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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pacific Rim (2013)

Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Cast: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi

The real summer blockbuster of 2013, and when it comes to the “big and monstrous” Pacific Rim dwarfs anything ever produced by the likes of “The Avengers” or any other big-budget extravaganza.

Pacific Rim

Film uses a very basic plot—heroes defending the planet against invading aliens coming through an undersea portal between our world and another dimension. Del Toro reintroduces Kaiju—monolithic monsters (such as Godzilla) wrecking havoc on the planet, and mankind’s only defense against them, Jaeger—kind of ostentatiously large version of Iron Man armor controlled neutrally by a human pilot, the evolved versions use two pilots sharing the neural load by psychically bridging their minds through a technique called “drifting”.

Loaded with some ultra-cool weaponry (like Plasma gun, Rocket Elbow, Missile Launcher, Hammer) Jaeger’s best was indeed the good, old Sword--only a tad bigger! The two scenes with swordplay—one mid-air, one underwater—simply blow you away, would have loved seeing more of it—hopefully in the upcoming sequel!
A lot of films tried capturing the ‘grandiose’ of comics or graphic novels—especially the colossal alien villains—but it is Del Toro who has hit the mark closest, yet. Jaeger’s designs, including its gait, movement and fights were perfect in all its grandeur. Kaiju could use little more refinement/clarity when it comes to dark and shady underwater scenes.      

In all, Pacific Rim has raised the bar very high when it comes to spectacularly grand designs and visual effects—Del Toro accomplished his vision onscreen by collaborating with some proven artists of the field.

His coterie included: robot and monster designers Wayne Barlowe, Oscar Chichoni, David Meng and Simon
Lee, and Francisco Ruiz Velasco, famed for Hellboy II and The Hobbit. Special effects were handled by John Knoll and Hal T. Hickel ( Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean), Shane Mahan (Iron Man), John Rosengrant (Real Steel) and Clay Pinney (Independence Day, Star Trek). No wonders the awesomeness that transpired on onscreen was a visual treat like never before.

Even though a second fiddle, the star cast delivers as it was expected to. Idris Elba was impressive as a hard-boiled leader, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman provide the much needed gags at the right moments and Charlie Hunnam looked good too (perhaps his meatiest role since Green Street Hooligans).      
Calls for a definite theater watch!

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  1. IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/

  2. Maybe there should have been more to do with the characters and story, but at least it was fun for what it was. Good review Yashesh.

  3. Thanks Dan!

    Yes, that could have been done, though I think Del Toro wanted to keep focus on the Monsters and Robots, hence used the relatively B grade cast here.

    There are talks about movie being half an hour too long but I personally wouldn't mind another additional 20 minutes invested on character/story.
    Actually, did enjoy his pacy/compact treatment of characters/story. The sequel is definitely going to delve more into the characters, Kaiju-Jaeger history, and their 'drifting' is in the offing too!


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