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Pacific Rim Review (2013)

Pacific Rim

 

  There has been a dearth of Kaiju (giant monster) style movies on the silver screen for at least half a decade now. The last Kaiju movie that I can recall watching and enjoying was Cloverfield and that was released back in 2008.

 

  Pacific Rim looks to revive not only the Kaiju genre but also the Mecha genre at the same time.

 

  Legendary Pictures took a big gamble on not only diving back into this genre but also doing so without a big name well know franchise behind it.

 

  They have already acquired the rights from Toho to make a new American Godzilla movie. So you would think that they would have lead with that as quite a few generations of people know the name Godzilla.

 

  Pacific Rim begins with a ton of exposition to set up the in movie universe for us.

 

  Everyone always thought that if aliens attacked they would come from the stars. No one ever expected an attack via a wormhole in the ocean floor.

 

  It took several days for the military to stop the first Kaiju attack. Unfortunately it would not be the last giant monster to emerge from the rift.

 

Traffic is murder

Morning traffic is murder in San Francisco.

 

  Humanity was losing the war against the Kaiju when they developed the Jaeger, (German meaning hunter) a Mecha that could take the fight to the enemy.

 

Pacific Rim Gypsy Danger

 

The pilot of a Jaeger is linked to his Mecha via a neural link up with the Mecha's computer system. The neural load was too much for a single pilot's brain to handle so a dual pilot system was initiated to lighten the load.

 

Yaeger Pilots

This new Tron simulator looks awesome!

 

  The neural link up between the two pilots and the computer system is known as drifting. Each pilot shares their memories with the other and each Jaeger pilot uses one hemisphere of their brain to control one half of the Mecha Thus each pilot is able to act as one entity.

 

  Eventually the war against the Kaiju begins to go south again and slowly funds are diverted from building and supplying the Jaegers to build a coastal wall all along the Pacific Rim.

 

  But how long can a defensive strategy like that work? The rift is still open and Kaiju continue to emerge from it.

 

Bigger Boat

Looks like they finally found a bigger boat.

 

  Pacific Rim is a very interesting movie and a very different take on the whole Kaiju/Mecha genre mash up.

 

  Science and engineering take a pretty healthy beating in this movie. There are several scenes that have techno babble that would not feel out of place in a 1950's sci fi movie. The rules of how science and technology work in this universe also change or contradict themselves as the movie progresses.

 

The apocalypse has been canceled

The apocalypse has been canceled? But I had good seats.

  

  Two of the better performances in the movie come from actor Charlie Hunnam who plays the lead protagonist Raleigh Becket the main pilot of the Jaeger Gypsy Danger in the movie, and actor Idris Elba who plays the character of Stacker Pentecost the head of the Jaeger program.

 

  The computer system throughout the movie is voiced by none other than famed opera singer Ellen McLain, better known as the voice actress behind the computer G.L.A.D.O.S. in the Portal series of video games. Does this mean that she is being type cast now?

 

  One of the big tech companies should sign her up quick to be the new default voice of their operating system!

  

  Most of the other characters in Pacific Rim are way over the top seeming a little racist or too stereotypical in their execution.

 

  The two main scientist of the movie subsist on a strict diet of chewing scenery. In fact the portrayal of English scientist Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) is beyond stereotypical to the point that I don't know if I would have felt comfortable watching this film with friends from England.

 

  Another choice that I can see severely dating this movie in the future is the neon lighting on the Kaiju. I just know this is one of those things we will look back on in twenty years and wonder "Why was neon lighting so big in movies back in the 10's?"

 

Pacific Rim Aussies

I don't know what this monster is thinking. Doesn't it know that all of Australia is trying to kill every Aussie already? They don't scare easily.

  

  All of these negatives aside the movie somehow makes it all work together. This is one of those titles that you can't think too hard about. You just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

  The action is well paced and the fight scenes between the Kaiju and the Jaeger's are done fast enough to remain interesting but slow enough that you know what the hell is going on (Transformers I'm looking at you).

 

  The look of the Jaeger and Kaiju had a very real feel to them, these are not the people in rubber suits of old.

 

  Pacific Rim is a great entry into the Kaiju genre and hopefully it has awakened the imagination of a new generation of movie goers who will look forward to seeing more Mecha and Kaiju movies.

 

  After seeing Pacific Rim I now know that the new American Godzilla movie is in the right hands.

 

  If you are a fan of old school Kaiju or Mecha films Pacific Rim is for you.

 

  If you are someone who nitpicks at a movie to the point that you can no longer enjoy it, well it might be best if you took a pass on this one, but you will be missing a fun ride indeed.

 

  Final verdict for Pacific Rim 7/10 A great tribute and update to the giant monster movies of old. I can't wait to see what Legendary Pictures has in store for their take on Godzilla.

 

 ~Professor

 

 

 

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