Very rarely am I wrong about my decisions of ‘best movie of the summer’ and this is one of those instances. What most people need to realize that during the summer months of movie-going you have two categories: the blockbuster spectacles and the small indy flicks that garner critical attention. In recent years filmmakers have had this pressing need to meet both criteria, and director Guillermo del Toro wanted to go back to basics with Pacific Rim. Its pure spectacle and no filler and was by far the most fun I’ve had in a long time at the theater.
Guillermo made Pacific Rim with our inner 10-year-old self in mind. Monster films aren’t meant to challenge the mind, they are meant to add excitement to our lives. When you walk out of this movie you want to play Jaegers vs. Kaiju as your inner child once did.
Pacific Rim had the best visual effects I’ve ever seen on-screen to date. Del Toro and co., along with Spectral Motion and Wayne Barlow, created the most astounding mechs and monsters yet. Del Toro specifically instructed his team to create monsters that had two legs, to invoke the look of men in suits in the old school monster movies of yesteryear. Also, the way this movie was filmed makes you believe these mechs really are 300 feet tall.
The movie follows not just a main character but an entire array of people, from brothers, a father and daughter, a father and son, a man and a wife, and two burgeoning soul mates. Charlie Hunnan is a Jaeger pilot from the start of the Kaiju war and pilots Gipsy Danger with his brother who is ultimately killed during battle. Charlie’s character Raleigh Beckett is mind melded with his brother and witnesses the pain and fear of his death in The Drift. Jaegers proved to be too much for one person to pilot so the neural bridge was to be established between two pilots who are Drift compatible; the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. In the last days of the losing war with the Kaiju, Idris Elba recruits the retired ranger for the final hurrah, a push towards putting an end to the Kaiju war. Actually Stacker Pentecost could recruit me for this mission if he’d give me the chance. His character is the backbone of this movie. Elba oozes command at every turn. With Beckett in tow, he takes the last remaining ranger teams to the Shatterdome in Hong Kong with the 3 other remaining Jaegers left, Crimson Typhoon, Striker Eureka and Cherno Alpha. When I say that this is by far the biggest spectacle of cinematic robot fists to Kaiju faces, I mean it.
With all of this being said, I need to remind you: you’re not going into this movie wanting a heart-felt experience. The story is lacking severely in places and I’m content with knowing this. If you see this movie, watch it on the biggest screen you can find. If you can’t, sit as close to that screen as you can. Pacific Rim is a film you must immerse yourself in for the full effect. And by the way you SHOULD see this movie, because Hollywood needs to understand that we want films like these; with original story and bravado or else we will get Transformers and Grown Ups sequels for years to come.
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