It’s Monster vs. Robots! Prepare yourself for one of 2013’s most imaginative sci-fi action fantasies. The immense metal giants and insanely huge alien monsters will have you holding your breath, and clinching the cinema seat as you sit through the “white knuckle ride” that will blow your mind. It is almost impossible to stretch your brain to take it all in. Guillermo del Toro and co-screenwriter Travis Beacham purposefully pieced together something spectacular for “Pacific Rim”, which pays homage to the likes of “Godzilla,” “Aliens,” the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” from the popular anime series and “Transformers”.
Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” sets your mind adrift in living fantasy scenes, that take you back to your childhood daydreams of what Robot cinema could be if they could make your wildest imaginations come true. The design is imaginative throughout the nearly 2 and a half hours of sheer madness. The film delivers a constant flare of amazing backdrops and monster varieties that will haunt your nightmares.
The gigantic beasts called Kaiju have emerged from a time-space portal deep in the Pacific Ocean and are dead-set on destroying cities and human civilization. Governments pull together and build Jaegers, enormous metallic fighting machines the size of the Eiffel Tower, each controlled by neutrally bonded pilots.
The fairy-tale names of significant machines to fight the metal crunching advisories, carry the sci-fi film till the bitter end, as you venture deeper in to the unknown with the metal monstrosities standing as humanities last hope: “The Bone Slum,” “Crimson Typhoon,” and “Trespasser.” The robots are run by two-pilot teams which simulate the world’s weirdest elliptical machines, controlled by the pilots leg movements, paired with the most advance Wii controllers I have ever seen (maybe something for Nintendo’s future developments). Pilots are required to work in pairs because they use their minds and bodies to guide the machines, technology that is considered mind blowing if steered by one pilot only.
In a prologue opening scene, we witness our first skirmish, Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam, “Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy”), alongside his older brother, Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff, “Mike Faber in Homeland”), faceoff against a Kaiju off the coast of Alaska. Things go terribly wrong and one sibling is killed. The Jaeger program comes to an end as the United Nations learn that the Kaiju is evolving, the beasts have become bigger, nastier, more resourceful proving the Jaeger program redundant. The world builds enormous walls off the coast along the Pacific Rim, believing this to be their best defence in a time of fear and desperation.
Becket finds himself lost after the devastating loss of his brother as he retreats to building walls to protect the cities. Meanwhile, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba, The Wire), ex-Marshall in the Pan Pacific Defence Corps, is still overseeing the Jaeger program given eight months of funding to finish the rest of his service in Hong Kong. He oversees operations in the Hong Kong “Shatterdome”, post Kaiju defence failures that lead to their demise. He is a British man of African descent, who leads with courage and authority. He forcefully sounded his voice as the deep tones hits the walls resonating, “Today we are cancelling the Apocalypse!”
He is determined to take the fight to the Kaiju, pleading to plan a final assault as the UN denies him. Stacker decides to proceed with his plan without the UN’s help and heads for the Anti-Kaiju Wall to find Beckett, who disappeared four years earlier after his dismissal from the Jaeger Program following the Kaiju (Knifehead) defeat.
Becket rejoins the program to pair up with a Japanese woman, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi, Babel), a ward of Stacker Pentecost’s. The pair is at the center of the human story as both of them are suffering from post-traumatic Kaiju-induced stress syndrome, so when they drift (mind-meld) they are in unison. Their intentions for one another is more than partnering to save the day, it’s also a romance which makes way for respect, trust and patience, instead of the usual onscreen love story which serves as a distraction at times. As the story unfolds, Becket discovers Mori has a deep connection with Stacker who refused Becket and Mori to team-up at first.
Early trailers make “Pacific Rim” look like a watered down “Godzilla” wannabe, made for the intentions to line pockets and fill cinema seats. The film offers much more than the obvious and captures all the epic moments in grand splendour. “Pacific Rim” touches on the need for humanity to work together. The film featured the all star quarterback American pretty-boy, the attractive Asian girl that will kill 10 men with a wooden stick, the arrogant Aussies, tenacious Russians and the humble Chinese.
The movie has sympathetic elements that reach out to humanity in a way one would not expect from a sci-fi film with robots and alien monsters. The heroes of “Pacific Rim” is graced with humility as we see siblings killed coupled with human courage, self-sacrifice, individualism at times and cooperation. The theme of science and technology, paired with humanities relentless will to survive isn’t exactly a new venture in cinema, however “Pacific Rim” convinces you of its world, the people, and the possibility of the apocalypse.
The PG-13 film holds many surprises to satisfy the thrill seekers. One of the most memorable scenes pins Mori as a young girl trapped in a city as she is hunted down by a Kaiju. The cinema was quiet as the audience anxiously awaits her fate. There are many objections and unanswered questions if one needs to apply the usual logical thought processes, however Del Toro’s creation is more of an experience as appose to an Oscar winning story. Moviegoers will be marveled by the cinematography, artistic expression and special effects. If your imagination is willing to be stretched to its limits, be sure not to miss one of the best big screen “popcorn films” to hit cinemas in the last 5 years.
Watch the latest trailer:
What did you think? Give your rating below: