Friday, July 12, 2013

Pacific Rim Review

Pacific Rim is a movie that no self respecting anime/mecha/sci-fi fan should miss. It's got all the workings of a truly great and entertaining movie.

Guillermo Del Toro once again proves that he is a master of his craft with this heavy metal brawler of a movie. On one corner you've got the invading forces, the Kaiju, wanting to remove humans from the face of the Earth. To counter this, us humans created the Jaegers to combat the kaiju and ensure our future.


On the story: Storywise, this one literally lifts up some key moments from just about any mecha anime/series we've ever seen. The nearest I can think of when it comes to this is the anime series Shinkon Gattai Godannar. Pilot goes on hiatus after tragedy, but is recalled to active service, meets new partner and potential girlfriend. Enemy suddenly gets stronger, show of courage and fortitude, wins the day. People who are looking for more than anything beyond the plot/trope I just mentioned will surely be lacking.


The story has a couple of plotholes but it's something that can be overlooked, after all, this is a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters from beneath the sea.

On the cast: Del Toro did not cast any big name for the film. And after seeing it, I can understand why. He's not out to reel in fans of big Hollywood stars, they only second fiddle to the real stars of the movie which were non other than the Jaegers.


Only gripe (which could be a major issue depending on what type of moviegoer you are) is that it's really hard to actually RELATE to Charlie Hunnam's Raleigh Beckett. Yeah he's Mr. All American right but the moment he goes on drama mode, you're mind starts to wonder.


Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost however is another issue. The man is all for brooding and stoicism. Love the accent and the catchy one-liner he delivers towards the end of the movie. The inclusion of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" star Charlie Day was also an inspired number as he gives some of the funniest lines in the film.


I have to give it to Rinko Kikuchi who really shined in this movie. She's frail looking but kicks ass the moment she needs to do so. Sad though that she and Hunnam never had an existing chemistry; which also ended up looking very confusing onscreen. Are they friends? lovers? Something in between? Or is Beckett simply looking out for Mako Mori (Kikuchi) on a brother-sister kinda thing.


And then there was Ron Perlman who plays blackmarket guy Hannibal Chau; his was Hellboy minus the red makeup and the gun (although he's still in red). He had some great moments in PR as well but what really bugs me is that fact that his role is a somewhat an extended cameo, a 'hey there' to Del Toro fans who stood with the director.

On the visuals: THE VISUALS WERE SPECTACULAR. The Jaegers were dirty and messy and it's just perfect. Much like how Metal Gear director Hideo Kojima stated in his tweet barrage, The kaijus were terrifying and seeing 'Knifehead' in Alaska took me back to the first time I saw the T-Rex in Spielberg's "Jurrasic Park". Everything was designed to look so gritty, heck even the Bone City in Hong Kong looks beautiful.

The whole visuals are beautiful gets magnified fifty times over once the fighting in the ocean floor or in a busy Hong Kong street. There's a lot of stuff going on but you'll be transfixed. I know I did.


Again, I cannot stress how important it is to see this film on an IMAX screen. It's not because of the 3D but because it truly becomes BIG when you see it projected in a huge ass screen.


Finally, I loved the touches of anime in this film. It was very evident that they knew what people loved about those Mecha Romance trios such as giant swords, one-liners before a finishers, breathtaking fisticuffs.


Overall, I think the film was superbly crafted and well paced. It had a couple of blips but if you truly love grand robot movies (which is very rare even in Hollywood standards), then you really should catch the movie. 

Pacific Rim is now showing nationwide and it's distributed locally by Warner Bros. Philippines. If you're still hesitant, here's trailer # 3 for the film to reel you in. 


  1. "Finally, I loved the touches of anime in this film. It was very evident that they knew what people loved about those Mecha Romance trios such as giant swords, one-liners before a finishers, breathtaking fisticuffs."

    Agree! I would have loved more of these especially the one-liner before a finisher. Great review!

  2. When I saw the trailer to this movie, I immediately thought EVANGELION? Hehe. Yeah I used to watch anime a lot and was influenced by my mecha loving anime brother. The lead girl strongly reminds me of Evangelion (disclaimer, I havent watched the Evangelion series though!) but seeing the effects of the movie has got me hanging on the seat. Thanks for this review. All the more na I'm definitely gonna watch this!

  3. What an Excellent review about Pacific Rim. I must say that I have watched this fantastic film 3 times already ever since it was shown in my country last July 12 (Directors Chair, IMAX 3D and 2D) and even now I am still amazed at the wonderful effects and story that I was being played out on the Big Screen!

    I was eagerly waiting for this film to hit theaters ever since it was being conceived since 2010 and let me say the wait was well worth it... I felt like I was a 10 year old kid again! hehe

    I was literally off the edge of my lazyboy seat and was amazed at the visual (both practical and CG) effects!

    The only thing was missing was me having Pacific Rim action figure at hand while watching the movie...

    Having grown up watching lots and lots of Big Robot Movies like Voltes V, Daimos, Mazinger Z, Gundam and even Neon Genesis Evangelion and of Kaiju Movies like the various Toho-made GODZILLA, RODAN, AND GAMERA Films! I was really able to see the influence made by those films that was being honored by the Director himself, Guillermo del Toro....this is truly a film for the fans of those genre like me (Laughs)...

    I hope this film earns a lot so that we can have the much awaited sequel for this magnificent film! :)