Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pedal to the metal: PACIFIC RIM(2013)

I bought the giant robot vs kaiju film PACIFIC RIM recently on Blu Ray. This movie is directed by Guillermo del Toro and is, by his own admission, a tribute of sorts to giant monster movies like "Gojira" as well as homages to anime. As a lifelong fan of "kaiju"(giant mysterious beast) films I fully expected that I would enjoy watching PACIFIC RIM and I did. Some observations, mostly positive:

Thumbs up:

The CGI(computer generated imagery) is fantastic in this movie. The movie itself looks spectacular at times in 1080p HD, especially the kaiju-jaeger battles. ('jaeger" = a giant robot)

The battle tactics employed by the pilots who operate the jaegers(the giant battle robots): a nice combination of hand to hand fighting(strikes and chops) as well as lethal, stabbing weapons and beam weaponry, both of which are put to good use against the monsters.

The jaeger designs all of which are different to reflect their respective home countries and the pilots who operate them. I especially liked the Russian jaeger "Cherno Alpha" which reminded me of a walking army tank and the Chinese jaeger "Crimson Typhoon" and its multi armed saw blades which are totally sick weapons.

The performances of the majority of the human cast of actors: they made you care about them and their fates in this movie and that is a major plus to any action film!

The overall design and fighting tactics of the various kaiju in this film: these monsters aren't just lumbering, slow to react behemoths. They exhibit reflexes, instincts and emotions and also show an ability to adapt to the jaegers that fight them which adds to the suspense of this movie.

Thumbs down:

While the kaiju-jaeger battles were spectacular I wanted to see a major daylight battle. We get night time and underwater battles of course but I think a daylight robot-monster battle would have been a nice touch.

The acting of the pair of scientists was too over the top and injected a streak(for lack of better word) of forced humor into this movie that I could have done without in all honesty. Ron Perlman's character, "Hannibal Chau"(the kaiju organs/bones black market dealer) is an expected source for this kind of behavior but the two scientists in this movie working for Marshal Penetecost(played by Idris Elba) are like two quarreling, nutty professors who've been stuck in a basement lab for far too long.

Overall: a must see and a must DVD or Blu Ray purchase for ANY fan of giant monster movies! PACIFIC RIM has to date generated $407.5 million in box office receipts. It totaled just over $100 million in the United States(a disappointment) but fared much better abroad, especially in China. According to Guillermo del Toro a script is being penned for a sequel but as to whether the studio(Legendary Pictures) green lights funding for a sequel...well, we'll just have to wait and see. I hope a sequel is made.

To buy the BD/DVD combo release of PACIFIC RIM(2013) at Amazon click the link: PACIFIC RIM BLU RAY/DVD release 

A trailer(in HD):