Hold on to your butts and fasten your seat belts. Pacific Rim has arrived. All summer I have been saying this movie or that movie will be the one to beat until PR shows up. I was absolutely right. At the edge of our hope for a truly great summer blockbuster we Are given this gift. This weekend we are cancelling the slate of mediocre and rehashed summer films. While there have been fun movies and good movies this is a great movie that puts them all to shame.
Guillermo Del Toro (Geek god, Hellboy, Blade II) directs a story written by Travis Beacham who only has the lack luster clash of the Titans to his credits. Please note this movie meets the rules – One Writer, One Screenplay by. Together the two have given us a story of men, monsters and giant flipping robots. They do it well and they did it epic. They spared no expense and it shows.
So what actually makes it epic? Well you have Idris Elba playing a soldier and a leader who will be the last man standing so his people don’t lose hope. He is the stereotype and plays it as if he isn’t. Scenery is his diet and he chews with raw abandon. When he yells you want to apologize to him, when he gives a speech you want to cheer. You also have Charlie Hunnam, from SOns of Anarchy, playing the reluctant hero who isn’t all that reluctant which is a beautiful breath of fresh air. It could be Rinko Kikuchi, new comer to americans, and her twist on the female lead stereotypes. She does play into a few of them but what makes it epic is the fact they don’t linger on those moments too long. There’s also Ron Perlman playing a Ron Perlman character in a GDT movie. Just know he is awesome and move on. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s Charlie Day does an amazing JJ Abrams impression but also adds much needed humor and moments to breath in what is otherwise an amazing rollercoaster ride of a film.
All of the above are part of what makes it epic. So what else does? Geek Love. Geek Respect. Del Toro gives his nod to the sci fi that has come before. Star Wars reference? Check. Independence Day references? All over the damn place. Godzilla (old and newer) references, yep. The casting of the voice of GLaDOS as the computer voice, awesome. The one that floored me? DR. WHO! There is a character who spends the entire second and third act dressed like Eleven! Del Toro loves movies. He loves fantasy and Sci fi and horror and dammit if he doesn’t put all the love for the genre into his work here and it shows. All of his passion and vision and drive to make movies is right here in two hours of film. He even gives credit to other directors in the special thanks! These people weren’t even attached to the film but that doesn’t matter he gives them a nod.
Ok so what about the Giant Robots and Giant Monsters? Also, epic. Now, here is where I have to give a warning, one of the few this movie deserves. Do not expect solid science. The story said we built giant robots and thus we have giant robots. They each have their unique design from each country they are from. They all have their own tricks but if you expect them to obey all the laws of physics, conservation of energy, force and mass equations – just stop. Stop now and turn that part of your brain off and eat some more popcorn. This movie isn’t about the science and because of that I can forgive the lack there of.
So here it is, at the end of the day – aka TL;DR
Pacific Rim is absolutely the must see film of the summer if you want your blockbuster and popcorn. It’s not for everyone and if you aren’t an fan you may not find it as epic, but then again you may.
Please if you are or were only somewhat interested, go see this film. Support it. Support the Genre and hopefully we can get more movies like this and less like so much else of what we have gotten this year.
Summer apocalypse cancelled. We have a winner folks and nothing else this summer has been or will be as awesome in the genre.