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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Movie Review - Pacific Rim

Movie Title
Pacific Rim
Year
2013
Genre
Action, Sci-Fi

Story
I really love the premise - aliens are coming to earth not from from the skies but from deep beneath the oceans via a dimensional gate called the Breach (Hmmm, sounds kinda familiar right, comic geeks?). The nice thing about it is that the aliens are not the puny size ones that arrive in spaceships but 600 feet high giant-sized destruction engines - Kaijus (Giant Beasts/Monsters in Japanese).

Earth develops a counter measure in the form of similarly sized giant robots called Jaegers (Hunters in German), driven by 2 Jaeger Pilots.

This strategy seemed to work for a while until Earth discovers that the alien monsters have evolved from what they learnt in their earthly encounters and seem to have developed counter-measures of their own resulting in more and more Jaegers being destroyed with each battle. 

The movie focuses on 2 brothers who are co-pilots for the Jaeger called Gipsy Danger - Yancy & Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam). Yancy is killed in 1 of those battles (well, with such a manly name like Yancy, I'd wouldn't wanna live either).

Due to the apparent lack of effectiveness of the Jaeger program, Earth's governments have decided to stop funding it. This leaves only 4 remaining functional Jaegers. They now operate on private funding and run off the only remaining active Jaeger base in Hong Kong.

Earth realizes that the frequency of the invasion was getting higher and it was not long before these alien monsters start appearing in pairs or more. Earth needs a more permanent solution, which is to destroy the dimensional gate - the Breach.

Acting
The young girl who portrayed the young Mako (Mana Ashida) was really impressive. I predict she's destined for great things.
I disagree with some reviewers that Idris Elba can help carry a bad movie. I recall his less than stellar performances in both Ghost Rider 2 and Thor. I seem to think that his roles could have been played by virtually anyone.
Here, Idris Elba turns in a pretty strong performance as the no-nonsense Marshall who heads the program - noble, but a tortured soul, stern but you wouldn't want anyone else looking out for Earth's well-being.
The 2 scientists - Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) & Gottlieb (Burn Gorman whom we last saw in The Dark Knight Rises. I also recall seeing him as another weird character in The Oxford Murders) and Ron Pearlman (Guillermo's good buddy who played Hellboy) really annoyed me though.

Rinko Kikuchi, who plays Mako Mori, Raleigh's Co-Pilot, is supposed to be a really good actress. However, her performance here was really nothing to shout about. And of course, we too have our own Jaeger, as soon as our govt. has the budget allocation to start the project in Kuala Pilah!
Overall
You know what you are getting into when you watch this movie, so, all those who whine about things not really making sense, please! Leave logic at the door and you will enjoy this movie.

First thing that came to my mind when watching this movie was Blocker/Brocker Corp Machine Blasters/Brasters (the damn Japanese can't decide whether to use Engrish or English!). This animated TV series really shaped my love for giant robots and subsequently my love for Transformers.


Now we know that a good Ultraman fighting giant alien monsters movie is possible! Hence, at the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) a couple of days ago, it was announced that Godzilla will also be making a comeback to the big screens soon - Yayyy.

I also found the Jaeger names pretty cool as every single 1 of them has both a first and last name. My favorite's Crimson Typhoon! I'm sure many spin-offs can be made of the individual robots' adventures prior to this movie either in live-action or animation. Wouldn't that be cool?

I haven't seen any of the Pacific Rim toys in stores yet but I'll bet they would look pretty cool.

Regardless if you're a fan of the genre or not, this is a movie you MUST WATCH at least once - in the cinema!

Also, there's a post credit scene if you're willing to wait for it.

Rating: 7.5/10

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