Monday, July 15, 2013

Pacific Rim – A Cool Sci-fi Action Movie

I went to see the new movie Pacific Rim yesterday and I must say that it’s a really awesome film. If you’re looking for a cool sci-fi action movie to watch, Pacific Rim is definitely something you should check out (an idea that I’ll try to convey below).

The story of Pacific Rim takes place in the near future (the 2020s if I remember correctly) at which time giant alien monsters called Kaiju (Japanese for “strange creature”) are invading Earth through a portal beneath the Pacific Ocean that leads to another universe. The citizens of Earth respond to this crisis by building giant humanoid machines called Jaegers which they control with a brain-computer interface. People are recruited to pilot the Jaegers and fight off the Kaiju in order to defend Earth.

Both the main and secondary characters are very well-developed and don’t really have anything unlikeable about them. The main character Raleigh Becket (played by Charlie Hunnam) serves as a good hero for the movie (but he’s not the best protagonist that I’ve ever seen in a film). The secondary characters are all well-acted and are given a good amount of screen time which is nice to see. Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kikuchi), plays the role of Becket’s Jaeger partner for most of the film. Kikuchi plays Mako well and we really get to understand her backstory which helped me to care more about the character. The same can be said for the stern Stacker Pentecost (played by Idris Elba) who serves as the leader of the Jaeger operation. There are also some comic relief characters in the film (whom I won’t mention to prevent any spoiling) who help to lighten the mood in the movie when needed.

Before getting on to the negatives, the two main things that I liked about the film were the story and the special effects/CGI. Firstly, the story moves along smoothly for the most part with the exception of the events at the beginning occurring in rapid succession even though several years were supposed to have gone by. Another thing about the story is that there are at least two different plots going on at once which converge at the end of the film. This really helps to give the story a bit more substance rather than just being a simple linear action movie that you’ve seen a million times before. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes those types of simple action movies aren’t so bad. But when you’ve seen the same thing over and over, it’s nice to have a change (and that’s what I think this movie gives).

Secondly, the CGI is simply awesome (if you’ve watched the trailer you’ll know what I’m talking about). The Kaiju are pretty realistic as are the Jaegers. We get explosions, cool, holographic control panels inside the mechs (similar to what you see Tony Stark use in the Iron Man movies) and, of course, some sweet battle scenes.

The mech fights are truly awesome and really well directed. Many people have said that Guillermo del Toro was largely responsible for the stone giant scene in the first Hobbit film. You can definitely understand why when you compare that scene with all of the Kaiju versus Jaeger sequences in this film. Moreover, del Toro seems to have taken his cue from “monster masters” Ray Harryhausen and Ishiro Honda who worked, respectively, on giant monster scenes in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and several Godzilla movies. If you love those types of fight scenes, you’ve gotta see this movie.

On the negative side, there really isn’t much to be honest. The only thing that might be said here is that the characters weren’t developed enough or that the story wasn’t deep enough. This is true to a degree, but in my opinion both the characters and the story were very well done. I know that there are people out there who maybe aren’t huge action fans and want something more. I can understand that perfectly. However, there is, I think, sufficient “deepness” (for lack of a better word) to this movie and it is certainly much deeper than many other action films out there. I think it’s definitely worth a watch even for those who don’t watch action or sci-fi movies that often or who aren’t the biggest fans of them.

In conclusion, this is a really good movie that I think action fans will love, and non-action fans will (hopefully) love. It may not be the best movie this year, but it’s certainly a great one. Overall, I would give Pacific Rim an 8/10.

What did you guys think of the movie?

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