PACIFIC RIM (2013) : REVIEW

July 11, 2013

 
"Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time. We have chosen to believe in each other! Today we face the monsters that are at our door, today we are cancelling the apocalypse!"
This is a message for everyone : the moment you walk in to the studio, you have to be aware of what kind of movie you're going to watch. You may follow the hype or check the ratings and early reviews out there, or even to get your hopes up/down, but there's an excitement on not knowing anything (well, not literally anything, but sometimes it's best to ignore the critics out there, it may surpise you). The same thing happened to me when I chose not to follow any hype & expectation on Now You See Me, and boom! It turned out to be a refreshing 2-hours getaway for me. Now, let's be real, judging from the trailer only, Pacific Rim is not a smart movie and you certainly don't need to overthink it or even to twist your brain to understand the whole ideas. More to that, it's a Guillermo del Toro's movie. It's universal knowledge that del Toro's a big fan of Japanese anime and his movies often satisfy many fanboys out there (ehm, Hellboy?). And this time, del Toro presents us with a robot VS godzilla-like aliens, battling over Earth's existence; an absolute money maker and a box office guarantee. Now now, how may del Toro surprise us?


Human's race is in danger as a portal to another universe located deep beneath the Pacific Ocean is wide open, giving a chance for giant monsters known as Kaiju to cause many desctructions on Earth. The solution of battling the Kaiju is Jaeger (German for Hunter); a 25-storey robot, controlled by 2 pilots whose minds are linked to each other (or what they called as "The Drift"). The Jaeger has been a huge success, but what they don't know is that Kaijus are quickly evolving, learning every Jaegers' weaknesses, causing a collateral damages as the Jaegers began to lose. Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) is an ex Jaeger's pilot, who after five years of losing his beloved brother in battle, is now laboring in Anchorage, building a gigantic wall to prevent the Kaijus to closing in to the cities, as Jaegers' performances are being doubted and are now working underground. A surprise occured as Becket's former boss and marshal Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) asked him to re-join the Jaegers forces, to once again battling the Kaijus. Short story short, Becket agreed and once again piloting a nuclear-powered Jaeger. He teams up with a bright and strong Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), battling one Kaiju and another, in order to overcome the huge task ahead.

Oh boy, did del Toro completely exceeded my expectation! First to say, the special effects were beyond spectacular, magnifique! The richness, the depth, the colors, and the details were all exquisite. There were never a simple background in this movie; from San Fransisco, Sidney, Tokyo to Hongkong, all were extravagant. The battles and destructions, though were a little bit shaky and blurry, were clean & coherent, which was hard remembering the scale of those robots & monsters. I didn't watch it in 3D but I'm super sure it'll be better to watch in 3D, or even in IMAX 3D; totally recommended. Del Toro also knew how to keep the pace steady; he never left a dull moment within 131 minutes time. Some cheesy dialogues & lines aside, the story was light and accessible, much of enjoyment. The thrill was there (though the scores didn't really upgrade it) and it was a never-ending excitement; I love every seconds of it.

The performances here were surprising. Hunnam and Kikuchi not-so-secret interest was executed well, with both chemistry shown. If Hunnam was the heart, Kikuchi was the soul. Hunnam was also delivered an emotionally friendly character, living over the shadow of his dead brother. Kikuchi's performance was delicate yet sharp, very intuitive and served her purpose. Elba was Elba; precisely strong-will man with a powerful speech, quite a companion indeed. The scenes stealers went to Charlie Day-Burn Gorman scientist slash frenemy and Ron Perlman's Hannibal Chau; they weren't just accessories, they delivered their portion well and it was a good laugh. The rest of the characters, though appeared only for a brief moment, they made the most of it. Brilliant set of cast indeed. 

Needless to say, Pacific Rim was an action-packed and special effect reloaded movie which gave you a high satisfaction above the awesomeness. It made the fanboy cheers and the rest to leave the theatre with a smile. And to say that, Pacific Rim made Michael Bay's Transformers looked like, well ... toys. Definitely recommended. And make sure to stay for the mid & after credits scenes.



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