Friday, July 12, 2013

Pacific Rim Review

This year has been the year of the sci-fi movie. And the year the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic movie. All this had to have been inspired by the fact that the world was supposed to end at the end of last year. Obviously it didn't, but the fact that it was supposed to sparked all these ideas in the minds of movie makers and thus this year we have had a whole slew of them. We started off in February with a zombie rom-com. Then in March we took over the White House twice. Then we had the Tom Cruise's version of the post-apocalypse. Soon after the Smith family bored us with their version life after earth. In June we experienced the zombie apocalypse, took over the White House for a third time, and had a celebrity gathering at James Franco's house to experience the apocalypse. Now with Pacific Rim we have monsters coming out of the center of the earth ready to destroy mankind. Exciting right? Well, as you've heard Idris Elba yell from the trailers of Pacific Rim, TONIGHT WE ARE CANCELLING THE APOCALYPSE!!!!! Or just reviewing another apocalypse movie, I guess. Let's get started!

Pacific Rim is directed by Guillermo del Terro and is about what you expect. Quite honestly the concept of the movie didn't really intrigue me that much. Sure, it's an original movie. That is if you define "original movie" as a movie that is not a sequel, remake, or an adaption of some sort. But if you define original as something that has never been done before then this is far from original. World ending movies have been done a lot. Tons of movies have included monsters or aliens in them. And we have always had plenty of robots. Pacific Rim just takes all these ideas and throws them all into one movie. Not that clever in my books. It seemed like it was a combination of Godzilla and Power Rangers. Yes, I could say Transformers, but in Transformers the robots are alive with their own brain and personality. In Power Rangers we have humans inside the robots controlling them, so Pacific Rim's robots are more like that... but on steroids. Despite this, what really attracted me to the movie was the fact that it was directed by del Torro and he usually does a fantastic job with his movies, so I was definitely willing to give it a shot. And it really didn't disappoint. That is if you go in with the right mindset.

The movie really starts in the year 2020 after running through the origin story in the first five minutes in fashion of 2008's Incredible Hulk movie. And yes, like you've seen, these huge Godzilla-like monsters that they call Kaiju emerge from a portal on the ocean's floor and start annihilating earth. To stop them, humans have built the Power-Rangers-on-steroids that they call Jaegers that are controlled by two humans. The humans that get this job are entitled rangers (another reason I use the Power Rangers comparison). The Rangers begin to control the Kaiju population and thus become celebrities on earth. And thus we have our movie intro. Some drama in 2020 happens and then we jump five years and that is where we spend most of our movie. Pacific Rim is really a major visual spectacle. The visual effects category in the Oscars really is the only category that the Academy gives to big blockbusters and if Pacific Rim doesn't get a nomination there I think that there is something wrong with them because this movie deserves that. Also, in terms of pure action, this is probably the best this year. Like I mentioned earlier, you need to go into this movie with the right mindset and that mindset is that you are going to see a ton of awesome action between monsters and robots. If you go in expecting a huge drama or a really deep, intelligent movie, you will walk out disappointed. But if you go in wanting to just enjoy a ton of awesome action, then you will walk out with a smile on your face.

Having said that, is this the best movie of the year? No. Is it intelligent as Oblivion? No. Is it as intense as World War Z? No. Is it a psychological action movie like Iron Man 3? No. Just monsters vs robots. The story line really isn't anything to write home about and in fact is pretty predictable. The movie did spend a lot of time developing the characters in the movie and while most of the essentially lesser known cast (Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman) did a good job, I honestly didn't find myself emotionally attached to the cast. They could've all been destroyed and I wouldn't have shed any tears over any one character lost (not a spoiler -- just a theoretical statement). Honestly that was a huge problem. I feel I need to be attached to at least someone in the cast during a movie. But like I said, if you go into this movie you need to just go in expecting an awesome action movie and not expect much more. If you do that, I promise you will walk out of the movie entertained like I was. If you don't like that type of movie, then you might want to skip Pacific Rim or wait until you can watch it for a cheaper price. Overall, I will give Pacific Rim a 7.5 out of 10.

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