Pacific Rim 2013: Boom over Bang
Ahhh, Pacific rim. A classic case of massive michael bayish action scenes over quality. The plot centers around Raleigh Becket, an Ex Jaeger (Giant fighting robot) pilot who is a washed up construction worker helping to build a giant wall to keep giant aliens out of the cities that border the pacific. These giant aliens come from a portal in the pacific ocean that opens to another world, where smaller aliens have created ginormous monstrosities called Kaiju that somehow look like hellish amalgamations of earth animals. The film is accompanied by an allstar cast like Idris Elba who has a bleeding nose the entire time, Charlie Day as a scientist on 15 kilos of sugar, and Ron Perlman as an alien body part collecting, opium den owning Hong Kong drug lord who really likes his shoes.
You would expect it to be a decent movie, as it is directed by Guillermo Del Toro, who has made very good movies like The Shape of Water and Hellboy. However this movie suffers a case of immense consistency and plot issues. At one moment a jaeger is completely submerged in the ocean, and the next it is standing, knee deep in the exact same spot. Was it lying down under the ocean floor, waiting for the Kaiju? Probably not. In the canon, the Aliens are supposed to have tried to conquer the planet in the past, but failed because there was not the right oxygen content in the atmosphere. That was, in the movie, 65 million years ago. So these aliens somehow waited 65 million years before attacking again, and didn’t die out or find a new planet to usurp in the meantime.
In contrast to the plot, the cinematography of the movie is very good. The special effects are on point and were way better than anything else at the time. The shots were good and weren’t randomly chucked around, a great mix of cinematics, frantic fighting bits and powerful character close ups. The world was well designed and even after watching the film a couple times I only picked up on 1 or 2 prop inconsistencies. Some set choices however were debatable, like the leader’s office pretty much just being a flooded room with a desk and no window. These small flaws can be cast aside though, as the entire film was a treat to the eyes of casual viewers and sci-fi nerds alike
The last point I will cover is the actors. This film was backed up by an all-star cast, Including but not limited to: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. These actors did their best to try and lift the Movie off of the cheesy action film it was built on. Despite being dealt bad hands (or bad scripts) The actors pulled of very interesting characters that tied the story together and made it not feel like a rambling vat of mechs, aliens and cheesy one-liners. Idris Elba especially had some great moments of emotion which, being Idris Elba, he pulled off spectacularly. Ron Perlman, a favourite of Guillermo Del Toro’s was also in the film, playing a Kaiju body part selling one eyed gold capped shoe butterfly knife man? Whoever made that character, why?
Overall the film is largely decent, but with a number of flaws it just can’t pull itself away from. Between twists that obviously only exist to further the plot and lots of cliche the movie can’t seem to impress anyone other than twelve year olds. It’s like a baby; loud and obnoxious, and it was only lovingly brought into this world by a couple of people. The fight scenes are good yet the human pieces are lacking in content. Surprisingly the film was not a flop, costing $180 million and making about $500 million. IGN 5/10, would watch again, but only once I’ve completely forgotten that plot.