Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Pacific Rim

The giant robot and massive monster movie spectacle Pacific Rim has just landed on Blu-Ray and DVD this month. With its inspirations steeped heavily in movies such as Godzilla and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Pacific Rim aims to bring back the giant monster movie genre, a genre that which Japan has always been fascinated with. While it sounds pretty awesome on paper, how does the finished product stack up?

In 2013 an inter-dimensional portal opened in the Pacific Ocean floor. Massive alien creatures known as Kaiju came through and decimated numerous cities. Jump forward to the year 2025, and humanity has built up a defence against the Kaiju menace by creating enormous robots controlled by two neurologically linked pilots. These robots- known as Jaegers- are the last line of defence standing between the Kaiju and the annihilation of the human race. However, due to the increasing power of the Kaiju, the Jeager program is losing support and instead humanity has turned to simply creating huge walls to keep the Kaiju out of coastal cities. Needless to say, crappy large walls don't keep the Kaiju off Earth's lawn! In a last ditch attempt to save Hong Kong, two pilots with very different backgrounds are brought together to protect humanity from the Kaiju threat.

Director Guillermo del Toro had one thing in mind when making Pacific Rim. In an interview he said, “It is my duty to commit to film the finest fucking monsters ever committed to screen, and it is my duty to create the greatest fucking robots ever committed to screen.” After watching Pacific Rim, a film that absolutely goes balls-to-the-wall in both the monster and robot department, it's hard to say he didn't achieve that. Basically, the Jaeger vs Kaiju fights in Pacific Rim are pretty damn fucking awesome. While there is usually a terrible overuse of CGI in movies nowadays, the effects used here are simply epic. The keyword here is weight, as without a true sense of weight for these hulking, building sized creations, the illusion would be broken. It doesn't just feel like two CGI creations mindlessly knocking each other over the head like in Transformers 3, but rather feels real, physical and utterly threatening to anyone or anything in their path. Buildings are pushed over, towering waves are kicked up, and each impact upon the Jaegers and Kaiju are incredibly visceral. A true treat for the senses, and more ass kickery than you can shake a stick at.

Featuring a fantastic cast with the likes of Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Idris Elba (Prometheus) and Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Pacific Rim isn't just a CGI-fest, but instead tells a simple yet competent tale of human survival. But hey, though most of us want to see it because of the badass monster battles, at its heart Pacific Rim has a solid story and script that elevate it to more than just a pretty sight. While it may not be as spellbinding as Guillermo del Toro's previous masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth, it's another worthy addition to his growing list of summer blockbusters alongside Hellboy and Blade 2.

Some have called Pacific Rim "dumb fun", but that's a little unfair. I'd personally class it as great nuts-and-bolts entertainment. From it's utterly epic visuals to its often touching human story, Pacific Rim has something for everyone- action, romance, aliens, robots, Idris Elba kicking ass and a scene in which a Jaeger uses a huge ship- yes, an actual fucking ship- as a makeshift baseball bat. Epic entertainment.

Pacific Rim gets a city destroying 8/10.

Denis Murphy

Pacific Rim CeX

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