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Captain Invictus
Apr 5, 2005

Try reading some manga!

I buy Steam inventories, add me if interested!

Clever Betty

Pacific Rim is a movie about giant human-piloted robots battling giant monsters for the fate of the planet.

Concept: Harkening back to the classic days of Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, Mazinger Z, and other classic giant robot/monster live action and anime films(as well as more recent ones such as Evangelion and Gundam), Pacific Rim brings them to the modern era with style and a dedication showing a true love of the concept. Guillermo Del Toro says that this is the movie he has been dreaming of making since he was young. I can believe it! The care and precision to make the Kaiju properly menacing(but could still potentially be a guy in a suit!) and the Jaeger mechs have immense weight and power is definitely felt in the movie.

The Kaiju, Jaegers, and "Believability": The Jaegers are not motion-captured, they are all hand-animated, which allows them to move with an incredibly titanic, thunderous might that I've not seen matched in a long time, maybe ever. Just watching one stride through a city as it battles a Kaiju, the very earth splintering and erupting from every footstep and your seat rumbling with the impact(if you're in IMAX), really gives proper respect to their size and power. Same goes for the Kaiju. They stomp, charge, roar and smash through skyscrapers without a single care despite being 300 feet tall. They rip apart the powerful Jaegers with claws, teeth, bony protrusions and gigantic arms. They really are as big a threat as they are portrayed as. In making both the Jaegers and the Kaiju feel completely believable in context of the movie's world, it excels. In providing entertaining and destructive battles, it dishes them out at a fairly rapid pace.

The (puny) Humans: The human characters in the movie are mostly pretty good. Stacker Pentecost(Idris Elba) is a great character, a compassionate but commanding leader and makes good use of any screen time he inhabits to show his acting chops. Raleigh Becket(Charlie Hunnam), and Mako Mori(Rinko Kikuchi) make a good pair and decent enough leads. Charlie Day as the wacky scientist Dr. Newton Geiszler and Burn Gorman as Gottlieb add some pretty great humor to the movie. THE MOMENT Hannibal Chau(Ron Perlman) showed up onscreen, the theater knew they were in for a treat and reacted accordingly, and that's all I'll say about his performance. Herc and Chuck Hansen(Max Martini and Robert Kazinsky respectively) take up a lot of screen time, say a lot of stuff, and ultimately wind up utterly forgettable as characters other than being a gruff but good-natured father and a fuckhead douchey son. Most of the other actors had all of two lines or are mostly irrelevant.

The Story: The story is serviceable. Kaiju are emerging from the ocean through a mysterious dimensional rift at the bottom of the ocean. Shortly after the first showed up and destroyed multiple cities, killing millions of people before being taken down by massed firepower, two more arrive and kill millions more. The Jaeger Program was hastily developed to create machines that could easily grapple with and destroy the Kaiju on their own terms. Dozens of Jaegers were designed and built, and soon Kaiju became more of a joke and less of a threat. That's when the movie starts. The human side of the story is pretty much cliche city, and often feels little more than the joints to link together the Big Guys Fightin'. Many characters are given fairly pointless development, others are perhaps not given enough. For the most part the human side gives a good breather between the fights and has some honest-to-goodness great scenes. The world of Pacific Rim is pretty detailed and if you want to know more, there's plenty of background info available.

I have a few minor gripes with the movie. The plot is not the best, however it could be very, very much worse, it holds together the movie well enough and still manages to largely stay interesting or at least inoffensive most of the time. The subplot about (minor spoiler)harvesting dead Kaiju body parts is pretty interesting(and gross) and gives Ron Perlman ample time to ham it up. The number of Jaegers in the film was misled, they had previously said there would be 3 more Jaegers than the ones already shown(Crimson Typhoon, Cherno Alpha, Gipsy Danger, Striker Eureka), and while technically true, they (very minor spoiler)only show up in flashbacks. As well, some of the Jaegers hyped up in the media wind up taking part in only a small fraction of the movie, and one is literally in one scene and that's it.

A movie I would liken this to would be the first Jurassic Park. I have not felt the sense of wonder and excitement I felt when watching Pacific Rim since I first saw Jurassic Park in theaters as a kid. Both are flawed movies, but ultimately classics, and I would say Pacific Rim both for its technical advancement and wondrous nature could wind up being this generation's Jurassic Park.

It was an extremely enjoyable experience not really hampered by the serviceable but cliche plot, and any whining I have are largely minor. It was really hard to believe that the movie is over two hours long, it felt like it flew by for me. I was very much pulled back to being a little kid again and had a big wide grin on my face for a lot of the movie's runtime.



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