Pacific Rim (2013) Review
Guillermo del Toro you glorious bastard! I walked into this film with high expectations and I mean really high expectations and yet somehow I still got more than I hoped for. This film wasn’t just giant monsters crashing against giant robots (which would have been enough for me) it had real characters and real emotions which make you care about them and that is incredibly important. The visuals go without saying but am saying it anyway, they were so EPIC in both scale and quality. The story works as well and I knew if Del Toro was involved it wouldn’t just be another mindless blockbuster, this film had intelligence and a lot of passion behind it. I didn’t expect this walking in but this is the first film I couldn’t find a flaw in this year. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.
“Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time. We have chosen to believe in each other! Today we face the monsters that are at our door, today we are cancelling the apocalypse!”
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended
Story: 85% Acting: 90% Characters: 85% Dialogue: 80%
Sci-Fi/Action: 100% Style/Sound: 100% Visuals: 100%
The story is a truly unique one in that it doesn’t really have an enemy one person can stop or one country, it takes a massive worldwide collaboration and you can feel that watching the film. It’s nice to watch a film where the world comes together to fight something together in a way that isn’t super cheesy. The acting and characters are something I didn’t expect to be talking about much at all and yet it was surprisingly good. None of the actors are big stars but they are really talented and I liked their characters more than I had predicted walking in. The characters, especially the main ones have great depth and fun to them which doesn’t normally get seen in big films anymore because well there isn’t any room for it but this fit it in. Idris Elba had the best dialogue and played a wonderfully honourable character that you just get. And if Elba played the honour bound leader, Charlie Day definitely played the comic relief but did in a way that was massively relevant to the story of the film not just a silly sidekick.
Lots to talk about in the science fiction and action parts of this film, but I’ll start off with the Jaegers which are not only insanely detailed but also the most realistic portrayal of a robot in an action film (Contender could be Elysium) that you are likely to see, the speed and movements feel like gears and hydraulics are working behind the thick metal plates. In terms of the giant monsters or Kaiju how weird and unique they all look, incredibly alien looking with glowing parts on the skin and insane weaponry. I loved the weird levels of detail like the black market dealer Hannibal Chau played by Ron Perlman dealing in Kaiju remains like the ground bone used for a crazy kind Viagra. Even the Kajiu waste got sold for fertilizer.
Now onto the action side of the film, and wow was it thrilling to watch! I was right at the edge of my seat in all of the action sequences because the sense of threat was right at the front in every fight scene. The fighting was glorious from the skies up high to the big city of Hong Kong to bottom of the sea you get a passionate and violent collision between Giant robots and Giant monster! I’ll discus more in the spoiler section. In not one of the trailers did this films theme music get played and I think that’s a misstep because I loved it! It was so much fun and it felt like a weird homage to the music used in Japanese anime, it shocks you when you first experience it but it’s a good shock.
It’s hard to get across how brilliant the visuals in this film really where, but I’ll give it my best. Amazing! Pure brilliance and whilst this year has produced some ground breaking visuals none of them have the same passion and measure of detail that Del Toro clearly had for his first big budget blockbuster. There’s a great part of the fight scenes where you will get completely fooled into forgetting that the robots are CGI because the detail was insane and the interaction between the pilots and Jaeger was perfectly timed and really worked for me. My personal favourite in visual terms was either the underwater battle or the epic set pieces surrounding the Hong Kong city attack. Even the rain hitting the Jaegers metal plates was so realistic.
Seriously guys turn away now to avoid spoilers. I didn’t expect to feel the sheer threat to the pilots that you get in the fights. I mean you really feel scared for the pilots because the Del Toro puts the fear in this film. I felt more fear watching this film than the past 6 horror films I saw in cinema. In the first scenes with Hunnam you really see how evenly matched the Kaiju and Jaegers are and because of this the threat is established. Later in the Hong Kong city fights two Jaegers get taken out including the Crimson Tide which looked nice and am not sure why but that was nerve wrecking to watch. The ending was brilliant and it had this great heroic stand but I think it’s really funny how nukes saved the day, it seems strangely none PC but I thought it was quite funny.
Don’t forget my trailer review.
The best reviews I found would be these:
“This movie is awesome. It will remain one of the 2013′s best blockbusters. It’s also a great addition to a fantastic year of science fiction, a genre that is growing on me.” Daniel’s Film Reviews. Full Review
“Pacific Rim is the type of film that a summer blockbuster should be; a film that starts out at full throttle and never lets up. I lost myself in this film for its entire running time.” Written In Blood. Full Review
“It’s got emotion, taste, an interesting premise, good acting, and one of the most expansive storylines I’ve ever had the pleasure of dissecting. It brings us into a world where these robots are necessary, where they are the heroes.” The Silver Screener. Full Review
“Fans of giant monsters movies like Godzilla, etc. would have an especially enjoyable time watching the fight scenes of Kaiju vs. Jaegers. The I have to admit that though I’m not into monster movies, I too was caught up in the whole spectacle!” Flix Chatter. Full Review
“All I wanted to do during the film was stand up and cheer and fight right alongside the jaegers. I want one of my own. They are great. Each one unique and the enormity of their grandeur is rivaled by their size alone. The graphics, special effects, soundtrack, storyline, characters, action, destruction and more make this one Colossal Cinematic Experience that is not to be missed. It is, indeed, “two thousand five hundred tons of AWESOME!” The Focused Filmographer. Full Review
My favourite scene would have to be EPIC scenes stretching from the two category 4 Kaiju attacking the Russian and Chinese Jaegers to the Jaeger Gypsy Danger fighting the flying Kaiju above Hong Kong. It was such a huge area of the film and yet it was really well paced and kept things interesting with new locations and Kaiju.