So I went to a free pre-screening of the upcoming Summer blockbuster, “Pacific Rim”, directed by Guillermo del Toro, yesterday. In case you haven’t heard of it, here is the premise of the film. An inter dimensional rift opens up allowing “Kaiju” or great monsters to cross to and attack earth. Earth puts aside its petty geopolitical differences and comes together to defeat the threat. The way they do this is by creating an army of “Jaegers” or hunters, two-pilot giant robots, to take on the monsters from another world. If you’re thinking “Godzilla vs. Ultraman” you’re on the right path. Here are some thoughts with as few spoilers as possible:
1. The story was good. It could have been better, but it was alright. Some of the plot points were a little weak and some of the dialogue was as well. Over all though,it was a pretty decent story.
2. The acting ranged from forced-feeling to sublime. Some of the best was turned in by Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Burn Gorman (Torchwood) as Dr. Newton Geiszler and Gottlieb, a couple of crazy scientist types. Their characters and story lines were hilarious and well played. Also on the great side was Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy). He played a character called Hannibal Chau, a “dealer” in illicit Kaiju parts. Think Powdered Goat Horn or Eye of Newt. While it was a fairly small part, Perlman pulled it off flawlessly. Good stuff.
Not so great in my humble opinion was the acting from Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Idris Elba (Luther, Thor) and Rinko Kikuchi (???) as Raliegh Beckett, Stacker Pentecost and Mako Mori, respectively. Maybe it was just me, but I’ve seen “the guy at the top of his game who loses his way but gets called back to the big leagues by the desperate, hard ass boss to save the world while falling in love with the beautiful girl” done a million times and it was just … predictable. There was even the “Maverick/Iceman” tension scene from “Top Gun” thrown in for good measure. Was it necessary? For this movie, yeah, probably, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult to sit through. All that said, would I sit through two hours and 11 minutes of this movie again? Definitely! Because …
3. The special effects, sets, set dressing, costumes and every other visual element this movie threw at you! OH.MY.GOD! It was BEAUTIFUL. I say this through the eyes of a 12 year old kid who grew up watching Godzilla, Ultron, Voltron, TMNT, Power Rangers and others until my eyes bled. You want to watch the Power Rangers and not feel guilty about being 35 + while doing it? This is the movie for you. I have been waiting for this movie my whole life and never knew it until the first strains of music assaulted my ears after the lights went down. It was spectacular. I believe the future of some genres of movies (Anime, etc.) that haven’t been fully explored to this point have just been green lighted. I have seen the future and I am excited about it. If any of this piques your interest or sounds good to you? GO SEE THIS MOVIE!