As well as offering you our opinion we want to give you, our readers, the chance to voice your own film-based opinions. In the first of his monthly column, Michael Drummond reviews Hellboy-raiser, Guillermo del Toro’s, latest action flick.
Whatever you think of Pacific Rim, it is undeniably on a different scale to Guillermo del Toro’s previous work. This is true in terms of the amount of CGI and other special effects utilised, but it might also have something to do with the size of the giant alien beasts that form the villains of the piece. The premise of the film, that mankind builds 280ft walking machines (Jaegers) to battle colossal alien “Kaiju” that arise out of an ocean rift, is as ridiculous as it sounds. But the film is tons of fun and quite possibly the best of the summer so far.
Del Toro does well to take two relatively unknown (at least in the West) Japanese genres, Mecha (robot/machine) and Kaiju (monster) and bring them together in something that will appeal to more mainstream audiences. While both have been taken up by Hollywood separately, Pacific Rim unites the two in explosive fashion.
It’s easy to just focus on how entertaining it is to see Idris Elba making a heroic speech and leading a human resistance force of outdated walking tanks against fearsome alien invaders (and it is a LOT of fun), but there’s depth to the film too.
The concept of the machines needing two pilots that are neurologically linked, thus sharing all thoughts, feelings and memories, permeates the whole film. The movie explores the different quirks and dangers of two people being so deeply linked. Also, the tenacity of humanity and its sheer will to survive in desperate circumstances is expertly brought to the fore. Pacific Rim is not just your standard summer action epic, it brings something unique to a genre of film dominated by un-creative dross.
The art that went into creating the different Jaegers and Kaiju is immense and shows a lot of talent. Each Kaiju and Jaeger has distinctive styling and features, giving them all a different feel and character. Each Jaeger has its own back-story depending on its design and country of origin- a lovely touch from del Toro and his team. It’s these details that separate Pacific Rim from the rest of the bunch.
Pacific Rim gives everything you could possibly want from a summer blockbuster: giant machines, aliens, heroics, and copious amounts of funny quips and fantasy violence. Not a classic, but it’s the most fun I’ve had at the cinema in years.