Sunday, July 21, 2013

Movie Appraisal: Pacific Rim (2013)

Hey everybody! So, last weekend I went to see Pacific Rim with my normal theatre viewing crew. We had planned this out for a good long while and were all looking forward to it quite a bit. We went to a midnight showing since any other time wouldn't have worked out for us, and we excitedly waited for the movie to get rolling. Also read this review at your own risk!

We had no previews in our showing, and the movie didn't quite fit the screen which was fairly disappointing. Other than those things, the movie viewing experience was amazing. It is the best of its genre, hands down. I mean, there is no other way to even compare it to other movies. The actions scenes are wonderful, the human elements are actually meaningful and fun, and the CGI is both necessary and incredibly well done.

Come on, look at how awesome this thing looks!
I loved the designs of both the Kaiju (the big goddamn monsters) and the Jaeger (the big goddamn mechs). They worked incredibly well and felt amazingly large. The sense of scale was monumental, something I haven't felt in a theatre since the first time I saw The Fellowship of the Ring and watched the huge statues in that movie go by the fellowship while they were floating by in tiny boats. This movie makes the Kaiju and the Jaegers feel realistically huge. It was so cool.

And yeah, this movie has a lot to do with being cool. It is an experience. The music, the sound, the visuals, and the human stories- they are all experiences within the movie. No, the plot is not new. It's actually pretty cliched and can be easily predicted, but that doesn't mean it hasn't perfected its story. The Kaiju are the perfect antagonists, both alien and immensely terrifying. They have both a strength and a power that a normal person cannot even hope to overcome.

I'm a big damn mech, and I'm going to punch monsters from the depths of Hell.
Pleased to meet you.
It's a story about struggle and survival in an apocalyptic situation. It's also about teamwork (since the Jaegers require two people to make them run) and about just a great time in general. It's a movie that made me smile ear-to-ear more than once. It's also a movie that made me feel a cold sting of mortality at times as well. There are some very dark moments to go with the fun of them movie. And the moments that feel immense also can feel soul-crushingly sad as well.

When the Russian and Chinese Jaeger pilots die, it is a terrible thing. I felt their deaths in a way I rarely feel the deaths of characters within a movie. And these a re characters with no speaking lines either! With a very limited amount of screen time. Guillermo del Toro is that much of a master of his craft. He can make you feel something for characters who are background at best.

The fights are superb, hitting all the right strides and all the right moments. There are enough things that both the Jaeger and the Kaiju do to shake the fights up as well. I mean, suddenly the Jaegers have swords. Suddenly the Kaiju has an EMP. Suddenly there is a rocket elbow. Suddenly the freaking Kaiju has WINGS. All these elements work to make it just a wonderfully entertaining film, full of amazing moments, cool characters, and neat set-pieces.

The background stuff is really interesting as well. I mean both the background of this universe and the scenery itself. Both tell more of the story than the dialogue and characters ever could. It just feels so awe-inspiring. Ever person who is or was a little kid at one point playing with toys and ramming them against one another to fight will understand why this movie is one of the best movies out there period.

Yes, there are negatives. The lack of female characters (although I know I'll be called out on that by someone, just give it time) and some of the sillier things of the movie were a little annoying, but for the most part it is an incredibly fun ride. Easily one of the best movies I've seen in theatres in a long time. I suggest everybody watch this big damn movie. The script, music, and everything else are so awesome that the movie deserves your money and time, it really does.

How can you not love a man who looks like this?
Also, Ron Perlman and his character of Hannibal Chau are crazy awesome. I love that character so much. Also, the two science guys are great as well, and don't even take away from the big story of mechs and monsters punching one another. Is it a dumb movie at times? Sure, I guess. But just because it's a movie about things punching other things doesn't mean it can't be brilliant as well.

Serious recommendation. If you haven't seen it, go and see it!

Also, Hannibal Chau's shoes, because the detail is awesome!

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