Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Pacific Rim (2013)
Once upon a time there was "Godzilla". Much before the epic disaster staged by Roland Emmerich (who surprisingly seems to deal much better with action movies, but about this next time). Once upon a time there also were many and diverse versions of robots fighting every kind of terrestrial and mostly extraterrestrial forces. At least two animes come to my mind (way before Transformers). Both (Godzilla & the robots) come from Japan, which seems to have a fetish for metal giants and a pathological fear towards monsters risen from the Pacific. The combination is called "Pacific Rim" and is produced in Hollywood, having though many references and even action locations placed in the Asian world.
I was expecting a light silly story and as many (positive) reviews said a pretty simple one, eventually having the "classical" one per 5 minutes explosion. Something like a mix between "Godzilla" and "Transformers" with a scent of "Battleship". Fortunately "Pacific Rim" is directed neither by Roland Emmerich, neither by Michael Bay and neither by Peter Berg. It's by Guillermo del Toro. Who after an excellent "Hellboy" continued with a lame "Hellboy 2" so I had some reserves. Well ... I guess I start to bore with my references so let's see what's to be said about the actual "Pacific Rim".
- The story: simple as it was said but not so thin as expected. From a rim in the Pacific depths emerges an alien threat = kaiju - the monsters, race who wants to take over the Earth. The counterattack is done first with robots = jaegers, driven through a neuronal interface by two pilots. More in the movie. It's enough to be discovered behind a trailer. And even if we don't have any heavy drama here, the fact that is not describable in just two sentences compensates at least a little the parts hard to believe in the story (normally otherwise for this genre)
- The actors: "Star Wars" style (= something like "starring Mark Hamill"), with the exception of Idris Elba and Ron Perlman in secondary parts, we have an "unknown hero" as planet savior: Charlie Hunnam. Overall the movie is ok regarding the casting, although I guess I would have preferred somebody else in the lead female role = the 2nd half of the robot pilot.
- The direction & the technic stuff: excepting things like - mostly all the battles take place at night during rain which looks like saving on the FX budget a bit, the movie looks impeccable and is directed also impeccable. We are far from the kitsch in Transformers regarding the robots design, who aesthetically (at least for me) look way better in "Pacific Rim". And about the direction, what can I say ... for this kind of movie, to name it like I did is enough that the frequency and the length of the battle sequences don't even try to surpass the records established by Michael Bay :)
Verdict: a light SciFi, summer blockbuster type, nice to see and with a boring factor reduced to a minimum compared with other titles in the same genre
Rating: 4 out of 5