Written: Travis Bachman, Guillermo del Toro
Directed: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi
Run Time: 132 min.
Like a lot of kids in the 90s, I was introduced to video games and anime at a very young age. I grew up with it and they both have been near and dear to me as an adult. When I saw Pacific Rim for the first time, it screamed anime at me (Neon Genesis Evangelion to be specific) and also had me excited beyond belief in the theater. The idea of huge robots piloted by people to fight some mysterious monster seemed like any anime lover’s dream come true. The fact that a good chunk of the movie occurs in Hong Kong just makes it all the more ironic. I think having it in Japan would be too obvious.
Now having seen the movie however, putting it in a category with Evangelion, regardless of how amazing the show was, doesn’t do the film justice. Despite that, I do truly believe that director Del Toro, being the admitted anime fan that he is, had some heavy influences in the film inspired by the show.
I want to write a review that this movie is worthy of but I honestly can’t put my emotions into words. It gave me a certain sense of enjoyment that I haven’t felt since the first time I watched anime as a kid in my living room. I was on the edge of my seat just needing to know and see more. Every time that I thought the movie had reached a certain peak as a cinematic climax, it proved me wrong.
I’m rambling; my apologies. Without further ado, let us get to the actually movie review. For those who are not aware, Pacific Rim is an action film that sounds like something straight out of a comic book. In the Pacific Ocean, two tectonic plates have somehow made a rift that has become a wormhole. This wormhole is a door for Kaiju, a Japanese term for giant monsters, to come through and wreak havoc on the world. Taking majority of the military and destroying three cities, the Kaiju was finally taken down. Not much long afterwards however, more Kaiju started to appear and more frequently. To combat that, all of the nations came together to build the Jaegers, mechanical monsters of our own, to fight back against the Kaiju.
Building the Jaegers and piloting them however showed a fatal flaw. Controlling the massive machines is too much for one person to handle. This introduces a dual pilot system that brings up its own reoccurring issues. Piloting the Jaegers together requires a neurological bond between the two pilots. It’s a simple yet intricate flash of memories that can make or break a pilot in a moment of need. As well, the flashes bond the two and the stronger the bond, the better the pilots.
We’re gonna stop there so that I avoid going too far into the movie and giving it away. Despite its setup, the film actually takes place at the end of the war when we are pulling everything we have into fighting the Kaiju.
I don’t want to sound too won over but, Pacific Rim honestly was an amazing cinematic adventure (Yes, I used that term. It was just that: an adventure) like I haven’t seen in a long time. It was hardly predictable, it keeps 1-uping itself, and the casting makes it all the more enjoyable.
The casting is a huge reason why I believe the movie did so well. For one, it wasn’t this “MURICA! F*** Yeah!” movie like a lot of people thought it was going to be. It’s all about everyone coming together as people and fighting a common enemy. Between the varying groups of pilots to the amazingly funny scientist, everyone played their parts wonderfully and showed how we all prevail when we come together. I would also just like to say that I’m happy to see the scientist as the comedic relief in this film. Their little sibling rivalry and final triumph for me was amazing. Seeing Charlie Day as a tattooed scientist was also a great highlight.
In the casting is also where I believe I found a huge homage to the Evangelion series. For anyone who has watched the anime, Mako seemed like an older version of Rei Ayanami and I loved it and her. The simple blue highlights in her hair seemed like a subtle hint to anyone familiar with her.
The delivery of this movie was just all kinds of amazing and just keeps blowing you away. Every time you think something is cool, it shows you something even better.
Pacific Rim is that underdog story that you don’t mind watching. Most of them are so depressing and pushy as far as them trying to make you feel emotion. PR however, makes you care and root for the protagonist from the moment the movie starts until the moment it ends.
It’s hard for me to say that I want more from this movie. It was amazing and by far the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. Part of me wants to see more fighting with the Kaiju but another part really hopes that Hollywood locks this up in a vault of awesome movies and leaves it the hell alone.
I’m supposed to go into faults that this movie had but I honestly had none. Of course, there are those who may argue the logical decisions of the plot but, it’s nothing to make the movie bad in any sense. You could pick this movie apart if you really want to get technical about things but, unless you’re a fun vampire, that isn’t necessary. The slight issues aren’t enough to take away from your enjoyment. Unless you’re looking for them, you more than likely won’t find them.
The only fault that I have is that Pacific Rim isn’t doing very well in theaters. It’s like the Scott Pilgrim problem. It’s a movie that is geared towards a group of people that don’t go to the movies. At the same time, a lot of people aren’t going to see this movie because they feel it isn’t for them which leaves it not making its numbers in the box office.
To that, I say no.
I loved this movie. If I could give it 6 out of 5 stars I would.
You should go see it. Anyone who grew up on anime should go see it. Anyone from the 90s should go see it. Just go see it.
Please. I beg of you.
You will do yourself and me a huge disservice if you don’t.