Sunday 14 July 2013

Pacific Rim Movie Review!!!

If you're only going to watch one summer blockbuster this year, make it Pacific Rim! Read on to find out why!

So in a summer where we’ve had a Superman reboot, a Lone Ranger remake, Fast and The Furious 6 and Iron Man 3, something called Pacific Rim has come along.  What’s that?  It may hurt our brains seeing as they’re no longer used to originality, accustomed only to sequels, reboots and remakes but take a look and the nostalgia and love which has gone into the project will tear down any initial objections you may have and allow your brain to accept and enjoy summers biggest and best movie.

Guillermo del Toro is one hell of a guy.  He’s like a kid in a gleefully happy and enthusiastic mans body.  The visionary director behind the amazing Pan’s Labyrinth, classics such as The Devil’s Backbone and Cronos as well as more commercial titles such as the Hellboy movies now brings us his latest masterpiece, Pacific Rim.  I say visionary because his characters are so intricate, beautiful and unique to behold that, to those familiar with his previous works, they are immediately recognizable as creations of Guillermo del Toro.  

Pan's Labyrinth

His grounded and friendly geek next-door persona in Hollywood is something that has endeared him to movie fans all over the world. 

Pacific Rim is del Toro’s homage, his love letter to the movies that he grew up with, classic giant monster movies from Japan.  Anyone familiar with Japanese Anime and Mecha movies or the original Godzilla movies will know what I’m talking about.  I remember staying up past midnight to watch these movies as a kid.  I still don’t know why Channel 4 would screen them so late.

It is del Toro’s passion and dedication as a director that is visible in his actor’s performances, the overall finish of the movie and ultimately what makes this the best movie of the summer.  Whereas most movies take 8 to 12 weeks for post-production conversion to 3D, this movie took 40 weeks as Guillermo insisted on full meticulous control over every aspect of the creation of this movie.  He even built a city block in Hong Kong to destroy for this movie and life sized Jaeger robot heads as sets for his actors to work in.

It is this level of attention to detail, driven by passion, that makes this a true success.

The premise is fairly simple.  A rift between universes has opened deep within the Pacific Ocean and giant sea monsters known as Kaiju have emerged.  In the absence of Godzilla to protect us, and following the failure of traditional technology to efficiently take down the beasts, mankind resorts to building giant robots known as Jaegers.  Initially a successful method for taking down the monsters, problems start to arise as the monsters start getting bigger, smarter and attacking more frequently. 

I’m not going to go into the plot specifics as I want you to discover them for yourselves.  As mankind becomes more and more desperate, more and more desperate measures are necessary.  It’s mankind’s last stand.

The result is an action extravaganza with a heart.  The unique dynamics regarding how the Jaegers are piloted allow for us to be emotionally invested in the characters and what’s going on.  The performances are generally pretty solid although I know some of my friends found Rinko Kikuchi’s output funny at times.

The special affects are excellent as expected but I do wish that more of the fight scenes could have been in daylight as opposed to night scenes.  Following all the other reviews that are flying around right now, I saw the movie in IMAX 3D.  Sure this made some scenes feel like you’re right there in the thick of things, on the whole I wish I had seen it either on a normal 3D display or as a standard digital screening.  The IMAX screen was so big that it made it very hard to know where to look, in the end some of the scenes felt very confusing as I tried to figure out what was going on.  After repeated viewings I can confirm that I feel 2D digital is the best way to watch this to fully enjoy the crazy action, even during the night action sequences everything is crystal clear - which feels like a breath of fresh air after all the recent Transformers movies.

Pacific Rim never reaches the extreme levels of destruction bordering on unbelievable seen in Man of Steel, but is pretty epic nonetheless.

I have to make special mention of the soundtrack which is pretty rocking.  The title theme from Ramin Djawadi, the same the composer that did the Iron Man soundtrack, featuring guitar work by Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine, is outstanding and I downloaded it as soon as I got home from the movie.  It’s the kind of music that really gets your heart pumping and you can imagine it playing as you take down bad guys.  Very appropriate for a movie about badass robots kicking monster butt.

This is a really good movie and so far the only summer movie that I’ve revisited at the cinema this year (last year it was The Avengers).

Don’t let all the recent Transformers and sci-fi pop-corn trash movies coming out of Hollywood deter you, this is a must watch for all summer movie fans.  ‘Nuff said!

Check it out!

Rating updated after multiple viewings - 4.5 out of 5!!!


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