Stacker Pentecost: Today we are canceling the apocalypse!
Simply put, PACIFIC RIM is a movie about machines fighting monsters. It is director, Guillermo Del Toro’s attempt to make a movie for his inner child, and subsequently, that same child within each of us. I can see how machines fighting monsters might sound somewhat stupid to some. Fortunately, there is a strong story solidly embedded within Del Toro’s high concept. Unfortunately, there is less screen time of actual monsters fighting machines than you would think. Not everyone can win but I guess that depends on what camp you fall in (#TeamAction, here!). By no means am I implying that the action is a disappointment; it is actually incredible, mind blowing even. As glorious as it is though, there just isn’t enough to fully satisfy my personal cravings. I may have bloodlust issues though.
PACIFIC RIM takes place in the near future when a rip in the space time continuum allows for monsters from a different world, identified as Kaiju, to come through said rip to attack humanity and ravage their resources. At first it seems as though the military can handle this newly waged war, but as the monsters get bigger, humanity is quickly outmatched. Enter the Jaeger, a specially designed weapon which is essentially a giant robot. The Jaegers are too powerful for just one human to run by themselves, so two operators must sync their minds electronically to accomplish this very challenging task. As I’m sure you can imagine, having someone else’s thoughts and emotions running through your mind could be somewhat distracting or disconcerting. And you still have to operate a giant robot and kill monsters from another universe at the same time!
Del Toro is a living visionary legend. He makes movies magical, just as they should be. He creates these worlds that need to be seen to believed and that fully submerge the viewer in his imagination. His Oscar-winning triumph, PAN’S LABYRINTH, may be the crowning example of his truly extraordinary abilities, but PACIFIC RIM does not shy too far away from that, bringing this near apocalyptic world to unexpected life. His very appropriate use of 3D to capture the epic battles between the Jaegers and the Kaiju is just astonishing. In fact, I have not been so wowed and enthused by a 3D film like this since AVATAR. Del Toro will blow audiences away and truly capture them in the essence of the childlike wonder he creates here. PACIFIC RIM may look like a Godzilla movie but Del Toro is way too smart to just leave it at that. He is also way too smart to not have a ton of fun along the way.