Monday, July 15, 2013

Pacific Rim - Jaeger-Bombing Kaiju Back To Their Own Dimension!

Pacific Rim
PG-13  132 Minutes
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Guillermo del Toro & Travis Beacham
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi & Idris Elba

Tag Lines:
Go Big or Go Extinct.
To Fight Monsters, We Created Monsters.

Alternate Titles:
Titanes del Pacífico (Pacific Titans)  - Argentina
Огненият пръстен (Ring of Fire)  -  Bulgaria
Titanes del Pacífico (Pacific Titans)    -  Bolivia
Círculo de Fogo  (Circle of Fire)  -  Brazil
Titanes del Pacífico  (Pacific Titans)  -  Chile
Útok na Zemi  (Attack on Earth)  -  Czech Republic
Vaikse ookeani võitlus  (Pacific Battle)  -  Estonia
Hyökkäys Maahan  (Attack to Earth) -  Finland
Το δαχτυλιδι της φωτιας  (The Ring of Fire)  -  Greece
Bitka za Pacifik  (Battle for the Pacific)  -  Croatia
Tűzgyűrű  (Ring of Fire) -  Hungary
Ugnies ziedas  (Ring of Fire)  -  Lithuania
Titanes del Pacífico  (Pacific Titans)  -  Mexico
Titanes del Pacífico  (Pacific Titans)  -  Peru
Batalha do Pacífico  (Battle of the Pacific)  -  Portugal
Cercul de foc  (Ring of Fire)  -  Romania
Bitka za Pacifik  (Battle for the Pacific) -  Serbia
Pacifički prsten  (Pacific Ring)  -  Serbia

Pasifik Savasi  (Pacific War)  -  Turkey

"Today we are CANCELLING the Apocalypse!"
                                                           - Stacker Pentecost

If you ask anyone close to me, especially my wife, what I'm really like, they'll likely tell you that I'm just a big old man child.  I love monster movies, video & board games and I have the sense of humor of a 5 year old.  I think farts of funny, so sue me.  Having said that, there are certain things in this world that make me full on revert back to childhood and squee with delight like a kid on Christmas morning.  One of those things is Kaiju and giant robots.  I've been watching Godzilla movies since I can remember.  I LIVED for Creature Double Feature on Saturday afternoons and when I got a little old and TNT started to play Godzilla marathons all night on MonsterVision, cable television was at it's penultimate for me.  Weekday mornings before school were filled with Voltron and Gigantor.  After school it was Transformers and GoBots.  I couldn't get enough.

"That's great Matt, you love this stuff!  Get on with the review already!"

Okay, okay, my bad.  

Pacific Rim is quite simply the best giant robot vs Kaiju film made in the last twenty five years.  End Review.

"Seriously?  That's the whole review, huh?"

More, eh?  Well, okay, if you insist.  

I watched the 3D version (naturally...I'm a 3D junkie) and I have to say that some of the visuals were absolutely stunning in the third dimension.  I'm sure it's equally fantastic in two.  We've certainly come a long way from the toy tanks and rubber monster suits of the 20th century....not that there was anything wrong with those, mind you.

So where do Kaiju come from?  In this case, they start to come through a rift that forms in the Pacific Ocean.  Apparently on the other side of this rift is another dimension.  After getting it's ass handed to itself a few times, humanity creates the Jaeger Program, setting aside the worlds differences to combat the new threat.  A Jaeger (which is derived from the Germon word for hunter) is a gigantic robot that is controlled by two pilots who are linked together mentally in what's called a Neural Handshake.  The interface to control a Jaeger is too much for one person to handle, so each pilot controls one half of the robot....being linked mentally they are able to act in tandem as a single unit.

Pacific Rim hit all the right notes for me and there was a lot of fun to be had with the movie.  It wears it's love of Kaiju films on it's sleeve and it's very readily apparent, especially in some of the creature designs, especially one codenamed Knifehead, who is an homage to Guiron from the 1969 classic Gamera vs Guiron (aka Attack of the Monsters).  The acting is a bit wonky in places, but I thought that actually helped keep the vibe of the movie fun.  No one should go looking for dramatic depth, this is a B monster movie on a triple A budget.  The dialog is epic and cheesy and a hell of a lot of fun and the two-plus hour run time seemed to go by in a blink.

Midnight Cinephile Tally

Death Toll:  A whole lot of people die.  

Nude-O-Meter:  That'd be a zero, friend.

Monsters Party:  Hell yeah there are monsters!  Kaiju a plenty!

Final Thoughts
For me, it simply doesn't get much better than this.  Giant robots beat the snot out of giant monsters by sea, on land and even in the air.  This is everything I used to imagine a Godzilla film could be when I was a kid.  Now, we just have to wait a year to see what Godzilla 2014 has to offer!  LONG LIVE KAIJU!

Final Rating

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