Del Toro creates a sci-fi throwback
Guillermo Del Toro
July 12th, 2013
Something I have come to expect from any Guillermo Del Toro productions is unique visuals, alongside a well written script. In Pacific Rim we get just that. While it does have one plot hole and a single annoyance in the story it remains well written and well-acted.
The movie opens during the 2020’s, where an inter-dimensional portal has opened up on the sea floor and giant aliens called Kaiju (Japanese for giant monster and genre of movies such as Godzilla) start attacking the world. The first to arrive lasted for six days and destroyed three cities before the world was able to take it down.
Because standard military hardware was ineffective the world banded together to create something new. Their invention is called Jaegers (German for Hunter) which are giant 250 foot tall robot combats units. However due to the strain on the humans mentally piloting it they require two pilots who effectively act as the right and left sides of the brain. After 12 years of battling the Kaiju only four Jaegers remain and the head of the program decides to act on a final gambit in the effort to end the Kaiju threat.
As mentioned above the visuals are amazing in this movie. Every single Kaiju and Jaeger that we see is unique. The Jaegers have four basic designs, humanoid robot, three armed, old fashioned boxy robot and a sleeker jet like body for the newest model.
The Kaiju on the other hand have an over-arcing theme in that all but one is reptilian or fish-like (and the one that’s not is a gorilla with scales), but each has a different ability like flight, acid or even an EMP to keep them unique.
Another thing that impressed me with this movie is that aside from Ron Perlman who is a frequent collaborator of Del Toro’s — none of the actors in the film are very big names.
While they have some acting credits under their belts — they are generally not names that most movie goers would know. However despite that they all perform their required role well doing everything from the world weary and fatalist general to the arrogant new generation of pilots. It is good to see directors branching away from blockbuster names to sell their movies.
While great this movie does feature two flaws. The first is a minor plot hiccup that my friends and I couldn’t get. Opposite to After Earth, the Jaegers are equipped with rockets and plasma arm cannons that do little to the Kaiju but towards the end they reveal arm mounts blades that show no difficulty in twice slashing a Kaiju vertically in half. Since much of the fights are close combat anyways, why not open with the super effective swords. The second is that the technology of the mental connection, called Drifting, is not explained as to why it’s necessary or even techno babble as to how it supposedly works.
In the end Pacific Rim is a fun action sci-fi movie with great CGI combat, well developed characters each with their own arcs and a story that features a couple issues, but none that take away from viewing the movie but would only come up in hindsight.
Based on this, I give this movie a 9/10.