Studio/Distribution: Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day
I have never been a fan of apocalypse-themed movies; there is just something really sad, unrealistic, and desperate about them. However, due to the thick robot element (which I quite like) to it and the fact that Pacific Rim is Guillermo del Toro's work, I gave this movie a try.
And I didn't regret a thing. Pacific Rim was magnificent.
The story is set around 2020. It is discovered that there are extraterrestrial creatures called "Kaijus" (Japanese for monsters) that arise from the bottom of the Pacific. Every certain period they would come to the surface and destroy cities. In defence, humans start to create huge robots that could kill the Kaijus called "Jaegers" (German for hunters). These Jaegers initially were operated by a single human whose mind was connected to the robots, but it turned out to be dangerous for the human, resulting in death. Finally, the robots are operated by 2 people whose minds and memories were connected through a "neural drift".
Take Raleigh Becket, a rider of the Jaeger Gipsy Danger he copiloted with his brother Yancy until an unfortunate accident killed Yancy. With such failure, the credibility of the Jaegers is deteriorating. The society starts to turn to other ways to kill the Kaijus. However, a few people remain faithful to the Jaegers. Soon, the Jaeger operation becomes an undercover, illegal activity run by rebels, who might find a way to finally beat the Kaijus.
Pacific Rim takes on different themes - it has robots, Godzilla-like monsters, rebellions, unity, science all in one. It's a movie of different concepts woven beautifully. There are only a few Jaegers left, probably around four. There is that rebellion element which gives such political feel to the movie. Despite their differences, these pilots serve one ultimate purpose: to save the world. This conveys a meaningful message: at times of danger and trouble, we can do nothing but unite and cooperate. And science - although it's absurd and insensible - I appreciate the filmmakers for incorporating as much of it as possible ("neural drift", "neural handshake").
Plus, the robots have the coolest names. "Gipsy Danger" (United States), "Striker Eureka" (Australia), "Cherno Alpha" (Russia), "Crimson Typhoon" (China), "Coyote Tango" (Japan).
There is just the right amount of actions that didn't make this either movie childish or lacking. I like how they exploited the unique concept of neural drift, where you have to be emotionally stable to conduct such and that it's hard to make drifts with different people (hence why a copilot always has only one partner). Moreover, each character has roughly the same amount of room to grow, so character development is fairly strong. Nevertheless, I wish there was more humour. There is some, but it would be better if the amount was increased.
Sadly, box-office-wise, Pacific Rim is not doing really well. I'm even afraid the movie's earnings will not surpass its 190-million budget. Probably because of the lack of marketing (truthfully, I wasn't interested in the movie until my sister asked me to watch it) and lack of famous stars (I barely know the real names of the characters). It's not fair, though. People really should watch this movie. It's another del Toro's masterpiece. Go watch it, people. Give the filmmakers much love.
As a conclusion, Pacific Rim is a must watch. It's one of the movies I've seen so far in 2013. Although it's not my cup of tea, I have utter respect for this movie. 5/5