'Pacific Rim' Advanced Screening Review.
Director- Guillermo Del Toro
|That thing on the left I thought was another 'Kaiju', turns out it's the tail .....|
This was a real treat, to find that I had been invited to the press screening of 'Pacific Rim'. This review comes to you a whole two days before 'Pacific Rim' hits Irish cinemas, even European cinemas if I'm not mistaken. With this film Guillermo Del Toro is trying to do something we haven't seen outside of a 'Power Rangers' episode or a Sci-Fi channel movie, he's trying to showcase the awe inspiring scale of a brawl between man/machine and supernatural/alien monster while trying to keep some level of depth that this kind of genre does not see outside of anime. There is a high probability of failure but like all the greats, Guillermo Del Toro seems up for the challenge. Finally before I get into my review I'd like to thank the people at Warner Bros. for giving me this opportunity and inviting me to the press screening of this film.
It is the near future and humanity has been pushed to its limit. Out in the Pacific Ocean a rift in space has opened up and pouring out of it are 'Godzilla' style alien monsters which tear through city after city. This continues until all the worlds nations decide to put all past grievances aside and create the 'Jaegers', mechanized warriors that are piloted by two pilots who are synced together to form the perfect weapon against the 'Kaijus', the 'Godzilla' style monsters. We see the events of the film through the eyes of Raleigh Becket, Charlie Hunnam of 'Sons of Anarchy' fame, one of the pilots of the 'Jaeger' dubbed 'Gypsy Danger'. Raleigh is a superb 'Jaeger' pilot and he and his brother, Yancy Becket, are the best team out there. Unfortunately things go down and Raleigh is out of commission for five years, this is where the film picks up and that is where I will leave the plot explanation.I knew nothing going in and I'd like you, my audience to have that same feeling.
|The designs are just fantastic.|
The level of scope that is felt is immense and you really feel a sense of dread when the 'Kaiju' show up. Guillermo Del Toro really gives the audience a lush amount of lore for the 'Kaiju' to give us something to really chew on. I went into this film not wanting a mech/monster brawl as much as I wanted a futuristic tale about alien monsters and in that respect Del Toro did not disappoint. Then there is the design of every 'Jaeger' and 'Kaiju', they are so unique and impressive and from an artistic point of view that is a real boon.
You feel that each country has really stamped their personality on each 'Jaeger'. Between China's 'Crimson Typhoon' and Russia's 'Cherno Alpha' you feel their is a real sense of identity given to each 'Jaeger', almost as if these machines are characters themselves. There is then fight scenes which are just fantastic, this is what the 'Transformers' series of films should have been and unfortunately never will be.
Outside of the giant robots and giant monsters, the human characters are nicely fleshed out, each one given a respectable amount of time of characterization and back-story. In particular, Mako Mori, given great depth and soul by Rinko Kikuchi, a lot of fans of 'Evangelion' will empathize with Mako as she comes off at times as a more family friendly 'Rei'. At the start of the film she seems, emotionless, cold and withdrawn, but as the film progresses you find out how passionate and driven she is. Then there is Stacker Pentecost, the absolute legend that is Idris Elba. He's smooth, he's tough and rocks a hell of a lot of speeches. It's interesting to find out how he is connected to all the various characters throughout the film and he adds a certain gravity to the film that some of the other characters can't carry. Oh one final point, yes the A.I voice is Ellen Mclain aka 'GLaDOS'.
|Yeah we're bitchin', you know it.|
With all disaster films there are bound to be cliches which are part of that genre, unfortunately 'Pacific Rim' is not above these cliches. There are the two bickering scientists who are both unhinged and unorthodox and yes they are the comic relief. At times it feels very forced and the real thing that got me is that one of them was a proper stiff upper lipped English gentleman while the other was a hyperactive nonsense spewing American nerd who shouts a lot. There were also a lot of moments that felt taken from a lot of disaster films, 'Independence Day' moments, slight 'Pearl Harbour' moments and there is actually a dynamic between two characters in the film that is very reminiscent of 'Top Gun'. I also feel with this film Guillermo Del Toro went the most "Hollywood" he has ever gone with a film, somethings are wrapped up too neatly and knowing the calibre of his work, I felt it cheapened certain aspects of the film.
This film breaks no boundaries, it doesn't change the mold and there is nothing completely new about it, but what it does, it does great. It's enjoyable, fun and the action is non-stop ridiculous. In the words of Raleigh Becket, "Today was a good drift".
|A particularly epic scene.|
No one puts Ron Perlman in a corner, you'll get it.