I didn’t see Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, when it came out last summer. I had wanted to. I had planned to. Giant robots and even gigantic monsters! Anime fan that I am, having loved Neon Genesis Evangelion, I should have been first in line.
But I didn’t go see it. I finally got to see it later last year and, well, in all honesty, I wasn’t all that impressed.
But, and here’s a big but, I’ve seen the movie since then and it has slowly, ever so slowly, burned its way into my collective unconscious. I still have some problems with it, namely, that scientist guy with the extremely annoying voice and his equally annoying lack of comedic talent. But the rest of the movie I now love.
I love the look of it, the characters featured in it and, most of all, the massive fight scenes between the Jaegers, the gigantic human-controlled mecha and the Kaijus, monstrous creatures who have invaded our world from a breech in the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
I do wonder sometimes why some movies don’t quite hit the right nerve when we see them at a particular time and then, when we chance upon them again, we find we like them after all.
Pacific Rim is what it is. A big, gorgeous SF spectacle of humanity fighting to survive when faced with what appears to be an unstoppable and unbeatable foe. I also like the multi-cultural look to it. It’s set in Hong Kong and the characters are from different nationalities, although since the breech is in the Pacific, it does focus on the countries that border the Pacific, e.g. China, Russia, the United States, Japan and Australia.
I especially liked the character of Mako Mori, a rookie Jaeger pilot, played by Rinko Kikuchi. Mako lost her family when she was only a child in a Kaiju attack. She is determined to avenge their deaths. Mako is strong, but Kikuchi brings a touching vulnerability to the character that is sometimes lacking in “kick-ass” heroines.
Her mentor is Stacker Pentecost, played by the always impressive Idris Elba, who was a standout in Thor as Heimdal. Pentecost is very protective of Mako and we find out why during the course of the movie.
Charlie Hunnam plays Raleigh Becket, who starts out as a rather cocky Jaeger pilot who, after experiencing a tragedy early in the movie, must learn to face his own inner demons.
Ron Perlman is also in the movie and he’s, well, he’s Ron Perlman. What more is there to say? He plays Hannibal Chau, a black market dealer in Kaiju organs. His part isn’t terribly essential to the plot, but it’s always a delight to see Perlman. I’m not surprised he was in the movie, as he played Hell Boy in Guillermo del Toro’s movie of the same name.
Another big plus is the great soundtrack by Ramin Djawldi, who has done such an impressive job with the music for the HBO series Game of Thrones.
Now, initially, on first viewing, I would have only given this movie two popcorn boxes. I’m going to give it three popcorn boxes now, however, because there are still some problems that, honestly, could have been left by the wayside, i.e. the annoying scientist guy, who was really only in the movie to provide exposition about the Kaiju. Actually it’s probably more like 3 1/2 popcorn boxes, but I don’t have a half a popcorn box icon. I probably need to make one at some point. 🙂