Iris Elba, aka Luther, puts in a good turn as a slightly standoffish commander with a troubled past. However, even his rousing speech about cancelling the apocalypse just didn’t manage to raise goosebumps. Perhaps all the CGI drained the humanity from the movie?
In fairness though, when its all put together, you end up with a very enjoyable movie which hinges on its superb graphics and superlative fight scenes. It’s not something that will tax your brain, but will definitely entertain: hence Kanye West absolutely loving it. Feel free to chuckle at the ridiculous cheesy moments, of which there are many, and also the comic relief of Charlie Day is amazing, we just love him in Its Always Sunny.
You can go big or go extinct. That is the tag line that the movie almost unwaveringly lives up to… go see it.