One part Evangelion, one part Godzilla, all awesome. Pacific Rim is the kind of mash-up I love to see. Sure it’s a cliché-ridden film filled with one-dimensional characters, but the whole point is to pit humanity’s last stand in one hundred plus story tall, team-driven mechs versus giant monsters from an ocean dimensional rift against each other. In that area, Guillermo del Toro has delivered one hell of a popcorn summer flick with some amazing visual moments, a fantastic soundtrack, and some decent but predictably acted moments.
Crazy scientists? Check. Guilt-ridden pilot survivor? Check. Pilot with something to prove? Check. Stubborn military commander breaking all the rules to save the world his way? Check. Pacific Rim is a little formulaic in the way it presents things, but it is the blockbuster format itself that is finally starting to show some age, and even so, works decently enough. This isn’t going to win for best picture and I don’t know that it was ever aiming for that. It’s aiming to entertain audiences, and in that, it succeeds in spades.
One of the stronger things going for the film is the care taken with the design of not only the Kaiju (the giant monsters), but also the Jaegers, which are the giant mechs humanity sends at them. Each one has its own unique design tailored not only to who’s piloting it, but also its country of origin. When we see them in action, our lead character that we follow through the film, Gipsy Danger, actually changes ready and practice stances when another pilot gets involved. There are a lot of little details going on here that really add to the film and after watching so many movies that either skimp out on these or just try to roll with it, it’s great to see the care that Pacific Rim takes.
I mentioned on twitter that I’d like the film to do well, which is true, but it’s struggling a bit to find an audience. Though I hope it does well, I don’t need a sequel either. I could see following another piloting crew, but even then, what needs to be said about this universe has already been said in this outing, and the plot ties up nicely with an ending that doesn’t leave the audience hanging.
I went in to Pacific Rim expecting big mechs beating the crap out of big monsters, leaving a large trail of destruction behind them. That’s exactly what I got, and I’m more than happy with the film.