So yeah….. Pacific Rim. Honestly, I almost decided not to do this review seeing as how it has been so many weeks after I saw it and there are so many other reviews out there which will probably say what I am about to write anyway, not that I would know, seeing as how I have not looked at any reviews of Pacific Rim. Seriously, I banned myself from watching and reading reviews of Pacific Rim just so what I write about Pacific Rim is not influenced by other people’s perspectives on the film.
Oh, but don’t think I have been pondering over this film night and day, staring out at the night sky or a vast lake looking for inspiration as to what to write about Pacific Rim. I just haven’t got round to writing something and I know that there’ll be things that I’ll have missed in this review so don’t take the fact that I missed something as to mean I approve of it or disapproved of it but not enough to obtain a mention. Alright, let’s do this then.
So the film centres round Raleigh Becket (Chris Hunnam), a down-and-out retired Jaeger pilot, still living with the heartbreak of his Jaeger co-pilot and brother dying in the film’s preface. However, after years of going from job to job, Becket is called back into service by Commanding Officer Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) whose unit, the Pan Pacific Defence Corps, is about to be dissolved in favour of massive coastal defence walls. However, as everyone pretty much guesses, yet not government leaders for some reason, the walls prove to be as effective as a piece of paper is at stopping bullets, the Jaegers are back, forming a ragtag team in order to destroy the inter-galatic gate under the Pacific Ocean and save earth from the menaces that are the Kaiju. Now Becket joins forces with his new co-pilot Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), both in mind and metal (lol, pun) in order to defeat the Kaiju once and for all.
So yeah, I guess I could go on about the amazing visuals and graphics, and how the fight scenes are some of the most awe-inspiring sights in cinema for ages, and how it is probably one of the greatest “versus” films to come out in ages and completely wipes from our minds the atrociousness of Transformers and replaces it with mind-numbing awesome fight scenes that actual feel realistic in their entire unrealisticness. Oh yeah, I could definitely tell you how Guillermo del Toro got Valve to give them the filters so we had freaking GLaDOS voiced by Ellen McLain to act as the Jaeger AI! I mean freaking GLaDOS! del Toro, my opinion of you has been raised to hyperfreakingawesomeness because of this. You sir are a true gentleman of film and I tip my flat cap to you.
As it’s pretty obvious that I loved this film for all the obvious reasons, I’ll go into some reasons I loved this film which are less obvious and also niggles I had with the film overall. I loved this film because it had a truly international feel to the cast, and took place a lot in and around Hong Kong (or China if you want to be particular) instead of America where all action seems to have occurred since the dawn of film. It seems film directors have been getting the message that the whole world could be involved rather than just the US since District 9 and it is really good for the film. Also, like District 9, thank you for using actors that we might not know about, it gave the film a fresh feel about it by steering clear of the usual big names.
Also, and I know everyone will be talking about them, but Dr Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) really stole the show as the hapless yet somehow intelligent comic relief. Seriously, there are times in this film when you feel “Yeah the actions fine and all, but what about the scientists! If they do not appear in the next ten minutes I will write a strongly worded letter in complaint!” They gave a lighter side to a film which was already light for a science fiction monster film.
So, we get to the niggles, and in fairness there are not a lot, they just annoyed me slightly. One of them is Mori’s “problem” of “going down the rabbit-hole”. I assume most of you have seen the film so I just going to go ahead and spoil this bit. It’s not a big spoiler, but fair warning. When Mori goes down the rabbit-hole and starts to believe her traumatic past is real, you get the feeling that this is going to be a recurring feature of the film that she is going to have to overcome in order to progress as a Jaeger pilot and this will help Becket and Mori’s relationship blossom. Did you think that? I did. And none of what I said happens. It is only mentioned once for this bit and is referenced again in order to reason why Mori has been continually refused to be a Jaeger pilot by Pentecost. That annoyed me insomuch it left me feeling incomplete about the need for the rabbit-hole reference.
Also, why the hell did it take them sole long to figure out that trying to destroy the rift in the Pacific was a good idea? You have the entire world working together for once and yet no-one went, “Why not destroy it?” for twelve freaking years! Really?! No-one? You’d have thought, yes Jaegers are a good defence, but why not get rid of the problem entirely? but I guess that would have ruined the film, but you know, someone must have tried,why not reference a botched attempt? If they did I am sorry and I retract my complaint, If they didn’t, for shame.
Finally, and quite quickly, I want to ask something that has been playing on my mind and perhaps on your mind too about Pacific Rim. Why did the Russians die so quickly?! I mean they looked absolutely awesome, definitely the best Jaeger pilots besides Becket and Mori. Sascha and Alexis Kaidanovsky, played by Heather Doerksen and Robert Maillet respectively, are hugely underdeveloped in the film, yet exude Soviet awesomeness. We are told they held the Siberian Front on their own for SIX YEARS and their Jaeger is so Soviet it defies belief. Yet they are taken out of commission by the Kaiju way, way too soon. I would rather have had them survive in order to be the antagonists to Becket and Mori rather than Chuck Hansen (Robert Kazinsky), though I may have missed his non-antagonistic father Herc Hansen (Max Martini). Seriously though, why did the Russians go so soon, they could have been even more amazing in the film than they already were with their limited screen time.
I could go on longer, but I am holding back here. Pacific Rim is awesome and I will be buying this on DVD, maybe even Blu-Ray! Pacific Rim doesn’t take itself too seriously and there are many moments you think, why did that happen and, that doesn’t make sense to what we have been told, like a bit at the end which I won’t spoil because I don’t want to ruin a film that we really should know the end by now. BUT WHO CARES! It’s monsters versus robots and I wholeheartedly support this endeavour. Who hasn’t been waiting for a mega-monster movie that actually delivers? Its got internet references, cartoony brilliance at times and, unless I haven’t mentioned it, IT HAS GLaDOS!! (Apologies, massive Portal fan). Anyway, it beats watching the constant sequelisation of films and crappy remakes of beloved films.
P.S: Apologies, someone has informed me they did say why they couldn’t destroy the rift in the first place and there is a line in the film explaining it. I retract my complaint but I’m leaving it in the review anyway, just to show even I’m human and can make mistakes. Also to show you to leave me comments to tell me where I’m wrong. Please like, share and comment!
- Find an excuse to see PACIFIC RIM [again] (tubetoptelevision.com)
- Pacific Rim Is Not Your Average Action Juggernaut (themarysue.com)
- Michael’s Monthly: Pacific Rim (jjcjsays.wordpress.com)
- Review – Pacific Rim (thepopcornjunkie.com)
- Pacific Rim as a celebration of nerds (vekinnotebook.wordpress.com)