Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pacific Rim - THE Giant Robot vs. Giant Monster Movie

Growing up I watched the occasional Godzilla film, various Anime science-fiction titles (mostly Gundam series), and had a powerful, general love for the concept of giant robots. Tonight I watched a film which expertly combined all of those things into one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time. In fact, I consider it the best of 2013 thus far. I'm of course writing of the newly released Pacific Rim, written and directed by master of cinema Guillermo del Toro.

Pacific Rim was above all things a giant robot versus giant monster flick, and it didn't try to hide that fact nor did it pretend to be something it was not. While it offers giant robots, which are beautiful to behold, and giant monsters, which are extremely detailed and each exceptionally unique, there was also a wonderful human story at the heart of it all. In addition, it had an original sci-fi setting to put most of those in film to shame.

Naturally, the setting is Earth, in about ten or so years from now. In this version of the future humanity is besieged by massive somethings from beyond, known as Kaiju (a Japanese word for "Giant monster," essentially). As in every story, we fight back. Time passes and the attacks continue in spite of our efforts. Humanity realizes that it must advance its methods of defending itself from annihilation. Enter the Jaegers.

As the story progressed I felt the depth of the history and culture of this victimized tomorrow world. The design perfectly depicted a used future, like the kind one could find in Star Wars or Alien. There were folks from all parts of the globe which came together as one people to lend their skills to the most important effort, defending the species. When the robots went to work it felt natural, and nothing felt over-the-top because you knew that you were watching a giant robot versus giant monster film. Then when the story had progressed to a certain point and the movie hit its stride every aspect just exceeded everything preceding it.

I admit that I had some doubts based on my reactions to certain trailers for Pacific Rim, but after seeing it I can say that I would confidently recommend this to fans of any of the above mentioned genres. In my opinion, Guillermo Del Toro truly outdid himself this time.

Also, I feel that I can declare without a doubt my belief that this film will open the way for more giant robot films. Perhaps we'll one day soon see a live action Gundam movie which won't be shot shot on a Sci-Fi Channel budget (G-Saviour). I can only hope.

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