An orgy of geeky elements in one movie.
Pacific Rim is a movie made for geeks from a geek. Guillermo del Toro does a wonderful job combining elements from different geek cutlers, and what we get out of it is a state of the art CG movie where robots fight monsters. Think of Evangelion, but not.
The movie takes place in a near future where alien monsters called Kaiju invade Earth through a portal in Pacific ocean. To fight back, the government builds a series of 26 story tall robots called Jaegers (Hunters). When humanity is facing extinction, all hopes are on ex-pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Becket) and his co-pilot Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). Meanwhile, eccentric scientist Dr. Newton Geizler (Charlie Day) must enlist the help of a black market “monster parts” dealer named Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman) to find out the true origins of Kaiju.
The movie has the best fighting scenes I’ve seen in ages, and it’s really satisfying watching giant robots and monsters fighting. The whole time I’m watching the movie, I can’t help it but feel like a little kid watching my favorite action figures fighting each others in the bath tub full of water. I’m pretty sure this is what del Toro is going through in his mind when he’s making this film. You can really feel his passion and excitement during the film, and the result is gorgeous and breath-taking.
The biggest problem in this movie is the characters. For some reason, the characters didn’t deliver as expected, and they feel very flat-noted. The relationship between Raleigh and Mako seems too typical and nothing to root for. While it’s obvious that the two are supposed to end up together, but there really isn’t a lot there for us to feel for them. This results the final scene really boring, and not paying off at all.
I also don’t really like Rinko Kikuchi’s character in this film. My old readers probably already know that one thing I found most annoying is when media portrays Asian characters in their typical annoying way- quiet, mystical and full of bullshit honors. It’s obvious that del Toro wants Kikuchi to be like a typical anime girl, but it’s just not working out.
Meanwhile, while Day’s character can be both funny and entertaining, he can be quite distracting from time to time. He’s role is for the viewers to understand the monsters better from the inside, but his mission is usually side-tracked and we forgot what he’s after. It’s really is a shame though, cause he does provide some of the most interesting scene when it lasted.
Perlman’s character is overly cartoonish, and I’m not a big fan of it. I also don’t understand how he knows not to “drift” with Kaiju. He states that Geizler drifted with a Kaiju before and since is a two-way street, Kaiju is coming for him now. Hence the entire Hong Kong scene. However, if Perlman’s character drifted with a Kaiju before, shouldn’t a Kaiju come for him as well? Or maybe I’m just thinking too much. I tend to do that sometime.
Meanwhile, I do enjoy Burn Gorman’s character Dr. Hermann Gottlieb. While the character can be over dramatic from time to time, he is the only one around that I genuinely found funny. Unfortunately, this movie just doesn’t like character at all, and the most interesting character actally has the lease role in the entire film. Too bad.
There really isn’t a lot to say about the movie anymore at this point. While the characters are a weakness to the film, the film still holds high with it’s wonderfully awesome robots and monsters fight scenes. The film is definitely one of the best del Toro film, and he paints us a world with great CGI effects. However, there are too few moments of Kaiju vs. Jaeger- something we really want to see in the theater. All I want to see is the awesome fights, but there are too many human story that’s boring.
Pacific Rim is a grand and high scaled film. The movie is entertaining from time to time, but once human characters are involved, it falls flat. But overall the movie is great with robots fighting giant monsters, and it’s definitely the geeky film of the year.